Alumni Spotlight

Gabriela Perez was UCR Religious Studies Major and currently a Master’s student at Harvard Divinity School

The highlight of my first semester at Harvard Divinity School was taking a class on biographies of religious figures in American history, with David Holland. The class ended on Tuesday, but I am still thinking about narrativizing religious lives, human agency, and American History. Although a quiet semester, it’s been full of exciting new ideas and conversations. When I wasn’t reading George Marsden’s 500-page biography on Jonathan Edwards, I let my love for coffee grow to its full extent by trying out new coffee houses around the Boston area.

Rutdow Jiraprapasuke is another of our former UCR Religious Studies majors who is also now studying at Harvardl

Currently, I’m at Harvard Divinity School working on my Masters, with a focus in Buddhist Studies. In addition, I am currently producing a documentary film on female monasticism in the Theravada world. As part of a diverse group of Buddhist scholars, I have co-founded an academic community that focuses on having discourse on how Buddhists approach or should approach major social issues such as: Race, Gender Equality, Incarceration and Capitalism. I also work on campus for Innovative Ministry in which we try to respond to spiritual communities whom are not affiliated with religion. Having majored in Religious Studies and having supportive mentors at UCR, has broaden my own perception of life’s possibilities and has afforded me opportunities to be part of a community of change at Harvard Divinity School.