Summer program fuels Ph.D. student Paola Roldán’s work on gender equality
Paola Roldán, a rising third-year doctoral student at the School of Social Work, spent three weeks this summer in the 2023 ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods at the University of Michigan, thanks to a diversity scholarship she received this spring. The scholarship enables graduate students to receive additional skills in quantitative analysis.
“Having this opportunity will be an unparalleled pedagogical experience that will prepare me to teach advanced statistical courses and research methods in the future,” says Roldán, whose research work focuses on mitigating transgender discrimination and stigmas.
The summer program provided intense quantitative methods training. Roldan took two advanced courses and one practical lecture.
“To give you an estimate of the program’s intensity, the number of teaching hours of each course was about the same as a semester course in an academic year (around 40 hours) but in just three weeks,” she says. “I had eight hours of classes every day for those three weeks.”
Roldán wants to keep doing research with the Latinx LGBTQ+ community after finishing earning her doctorate from the School of Social Work. “It could be at a research university or a think tank,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to contribute to society by developing, implementing and evaluating interventions to eliminate employment injustices that sexual and gender minority people face.”
She was attracted to VCU and the School of Social Work because of the emphasis on diversity and multidisciplinary research. “That’s crucial for me,” she says. “As an international student, knowing the school embraces diversity among its students and professors was essential for deciding to study at VCU.”