¡Buenas Dias Amigos!
My name is Ronaé (ron-nae) Baker. I am a junior at USF and I am majoring in Sociology. I was awarded the Gilman Scholarship and today I embark upon a Study Abroad journey to San Jose, Costa Rica. This past semester has required much mental and physical fortitude and I am looking forward to relaxing and learning during this summer abroad experience. I know that I will be met with new challenges while in Costa Rica and this excites me! This year was my first year at USF as I was transfer student. For a while I felt as though I was behind the curve and worried I wouldn’t “catch up”. I had intentions to major in Anthropology, but gravitated towards Sociology and it was great decision. The department is full of great professors and academic advisors who have helped me transition into my full time student status. I know Costa Rica will be a fun summer experience to close out my first year at USF and while thereI look forward becoming more comfortable with the Spanish language and learning about Afro-Caribbean history.
Prior to attending USF I worked as a cosmetologist for 9 years. I look forward to combining my vocational cosmetology training with my sociology education to continue to fuel my passion for learning about Afro-Caribbean culture and identity. I am approaching this trip as an opportunity to make contact with other scholars who are interested in similar areas of research. (culture, identity, vocational education, sociology of education, cosmetology) My long term goal is to make changes to vocational cosmetology education to include the skills and knowledge of women of color. It isn’t often you see women of color in the board rooms of large corporations, as writers and editors of cosmetology curriculum or holding state boards positions to name a few. I’m not sure what the future will hold but I know my work is important and this trip to Costa Rica will be a catalyst in my academic career. I’m ready to learn, to exchange, and grow!