“Prior to matriculating at the College of William & Mary, I could have never guessed that I would be graduating four years later with a Hispanic Studies major. Born and raised in Miami, I lived immersed in Latino and Latin American culture and did not recognize the importance of these early influences until I moved away. It started out as a genuine interest in the language, but by my sophomore year, I began to recognize Spanish not just as list of vocabulary and grammar rules, but rather as a tool for communicating ideas and building connections between communities to address greater issues. Most importantly, Hispanic Studies has given me the tools to better understand and be critical of United States and ultimately myself in a more global context.
William & Mary’s Hispanic Studies Department means so much to me in so many different ways. There is such a wonderful sense of community between both professors and students, whether we are in the classroom or walking the narrow and winding streets of an Andalusian city. Looking back as a senior, Hispanic Studies has changed me as an individual. It specifically changed the way I approach and think about problems. In my post-graduate work, I look to combine my academic interests to study environmental problems in Latin America. Additionally, during this summer, I will be returning to Spain thanks to the generous assistance of the Philpott-Perez Award, conducting research along the Camino de Santiago with Dr. George Greenia. Having presented our research at a Galician Studies conference at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee early this May, we will co-author a paper for publication in the coming months.”