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Topic: Personal History Statement for Graduate School  (Read 1486 times)

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Offline kevin_lofgren

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Personal History Statement for Graduate School
« on: November 22, 2018, 01:11:08 AM »
Hello!  I'm currently preparing my personal history statement and i'm having some trouble with parts of it.  I'm pursuing a Ph.D in Chemistry by the way.  The prompt is shown here:

UC Santa Cruz is interested in a diverse and inclusive graduate student population. In an essay, discuss how your personal background informs your decision to pursue a graduate degree. Include any educational, familial, cultural, economic, or social experiences, challenges, or opportunities relevant to your academic journey; how you might contribute to social or cultural diversity within your chosen field; and/or how you might serve educationally underrepresented segments of society with your degree.

The green part I believe I have down well.  The red part is troublesome.  I have been quickly talking about how outside activities with lab group members is important and that I would try and introduce new extra curricular ideas as well as participate in all current activities.  I really don't know what they are going for there though.  The same is true of the last part.  I know it says and/or before the question but I'm trying to be applicable to all portions of the prompt.  Unless i'm trying to go into teaching or perhaps produce videos or visit underprivileged schools what does one put here?   
Does anyone know what they are really looking for with those red and maroon parts?  I'm finding this much harder than the statement of purpose and some help would be much appreciated.  Thanks!


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Re: Personal History Statement for Graduate School
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2019, 08:33:18 PM »
Do you plan or have done any volunteering?

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Personal History Statement for Graduate School
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 07:18:58 AM »
Some groups of people are under-represented among the PhD chemists. You can expect white Christian males of Anglo-Saxon descent to make a higher proportion of high diplomas than Buddhist Zimbabwean women.

"UC Santa Cruz is interested in" means rather "has a programme to favour minorities" so they want to know if you belong to a population group under-represented among high diplomas. It is your interest to provide all information in that direction.

So if you belong anyhow to a minority, do tell it. But don't change your name to Khedidja Menendez Cardoso, as that would be noticed.

The other option is "how you might serve educationally under-represented segments of society". Like: I plan to go to my former shanty town school (or to my parents' native American village), show the pupils they can succeed at University as I did. Or give lessons in a prison. You must find something at least half-credible.

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