I feel that my own experience at Lewis & Clark pushes me to continually self-reflect and think critically about the world around me, to stretch for greater inclusion over exclusion.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
What do you love about Lewis & Clark?
What I love most about Lewis & Clark College is that each student here comes with a unique story. I always say that there are specific reasons students have sought out our beautiful, small community here in southwest Portland. Although a vast majority of the student population are grounded in the same principles of activism and civic engagement, each student is completely different from the next — we’re an eclectic mix. I have enjoyed the past few years mingling and dabbling in many aspects of the LC campus, meeting some of the most interesting people along the way. The second word that comes to mind when thinking of Lewis & Clark is definitely dynamic. I think this especially applies to LC faculty, who are constantly engaging in intriguing research and conversations within their field, encouraging their students to extendall of their learning outside of the classroom. And, finally, inclusivity is found in the convergence of the eclecticism and dynamism of the campus. I have found that Lewis & Clark students, on top of all of their regular academic responsibilities, try their best to be introspective and strive to improve themselves and their communities. I feel that most students, at one point or another, have sat down and had a difficult conversation regarding their own privileges and marginalized identities and how that plays into their experience at LC. I feel that my own experience at Lewis & Clark pushes me to continually self-reflect and think critically about the world around me, to stretch for greater inclusion over exclusion.
What’s your favorite class? Why?
My favorite class so far definitely has to be Immigration & Asylum Law with Elliott Young. The course introduces students to immigration and asylum law system in the United States. I worked with another student, in partnership with a real-world and active asylum case, to help contribute expert witness testimony on country conditions. Our reports covered the conditions in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Venezuela. This work was an excellent introduction to the intersection of my areas of academic interest: Economics and Latin American and Latino studies. The course solidified my interest in law or immigration advocacy, which I am currently planning on pursuing post-grad.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
To be quite honest, my overwhelmed high school senior self was mostly seeking a campus where I could feel like a character in a Harry Potter book. Being a high school senior in spring 2020, my official campus visit was March 16, 2020, which was the last day of in-person visits before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. My family and I still had the chance to quickly take in the captivating campus, and I was overjoyed to hear that 60% of students studied abroad during their time at LC. I later became convinced that LC was the place where I belonged after hearing about undergrad research opportunities, small class sizes and feeling how much the campus was such a close community, even if that later took some real imagination while in lockdown. And no, choosing LC was not just because all of the other school visits I had scheduled over spring break got canceled.
What do you like or find most interesting about your major?
I love the diversity in courses within my major, especially in regards to our faculty. All of the professors are experts in something completely different, which has allowed me to explore numerous possible career fields. I have yet to take a class that also does not include students from other majors and school years, which has allowed for engaging conversations and friendships both in and out of the classroom.
What do you like or find most interesting about your minor?
Within both my Hispanic Studies and Latin American and Latino Studies minors, my favorite part, without a doubt, is the required overseas study component. I had known since high school that studying abroad was a priority for me and I wanted to be at a college that valued that exposure as well. I spent all of my junior year away on exchange, first staying with a family in Valparaíso, Chile and then with a young couple in Mérida, México. Living and studying abroad was an invaluable experience. Looking back, I am grateful that all of my Hispanic Studies and LALS courses at LC beforehand provided me with a meaningful sociopolitical context that allowed me to confidently engage in my host countries’ current affairs. Now back on campus for my senior year, I know I have gained the Spanish fluency that I wanted, and also feel that I have become a stronger and more aware student and citizen.
Tell us about your support systems and social outlets on campus: people, activities, clubs, res halls, etc.
I met a majority of my best friends in my first semester of college, either in New Student Orientation or in my CORE class. As a resident advisor and now as a Residential Experience Manager, I have been able to build meaningful relationships both with other student leaders and with my residents. I have found my roles to have been helpful in regards to networking on-campus, and I am grateful for all of the growth opportunities I have had during my time with Campus Living.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Some of the advice that I am still learning to follow is the fact that it is never too late to get involved on-campus. I have found that this year I finally know and understand all of my resources so I am able to immerse myself. I encourage all BIPOC students to try out an affinity group, but even if it does not happen in your first semester or even year, there are always opportunities to jump in. Student organizations are always happy to welcome more people aboard – try something new!
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 am so excited to be one of the co-chairs of the Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies this year! I started off as an audience member at the fully virtual 17th Annual Ray Warren Symposium “Movement” but was not able to fully grasp what RWS was about until my sophomore year when it was back (partially) in person. At that symposium, I was so inspired to see other students of color work and coordinate such a transformative event, and I knew following the first keynote speech I wanted to become more involved. I feel that finding your path in college truly means following and modeling yourself after the people who inspire you. After seeing the co-chairs then and seeing how much my Latin American and Latino Studies and Hispanic Studies professors valued the symposium, I felt that I would regret not at least applying for it when my senior year rolled around. The experience so far has been amazing and I am so excited to share all of our plans with the LC community come November!
What’s one of the best spots on campus?
After being abroad for all of the academic year 2022-2023, it was so exciting to come back to the newly renovated Fowler Student Center. You can find me most mornings grabbing a soy london fog and finishing work in the Trail Room before heading off to class. It has beautiful views of the campus and it is a perfect place to study before the lunch/dinner rush.