PhD in Education student Kayla Puente was honored as an "Outstanding Social Justice Activist" at the 2019 Dynamic Womxn of UCI Awards Ceremony on May 29. The Outstanding Social Justice Activist Award honors individuals that have demonstrated "a commitment to working on anti-sexist endeavors and who have drawn connections between various communities to end multiple forms of oppression including but not limited to ableism, heterosexism, racism, classism, xenophobia, and ageism."
Presentation Text for Kayla Puente, Outstanding Social Justice Activist Award
This recipient has multiple roles as a part of UCI’s School of Education (SoE). She works to support undergraduate and graduate students, especially those from marginalized backgrounds. This person facilitates the UCI School of Educations’ Mentoring Program, a program that matches all incoming students with a peer mentor and fosters relationships between mentors and mentees. This work is important because she saw a need for greater support among doctoral students, particularly those who are first-generation college students. Additionally, she serves on the SoE Higher Education Outreach Team, a group that provides high school students and undergraduate students with support in college access, research involvement, and professional development. Even amidst her busy schedule as a doctoral student, she is committed to creating educational equity and supporting underserved students.
Kayla is a second year doctoral student specializing in Human Development in Context (HDiC). Her research interests include academic motivation and achievement, acculturation and biculturalism, underrepresented students, mindset, parent-child relationships, and socio-emotional development. She is advised by Professor Sandra Simpkins and Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles.