Kathy Palomino '22


After graduating, Kathy Palomino ’22 contemplated whether she wanted to pursue a master's degree or Ph.D. program in either American studies or Chicana/o studies. Additionally, Kathy took up a variety of jobs to see how she operated outside of academia because while Kathy was sure she wanted to go back to school, she had never been a person outside of school up until that point. From fall 2022 to summer 2023, Kathy was a Starbucks barista, a vegan baker, a middle school tutor, and a sales associate for a small start-up in Nashville. The more time spent cultivating new and improving existing skills, the more she realized why she enjoyed being a part of the classroom and getting carried away by research interests. Kathy applied to a variety of schools this year and was accepted to the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She was invited to visit the campus before deciding.  Kathy was not sure about moving so far out west, especially with family being in Nashville, Tennessee. Flying or driving from Nashville to Princeton was doable for family members, but the trek to Santa Barbara definitely felt daunting. Kathy kept an open mind and is glad she did. By the end of the first full day of touring the campus, speaking with the professors, and getting to know the other graduate students in the program, Kathy was in love. This fall they she begins graduate school with the goal of obtaining a Ph.D. in Chicana/o studies at the school of UC Santa Barbara.