Cruz Medina (M.A./MFA ’08) has developed an appreciation for California’s diversity awareness.
“I had the benefit of growing up in a progressive state in schools that reflected the diversity of their communities,” said Medina, Ph.D., now assistant professor of rhetoric and composition at Santa Clara University.
Medina was pursuing his Ph.D. in Arizona when the state passed a controversial immigration law and another that opponents say effectively banned ethnic studies in public schools. Medina responded via his recently released book
Reclaiming Poch@ Pop: Examining Rhetoric of Cultural Deficiency
, which addresses issues of citizenship, education and politics.
Medina said his interest in anti-ethnic-studies efforts and racial profiling was kindled by the post-colonial literature class of Professor Justine Van Meter, Ph.D., at Chapman University. And while he was in the M.A./MFA program, Professor Martin Nakell, Ph.D., inspired him to wake up at 4 a.m. to write for two hours each morning, which Medina said prepared him to write book-length projects.
“Because Martin is a poet, he wanted you to follow your vision,” Medina said. “So I always felt encouraged to follow my instincts and indulge my inspirations to write.”
In addition, under the guidance of Professor Doug Sweet, Medina tied his varying interests into a single package of teaching digital writing and multicultural rhetoric, with a focus on issues of social justice, race and pedagogy. Through this hybrid platform, Medina remains committed to spreading a deeper understanding of diversity issues.