Alumni Feature #2 – Lupita Gonzalez

Alumni Feature #2 - Lupita Gonzalez

Annika Yoder, Reporter

Lupita Gonzalez, assistant professor of psychology at Allegheny College, graduated from Newton High School in 2010. Gonzalez was the creator of a course at Allegheny titled Psychology of BIPOC, black, indigenous and people of color Experience. Gonzalez has presented at conferences all over the country and Canada.

Gonzalez attended Bethel College after graduating high school. She double-majored in Business Administration and Psychology and received a certificate in Neuroscience. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin where she received her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience. Gonzalez loves her current job where she gets to meet a variety of students and first-generation students of color.

“My favorite part is getting to meet students from all backgrounds and mentoring first-gen students of color. I also created a course called Psychology of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Experience at Allegheny so teaching that course is one of my favorite parts of my job,” Gonzalez said. “Lastly, another one of my favorite parts is that I get to travel a lot to present at conferences. For example, I’ve been to Vancouver, Canada and in the past month I’ve been to San Francisco and New York City.”

Gonzalez’s biggest career accomplishment was receiving her Ph.D. in May 2020. One of the reasons this was such a big accomplishment was because she was a first-generation college student, so it made this moment all the more memorable for her and her family. 

“I’m the first person in my immediate and extended family to get a Ph.D.,” Gonzalez said. “A lot of people also didn’t believe in me, especially when I went to elementary and middle school. In elementary school, I didn’t know English so many of my classmates bullied me. In middle school, one of my teachers told me I asked stupid questions and other teachers doubted my intelligence. So the fact that I was able to earn national fellowships that allowed me to get a Ph.D. for free was huge for me because I had to overcome a lot to get to where I am today.”

Gonzalez encourages everyone to follow their dreams, even when some doubt you. She recommends finding the people that will support you and value having them. Gonzalez also believes in the importance of having a mentor. She believes that it is important to have a person to lead you and guide you because you can not always do it alone.

“I would say to follow your dreams even when others doubt you. Also, find your people who will always hype you up. For me it’s my parents, siblings, husband, and mentors,” Gonzalez said. “Professionally, I would emphasize finding a mentor. A mentor is someone that you can go to and ask questions about how to follow a particular career path (usually a professor or graduate student) so it’s really important to find that person who can guide you. It may be easier to find a mentor when you attend a small liberal arts college like Bethel but even in bigger universities, there’s always someone willing to help you so ask around. We can’t do it all alone so don’t be afraid to ask for help.”