Kenia Rodriguez earned her BA in English Literature from California State University, Northridge in May 2019. This fall she will attending the PhD program in English Literature at the University of Connecticut. Kenia is a HSI Pathways/Mellon Student Fellow who hopes to become a professor. Her research interests include contemporary Young Adult literature, relationships between popular culture and young adult literature, gender studies, and race theory. Kenia recently completed her first independent Mellon funded research project that implements a psychobiographical approach to analyze the literary presentation of trauma in Reyna Grande’s memoir The Distance Between Us: Young Readers Edition. When she is not typing away at Starbucks, Kenia likes to spend her free outdoors with her friends and family.