Graduates 2015-2016

Lauren Fernandez ’16 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies

imageThe most important thing the Hispanic Studies Department taught me is that education is about more than grades. I was a transfer student and I took two classes in Hispanic Studies my first semester at William & Mary, with Professor Root and Professor Cate-Arries. The classes were both challenging compared to anything I had taken before and I felt so behind that I never wanted to speak and was embarrassed to go to class. I visited both professors in office hours. Professor Cate-Arries told me to say a something every day, even if I had to write it down before I said it or was worried that it wasn’t insightful enough. She was sure it would be. Professor Root told me not to worry about my letter grades because if I learned a lot but got a C on every assignment, she would be happy. Knowledge, rather than grade percentage, should be my goal. My Hispanic Studies classes never stopped being a challenge but I learned to take more risks and focus more on my progress and successes than my failures. I loved taking classes in Hispanic Studies and never thought I would be a major in the department but the credits started adding up and, in part due to some light pressure from Rio, here we are. I am a better student and a better person because of the endless support and invaluable advice the faculty of the Hispanic Studies Department have given me since my first semester at William & Mary.
I have no certain plans yet for after graduation but I am currently waiting to hear back from the Spanish Department of Education regarding placement in the auxiliares program to be an English language teaching assistant in Spanish public schools.