Alumni Participation Challenge

Iraheta ’13

Hispanic Studies major from Chelsea, Mass.

José plans to pursue a career helping underrepresented students, especially those in the Latino community, attain access to higher education. This summer he will be coordinating multiple sites for a youth employment initiative in his hometown. At Hamilton, José helped organize a program that introduced elementary-schoolers in Clinton to Spanish — a volunteer endeavor that confirmed his desire to work with students.

"I didn’t take [Professor Rodríguez’s] classes because they were easy; actually some of my worst grades were in her classes. But even during the many hours I spent talking to her about my papers, I could see the passion she had for what she was doing. I changed my major from math and physics, subjects I was good at, to something I did not quite understand but intrigued and excited me. I aspire to one day find what Professor Rodríguez has found — a profession I am truly passionate about."

— José Iraheta ’13

"Sharing the awe of a new discovery, witnessing a sense of wonder, are the experiences I pursue when I’m teaching. I became a professor because what I really wanted to do was to be a perpetual student. I get to read and write on the research side of things, but being a perpetual student also means I am learning when I am in the classroom, when the students teach me new things."

— Edna Rodríguez-Plate
Associate professor of Hispanic Studies

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