2018 Incoming Grad Series: Trevor Auldridge

by Daina Tagavi, Professional Development Peer
Friday, September 21, 2018 8:00 AM

The 2018 Incoming Grad Series continues, featuring backstories and fun facts on 8 students who are part of our most diverse incoming class in recent memory.

Trevor Auldridge has been busy since he graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in Sociology. He worked at the W.E.B. DuBois institute at Harvard University and spent the last two years in the City Year Americorps Program in Northern California. Trevor is coming to UCSB to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology, with a focus on the experiences of boys of color in urban and rural California.

Read on to learn more about ​Trevor's research interests and some fun facts, including being able to identify people's doppelgängers!


Trevor grew up in a working-class, biracial family: his dad is a floor installer and his mom is a hairdresser. ​He described his hometown of Truckee, CA, as uniquely stratified with people who didn't ski or snowboard because their families couldn't afford it, but also with people ​who competed in the Olympics (he was part of the former group). Trevor was prepared to lay flooring after graduating high school; however, right before college applications were due, his best friend's mom convinced him to go see a college counselor. He threw his application together and ended up attending San Diego State University.

After graduating with a sociology degree from SDSU, he was a summer research assistant at the W.E.B. DuBois Research Institute at Harvard University where he studied how people across the country fight for educational justice in their communities. For the past two years, he worked as a City Year AmeriCorps Member. Although he didn't receive any sort of official degree in his AmeriCorps work, Trevor likes to tell people he received his "master's" in education there. Instead of having adult professors, most of his "teachers" were under the age of eighteen. 


When Trevor was choosing which graduate program to go into, he created a big, fancy Google Sheet that had all of the things that internet research told him were the "Most Important Factors in Picking a Graduate Program." UCSB hit a lot of the marks: it was close to his family, close to where he wanted to do research, and had a bunch of faculty members whose research interests were close to his. In the end, he was tearing himself up about picking the "right" school ​until his mentor asked him a simple question: "Where do you feel more alive?" ​The simple answer: "UCSB." 



Trevor is interested in studying the life experiences of boys of color in urban and rural California to see how social institutions, like school, impact their sense of hopefulness. He ​also hopes to eventually partner with rural community members to study what rural people around the country are doing to heal their own communities and transform the material conditions of their lives. Trevor quoted one of his mentors when describing his research: "A lot of people in sociology study social problems––and that work is immensely important––but we can also study social solutions." 



For fun, Trevor plays the Cajón (Peruvian box drum) and acoustic guitar, and is an amateur turntablist. He also enjoys reading, hanging out with his friends, coming up with corny puns, and salsa dancing. Trevor has officiated three weddings and won three state championships in high school: two in football and one in baseball. ​He also has a talent for recognizing people's doppelgängers! Ask him about it!

Welcome, ​Trevor!

Be sure to subscribe to the GradPost and check back each day until the start of classes for the continuation of our Incoming Grad Series. Up next is Melanie Adams, an incoming ​student in ​Mechanical Engineering coming to UCSB from Brooklyn, New York.