Major: American Cultural Studies
with a concentration in Diversity in Higher Education
Minor: Spanish and Communications
Constructing an Education
"The reason that I chose Fairhaven was because I saw a growing opportunity for me as a leader and as an individual. In life we all have a lot of choices and decisions to make so I thought why not start with my education? I wanted to really be a part of my education, the construction of it and all other aspects. Fairhaven allows students to create their own major I saw this opportunity as a vital one for my future. Along with this I really like having the opportunity to listen/learn from as many perspectives as possible."
"A typical Fairhaven class consists of a lot of interaction and bonding with both students and faculty. Within Fairhaven, the classes are much smaller than on campus classes thus it provides students with an environment where you’re more comfortable to share/participate. I personally really like the fact that I get to know my classmates, and I mean not just know of them or by face, but actually have the time to get to know them as individuals whether it’s by group presentations or in- class discussions."
Fairhaven + WWU
"Going to Fairhaven College is very rewarding in the sense that as a Fairhaven student I can take both Fairhaven college courses as well as main campus classes at WWU. It gives me the ability to reach out to many communities, not only within this campus but also around Bellingham and the state."
"Education is something that I believe shapes who we are and where we’re going whether it’s education we receive at school or education we receive through life experiences. As a Fairhaven student I can say that I have changed. The things that have changed dramatically are my state of mind, the way I present myself, and the way I interact with others. I'm now a professional woman and activist that still has more to learn and change. "
Tell us about an academic project you’re passionate about.
"Where’s my Mom?" -- This is a paper written with the intentions of describing an experience or event in my life that helped shape who I am today. It’s a personal Identity reflection paper I wrote for the American Lives Growing up class taught by Stan Tag. Within my paper I talk about immigration and the issues around it. Within American Cultural Studies we talk a lot about immigration in general, for example the waves of immigration that Europeans, Japanese, Jews, Latinos, etc. have created. My paper also allows you to see immigration through a different lens, the more personal lens, the lens that allows you to see the many ramifications that it has and the effect on the family.
Activism: Working for immigrant rights
I am a really active member of our M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan) chapter on campus. We put on conferences, the annual Low Rider show, bring speakers and host cultural events on campus. I am also really involved in a new formed club called S.C.I.R. (Student Coalition for Immigrant Rights) within this club we focus on passing the DREAM Act and in the future we wish to provide resources to immigrant workers within our communities and fight for immigration rights. In general outside of school I am an activist, friend, worker, aunt, sister, daughter, leader and a passionate community member.
Life after Fairhaven
I plan to attend WWU as a graduate student and pursue my masters in Student Affairs and administration. By taking seminar type classes in Fairhaven I have been privileged to learn a lot more about my fellow classmates and the communities that they come from. I come from a small town that didn’t really promote higher education towards minorities. Living through these experiences and listening to others who had stories like these influenced me to help other students build the knowledge needed for college as well as the passion to want to get an education. Both Fairhaven and Western influenced me to not just sit back and be told what to do or learn, but take action towards it and outline my own education. In life I believe that we shouldn’t just sit back and take things in but also be a part of the learning process, discuss issues, and be fully hands on.
Advice to incoming Fairhaven students
"Never be afraid of letting go of the old and getting to know the new, to always keep in mind that it’s when you doubt yourself that you fail. So try hard, have fun, and always keep in mind your education because it is vital for a successful future.
Laura read her essay "Where is my Mom?" for Scholars Day, 2009.
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