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Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement ProgramWelcome to the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program
526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004
Maira Alejandra Sanchez majored in Psychology and Spanish with a minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She is passionate and devoted to helping and empowering women and is why her summer McNair research has focused on analyzing whether Mexican women, due to their adherence to traditional gender role ideology, will contribute more to household chores and childcare (what is known in feminist scholarship as the second shift). She is also interesting in working with marginalized groups and using indigenous ways of knowing to her scholarship.
Maira was raised in a small agriculture town in Manson, Washington and is a first-generation college student. Her parents immigrated to the United States from the small village of Huitzontla, which is located in the state of Michoacán on the coast of Mexico. As a single mother, she recognizes the importance of her education in order to reach her goal to serve women who have encountered her similar obstacles. With assistance and encouragement by her professors and the McNair program, Maira recently graduated from EWU and is continuing her education at New Mexico State University in the Counseling and Education Program. She aspires to continue her education in a doctoral program in counseling psychology or public health after completing her masters program.
Summer 2011 McNair Internship Faculty Research Mentors: Dr. Amani El-Alayli, Psychology Department and Dr. Kelly Coogan, Women's and Gender Studies Department
McNair Internship Research Project
Trabajo y mas Trabajo: A woman's work is never done
This research focused on the performance of gender roles of Mexican women and to what extent they fulfilled multiple roles of mother and wife. Maira expected to find that Mexican working mothers, with at least one child under the age of 18, would report higher levels of stress. She also anticipates that most of these women would tend to hold traditional gender role ideologies because of the unique social and cultural pressure of Mexican folk culture. She worked with Dr. Amani El-Alayli from the Psychology Department, who guided her with psychological methodologies of gathering her materials to conduct her research. She included a feminist approach to the research, which Dr. Kelly Coogan from the Women's and Gender Studies Department provided. She has supplied a Chicana feminist framework and referred her to other Chicana literature and material to include in her project. She also had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Tania Esmeralda Rocha-Sanchez from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, who supplied her with a culturally sensitive measure of gender attitudes, stereotypes and masculine and feminine traits, specifically for Mexicans. Working with distinct researchers with such different emphases has made Maira understand the need to include multiple perspectives in research.