Staff Research Profile
Mr. Everardo Barraza
BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz
MPA in Public Administration from Cal Poly Pomona
Coordinator for the Achieve Scholars Program and the Engineering Scholars Program
at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Mr. Everardo Barraza started off locally, attending Chaffey High School in Ontario, California before attending community college and then applying to the UC system. He "wasn't sure what classes to take, who to talk to, or how to navigate the campus and find opportunities." While attending UC Santa Cruz, Mr. Barraza did figure out how to navigate the system, but realizes "it would have been helpful to know some of these things right away."
During his time studying sociology at UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate, Mr. Barraza was offered an opportunity to engage in research. A professor of Mr. Barraza's "said he was going on sabbatical and that he was starting a research project. He told the class that if anyone was interested, they could go to his office hours and discuss joining the project. The research was in environmental sociology." Mr. Barraza went to those office hours and joined the project. His research involved "looking at how religious institutions can influence and drive environmental awareness."
Mr. Barraza came to see the professor he was researching under as more than just a research mentor. "I became close to him," Mr. Barraza shares, "we would go out and get coffee and just talk about the future – about my career options. As a sociology major, I didn’t know which fields I could get into. He also wrote me letters of recommendation for my master's degree and for scholarship opportunities."
After Mr. Barraza graduated with his BA in Sociology, he entered into the professional world first as a criminal investigator for the public defender’s office then later as an international trade assistant doing market research for the U.S. Department of Commerce back in his
Soon Mr. Barraza found the call for furthering his education and applied to Master's in Public Administration (MPA) programs and ended up here at Cal Poly Pomona. Mr. Barraza notes that "coming from a UC, the class sizes are massive – 200 or 300 students. You don't get to know the professor, you get to know the teacher's assistant. At Cal Poly Pomona, the class sizes were a lot smaller – maybe 15 to 20 students. I had more of a cohort experience here and I felt more comfortable talking to my professors." While the program size was more personalized for Mr. Barraza, he still notes that filing for an IRB for the first time was a struggle but that his undergraduate research experience helped prepare him for the rigors of graduate research.
Now as the coordinator for the Achieve Scholars Program and the Engineering Scholars Program, Mr. Barraza is able to help students across disciplines engage in undergraduate research. Under the direction of Dr. Winny Dong, a person that motivates Mr. Barraza to "work harder and do whatever I can to make the college experience better for students," these two programs "aid students in the development