HERE Center

COVID-19 Autoethnography Study

Historical, structural, and institutional forms of racism adversely impact U.S. higher education and continue to impose burdens upon students who have traditionally been marginalized. These burdens ruin the learning experience and threaten academic success. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated already-existing educational inequities.

Undergraduate research training programs (URTPs) like NIH BUILD PODER are in a position to label, challenge, and transform injustices that constrain the potential of most institutions of higher education. To better understand the value of URTPs during the COVID-19 pandemic, this project will adopt an autoethnographic approach and examine how CSUN students and faculty navigated through the uncertainty of the Spring 2020 semester. Emphasis will be placed on deconstructing how aspects of CSUN’s URTPs helped (or hindered) the academic success of students and professional success of faculty before, during, and after the semester.


Jose H. Vargas

Start Date: