Jenifer is an honors student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history and minor in women’s, gender, and sexualities studies. During her academic career, she made the Dean’s List for several semesters and was a Babbidge Scholar. She has participated in the University Scholar Program—one of the most challenging programs for undergraduate students at UConn.
Her honors thesis lives up to her academic achievements. In “Salir Adelante: Exploring the Systems of Support of First-Generation Latinx College Students in Their Pursuit of Higher Education,” Jenifer combines historical and social methodologies to study the experiences of first-generation Latinx students from immigrant families in Connecticut. In the nomination for this award, it is described as an interdisciplinary and “innovative original research project.”
Jenifer has presented her research at the Eastern Sociological Society 2020 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia and the Frontiers of Undergraduate Research Poster Exhibition in Storrs. The Office of Undergraduate Research has awarded her with the Summer Undergraduate Research Fund, Conference Presentation Award, Supply Award, and Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Research Experience Award.
Jenifer has also been an admirable leader, being President of Husky Outreach for Minority Education and a mentor in the Peer Allies Through Honors program. For her leadership and drive, she has received the Cohen Scholarship, Emerging Leader Award, Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and Horatio Alger State Scholarship. To quote Katharine Capshaw (Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), “Jenifer V. Gaitan is an extraordinary student scholar and a promising student leader.”