Art by Erik Perez

Features & Essays

The Gangsta, the Prisoner, and the Immigrant

With his multimedia, autoethnographic essay, UC Irvine graduate student and artist Alberto Lule shows what is possible in undergraduate writing. Identifying with the Palestinian American writer Edward Said, Lule explores what it felt like to be the child of Mexican immigrants and later the incarcerated adult who, “exiled in his own land,” finds himself through education.

Credible Messengers

An Interview with Ryan “Flaco” and Lisandra Rising

Sharing their experiences with medical negligence, incarceration, and the long, sometimes harrowing journeys to get an education, UC Irvine students Lisandra and Ryan Rising talk with editor-in-chief Rachael Collins about the transformative potential of a community-centered approach to teaching and learning.

Dare to
Dream Basic

Undergraduate Helen Barahona interviews the directors of UC Irvine’s Dream Center and Basic Needs about their centers’ histories and missions, and about the obstacles that have stood in the way of their efforts to help students.

My Foolish Life

Diaries of a Girl

UC Irvine MA alumn Martha Trujillo shares diaries she composed between the ages of 13 and 18. One of the most raw and real pieces of writing we’ve ever seen, the diaries function as documentation, poetry, art, and resistance.

Daddy's Calling

Life of a Daughter with an Incarcerated Dad

Irvine Valley College undergraduate Samog-J Lemon reflects on a lifetime of memories that should have had her dad in them.

A Mountain to Climb, a River to Cross

First Gen In Academia

Fresh from finishing a Bachelor’s Degree, Feliz Aguilar examines the “unlevel playing field” of graduate school and wonders if, as a “first gen, disabled, working class student,” it is even worth applying.


Undergraduate Corbin Li writes about university as a time of reinvention–and escape from abuse.

Three Pieces

In three works that describe his complex journey to self-acceptance, undergraduate Dontaye Henderson asks the most poignant question we think a student struggling with trauma can ask: “can I celebrate me?”

Curry Rice

Authentic Commitment

Undergraduate Yuzhou Michael Ju reflects on education, Grandma-style.

Helen's Everything
Everywhere All at Once

Just one week after graduating with her BA, Helen Barahona confronts the realities of being undocumented.

Azat Artsakh,
Free Us All

Motivated by the lessons of her late father, Helena San Roque uses her voice to fight for accountability in the ongoing Armenian genocide.

I Educate

Undergraduate Makyla McLeod considers the generational roots of her commitment to “educate.”

Gang Related

Undergraduate Patrick Acuña writes about his first day in prison.

Art & Media


The Credible Messengers