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Virginia Morales

Acknowledgement to Mentor: At this time, I would like to acknowledge and thank my mentor, Dr. Majid Sharifi for all the support and guidance he has provided me over the past years. Dr. Sharifi was the one who introduced me to the world of political science and his passion on the subject was what inspired me to pursuit a life in academia. His continual support and guidance as shaped me into the scholar I am today and I am honored to call him my mentor.






Virginia Morales is a Mexican-American and the seventh child of native Oaxacan parents Santiago F. Morales and Felipa V. Monge. Her father only having completed a third grade level education and her mother completing half of the equivalent of a kindergarten education wanted to offer their child the opportunity of a lifetime, education. Having come from a long history of agricultural workers and witnessing firsthand the tedious labor required to barely fulfill the necessities of a family, encouraged her to seek a career. She was fortunate to have parents that moved away from the very conservative ideals of women's role and encourage her to do anything a male was capable of.

Santiago, having been a determined individual, built on his third grade level education to improve his reading and writing. He then took this knowledge and informed himself various concepts in his favorite subject, history. For a man of third grade education, he is a brilliant writer, reader and is well rounded with knowledge. As for Felipa, she taught Virginia that a woman is capable of anything a male can do if she puts her mind into it. Santiago many times would leave the family for economic reasons, leaving Felipa and their eight children to fend for themselves. Having to become both parents Felipa took on several jobs and small side jobs to make ends meet; and having come exhausted from work she still did the house cleanings and prepared hot meals for her children. It was during those times that Virginia saw the real strength, resilience, courage, bravery, and determination of a woman. Both of her parents, having endured several adversities and time after time again refused to relinquish their dreams, are what inspired her to seek her own.

 Today, Virginia is the first in her family to attend a university straight out of high school and the first from her long family tree to seek a Ph.D. She is pursuing a double-major in Government and International Affairs with the hopes of possibly being a U.N. representative or some other form of international organization to strengthen the civil rights of people worldwide. 



Dr. Majid Sharifi, Associate Professor, Department of Government, EWU


TRiO McNair Research Internship:___________________________________________________________

An Indigenous Contribution to the International Community (2014)

In the predominate liberal international world system there is a great push for states to become more democratic and partake in the capitalist economic system. However, these very requirements have posed a conundrum to the stability of our planet. As a state thrives to become developed, it struggles to preserve their natural resources and at the same time compromise it to compete in the world economy, such is the case in Brazil and the natural resources within the Amazon. Yet, within the whole process the most effected group to receive the full effects and damages of the consequences brought about is the indigenous community located deep in the Amazon. Although there are many negative connotations placed on these people, their local and traditional knowledge of the rainforest may serve as hopeful knowledge to counter-attack the effects on the environment.


Conference Presentations:_________________________________________________________________

An Indigenous Contribution to the International Community,

  •  17th Annual Student Research and Creative Works Symposium, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA (2014)


Honors and Awards:______________________________________________________________________

  • McNair Scholar Summer Internship, Awarded $2,800. The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the attainment of PhD degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society. (2013 & 2014)


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