José Yobani López (BF ‘18) is a proud Angeleno from Westlake majoring in chemistry. He is intrigued by research relating to urban public education, such as identity formation within these spaces and its effect of academic pursuit, and strategies that promote academic excellence among low-income first-generation students. Outside of academics, López is among the founding First-Year Counselor team for Benjamin Franklin College, a Co-Artistic Director for Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Yale, Yale’s Mexican folk dance team, and an Hermano with La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc.
In the Spring of 2017, López took Mira Debs’s Public Schools and Public Policy, where he had the opportunity to study the effects of disproportionate discipline on low-income students and students of color. In response to this research, López argues for mentorship-based discipline, a framework for learning that reflects student culture, and an overall more considerate and collaborative school environment. Read about this work here: http://debsedstudies.org/bars-for-bars/
As a senior Education Studies Scholar, López is turning his focus into how hip-hop pedagogy is being implemented in public schools. Intrigued by culturally relevant pedagogy (teaching that considers student culture and attends to it by shaping not only the content of the learning but how learning takes place), López hopes to understand more thoroughly what goes into turning the theory into practice, and chooses to do so through hip-hop pedagogy.
López is currently on his second year with the Public School Internship through Dwight Hall. This opportunity has given him the chance to volunteer weekly at John S. Martinez, a K-8th grade school in Fair Haven, where he serves as a math and science teachers’ assistant. He has also coordinated events such as Ballet Folklórico performances for their Hispanic Heritage Month and hopes to bring his fraternity Hermanos to speak of their college experiences during College Awareness days.