Ava Gomez

Ava Gomez

The Experiences of Mixed-Race Students on College Campuses and their Impact on the Self-Identification Process

Authors

Ava Gomez, Dr. Emrah Sahin

Mentor

Dr. Emrah Sahin

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Abstract

The first instance in which the term “multiracial” was an option to indicate race was in the 2000 U.S. Census. Because the inclusion of this racial group began at the start of the millennium, many of these multiracial infants legally recognized by the Census are now reaching early adulthood and can pursue higher education. This study aims to analyze the personal experiences of multiracial students at the University of Florida, and how this impacts the perception of their own identity. More specifically, this study intents to explain the methods in which multiracial students establish their identities on individual, communal, and institutional levels. In this context, multiracial students will be classified as a combination of two or more of the standards of race that are outlined in the U.S. Census. In order to conceptualize these experiences, a questionnaire was devised, focusing on pre-college experiences, parenting styles, college involvement, social groups, and social media. Specifically, this study concentrates on the presence of social media within the context of the self-identification process. Participants were recruited using social media and email lists, and subsequently provided a semi-structured interview over Zoom. The results insofar suggest that experiences may differ between upperclassmen and underclassmen at the University of Florida, especially due to the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These multiracial students have diverse narratives that have been impacted based on their physical location during the school year and if they have been present on campus at some point during their time as an undergraduate.

Poster

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Research Pitch

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