Halfway through her junior year, Emily Manzo has already taught and studied abroad in Costa Rica, conducted research under three professors, and led discussions in EDUC 101, all while working toward her degree in Learning and Education Studies-Educational Equality Cultural Understanding, and minoring in Spanish and Latinx Studies. Having savored all of these experiences and more, Emily misses her time with friends at La Casa Cultural the most from her pre-pandemic days on campus.
A little bit about Emily:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I'm from Chicago, IL.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I'm a junior majoring in Learning and Education Studies-Educational Equality Cultural Understanding, and minoring in Spanish and Latinx Studies.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: Pre-COVID I have really enjoyed being able to walk around campus and hanging out with my friends at La Casa. Overall, I have really enjoyed the different events that the resource and cultural centers have put on as it gives me an opportunity to learn more about various topics.
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I knew I wanted to go into the education field since I was in elementary school just because of how much I enjoy learning and being able to help others. I believe that the opportunity to learn is always around us and that sharing your own knowledge with others is just as important.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: What I enjoy about the College of Education is the warm energy I feel when I walk through the building. Everyone is always kind and welcoming making it easy to start conversation or simply say hi. Through my experiences, I really believe that the faculty and staff only want you to thrive in your chosen path.
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: It’s kind of hard to pick just one course, but I think my favorite course thus far has been Sociology of Education as the readings required for the class were really eye opening and allowed me to learn about the education system and how it interacts with other structural systems in place. Currently, I am taking Politics of Education and I have also really enjoyed the class material, as it dives deeper into current issues within the education system.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I have the same birthday as Martin Luther King Jr.
Q: Tell us about any research you've done and the mentorship you've recieved from your instructors.
A: I have done research with Dr. Rochelle Gutiérrez and Gabriela E. Vargas with their work with social justice teaching in mathematics with pre-service teachers, I am currently working with Dr. José Del Real Viramontes on his new project. Overall, my experiences with mentorship have been rewarding in that they are willing to explain various parts of the research process as well as provide space for me to include my own voice throughout discussions. They have provided a pathway for me to get involved in research and ask any questions about graduate school.
Q: Tell us about any study abroad expereinces you've had and why you thought they were beneficial for your life and career.
A: In the spring semester of 2020 I studied abroad in Costa Rica but was ultimately cut short due to the pandemic. Overall, I was really able to immerse myself in their culture and learn about their traditions, being able to try new food and travel to various places allowed me to grow as a person. Additionally, as I volunteered at a local school weekly, I was able to connect to the students, but also observe the ways that teachers taught in Costa Rica.
Q: Tell us about your future career plans after graduating and why you want to pursue that field.
A: As a discussion leader for EDUC 101, I really fell in love with the aspect of mentoring students and helping them transition into their first semester of college. In the future I plan to pursue a PhD in higher education and student affairs, I essentially want to start off working with new student programming or as an advisor, and eventually into a more administrative position. I really want to continue to bring space and voice to the needs of marginalized groups on college campuses.
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