UW Graduate School

Jessica Hernandez

Jessica-HernandezLatino/a Scholars Graduate School Fellow

Grad major: Marine and Environmental Affairs

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Undergrad institution: University of California, Berkeley

Undergrad major: Marine Science & Italian Studies

Why did you decide to attend graduate school?

My bachelor’s degree allowed me to expand my knowledge of the ocean with courses, internships and research, and to comprehend the importance of integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge to promote a healthier environment. Since I want to continue expanding my horizons and professional skill sets, I’m pursuing a graduate degree.

What are your career plans post-graduate school?

I plan to take my educational experiences back to my tribal land and help the Water People manage their environmental resources through my nonprofit, Kaknab. I also plan on pursuing a doctorate degree focusing on small-scale fisheries.

What advice would you give undergraduates thinking about graduate school?

As first generation college students, we face many uncertainties that sometimes prevent us from taking that extra step when opportunities arise, and this is why it is important to have the support and mentorship. Building and maintaining those relationships can definitely be useful and necessary when applying for graduate school.