Azucena Morales Santos
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
The financial aid package! It was also the programs at L&C such as the Great Expectations mentorship program for first-year students who are BIPOC and/or first-generation college students and the Xplore program for incoming students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in STEM.
Where do you find community on campus?
I found my community at the Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement office, at Gente Latina Unida events, and at the Race Monologues during the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies! I am so grateful for the long-lasting friendships I’ve made in those spaces.
Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?
I felt out of place during the first few days of my first semester at L&C. I was a first-generation Latina experiencing imposter syndrome, and the pandemic only intensified my feelings of loneliness. It was the inviting community of the Ray Warren Symposium—made up by the cochairs, Race Monologues coordinators, and the volunteers—that gave me comfort and is where I found my people.
I was part of the Ray Warren Symposium my first year as a Race Monologues participant. I returned my second year as one of the three Race Monologues coordinators and presented my monologue alongside my peers. My experience of being a Race Monologue participant, presenter, and coordinator only enhanced my experience at L&C, pushing my capabilities beyond academia. Each Ray Warren Symposium event that I attended both affirmed and challenged my academic experience by making me think of thought-provoking questions. Beginning my third year at L&C as a cochair, I look forward to planning and executing a symposium that is inviting to all students and enhances students understanding of race and ethnicity. I will work toward giving back to my community that has given so much to me.
If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program?
I am going to study abroad in Merida, Mexico! I am so excited for the opportunity to study abroad and enhance my Spanish-speaking skills and my understanding of global issues and perspectives.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced at Lewis & Clark?
The biggest challenge I faced in my first year at L&C was feeling homesick during my first week. I would call my mom, crying. With the help of L&C staff, and the support of my fellow Xplore members, I overcame those feelings and have enjoyed my time here.
What’s your best Lewis & Clark memory so far?
My best memory at L&C was presenting my monologue at the Race Monologues event during the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies in the fall of 2021. I will not forget feeling like I was where I needed to be at that exact moment surrounded by fellow BIPOC friends.
Why did you choose to do the Xplore program? What was the best thing about the Xplore program?
I chose the Xplore Program because I felt that it would equip me with the support and tools I needed to succeed in my first year in college. I wanted to surround myself with fellow BIPOC and/or first-gen students. Looking back, my Xplore peeps kept me going.