Student Spotlight: Julieth Diaz Benitez

This fall, we are celebrating some of our outstanding students who are graduating this semester. We wish all of our graduating students the best as they begin the next chapter of their journeys.

Julieth Diaz Benitez​Name: Julieth Diaz Benitez

Home country: Colombia  

Program: Learning & Cognition (Ph.D.)

Why did you choose your program?

For me, being a researcher and practitioner is about opening doors and fulfilling the promise of a truly liberatory, equitable education for all. Thus, I was searching for a program that would maintain a focus on educational psychology, while allowing me to explore a broad range of critical and culturally relevant approaches to education and learning. The L&C program at FSU offered just that; I found a great combination of academic rigor, emphasis on educational psychology, and flexibility to dive deep into interdisciplinary areas of interest. It was a sound combination for me.

What's your favorite part of your program?

I would highlight two parts: 1) The flexibility to explore areas that go beyond theoretical foundations of educational psychology. As scholars, we are encouraged to seek perspectives and input from other disciplines that may complement our approach to education; and 2) The critical and open approach to mentorship offered by faculty in the program. There is a commitment to help students pursue their research interests; faculty truly illuminate the path forward from a place of awareness and understanding of our positionalities, histories, and identities. This is HUGE, especially for students in historically minoritized groups (like myself). 

What do you want to do after you graduate?

I am currently an instructional designer and faculty member in the California Community College system. After graduation, I intend to continue working on creating pathways for minoritized students to advance in their educational pathways, especially in high-opportunity areas such as STEM. In the future, I intend to pursue administrative roles related to integrating Diversity, Equity & Inclusion lens into the fabric of institutional processes.