Alumni profile

Jessica M. Gutierrez
Bachelor's Degree in Music, 2015

Jessica M. Gutierrez is an ethnomusicologist-in-training with research interests in Mexico, Native American music, music in video games, indigenous studies, music and identity, and ethnography. She is fascinated by how native peoples in the Americas not only maintain, but celebrate their traditions through music and dance. In her current research, she is using Diamond’s Alliance Studies Model (2007) as the primary analytical framework to trace cultural and historical connections to a famous Zapotec- Mexican song and dance. Jessica has presented highlights from this project at the 2015 Northern California Chapter for the Society of Ethnomusicology (NCCSEM) Conference and has forthcoming presentations at the Undergraduate Research Conference and to the Music Department at UC Davis in the spring. In 2015, she earned a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research.

In addition to research, Jessica’s long-term goal is to better connect the knowledge practices in academia to the communities they serve. She helped co-create a course on Native American Music and Dance that introduces the diversity of indigenous music as well as give students hands-on, participatory activities in order for them to better explore elements of indigenous identities, performance practices, and the significance of performance contexts. From offering this class with alternative ways of teaching, Jessica has learned that higher education can offer more than just training for future professions. She believes a successful professor gives students a whole new perspective of the world or even themselves, and guides them to achieve their academic goals and aspirations.

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