Graduates 2015-2016

Joanna Hernandez ’16 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies

Joanna Hernandez Professional PicThe Hispanic Studies Department gave a voice to my reality. All my life I’d experienced my Latin-ness outside academia and had rarely studied it beyond my own experience. I entered my first Hispanic Studies class at William & Mary and immediately knew it was the perfect department for me. I felt consistently empowered as I studied the culture and language of my heart in a setting that valued it beyond a personal background and brought it into the light of academia. I was also challenged to my core during a trip to the Mexican-American Border with Professor Arries and Professor Fisher. I realized that the pain and complexity of the issues we studied was something I couldn’t feel more connected to and never wanted to stop working with. I feel so proud to represent the William & Mary Hispanic Studies Department beyond Campus and share the knowledge that has inspired me daily. I am more confident and better prepared for the world because of the education I received through the incredibly talented faculty who dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their field and their students. ¡Muchísimas gracias a todos! El regalo del conocimiento no tiene precio.

After graduation I will be working as one of the Coro Pittsburgh Fellows in Public Affairs. The Coro Fellowship uses leadership and public service experience in the real world to “train change makers.” I will be working in different sectors with non-profits, businesses, and the government during four cycles. Coro’s purpose is to give young leaders the skills to self/system intervene in the complex dynamics of an organization or community. I look forward to whatever may come after the 9-month program!