As part of Defy Expectation: The Campaign for Bryn Mawr, the College is asking alumnae/i and supporters why they support the campaign and what their Bryn Mawr experience means to them.
Are women’s colleges still relevant?
Yes, more than ever! Bryn Mawr gave me the space and time to foster my intellect and self-esteem by providing an environment where women can be themselves, challenge each other, commune with and encourage one another, and make everyone stronger.
Path to Bryn Mawr
I came to Bryn Mawr as a Posse Scholar and chose it for programs like Praxis and Study Abroad. I wanted opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom, and Bryn Mawr offered many. It gave me the intellectual nurturing I craved. I have never regretted my choice.
Haffner. I chose it for all four years and am super proud that it now has the Enid Cook ’31 Center that houses the Black Cultural Center and residence.
How did Bryn Mawr influence your decision to pursue a Ph.D.?
I moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when I was nine and grew up in immigrant communities in New York and outside Boston. Early on at Bryn Mawr, I took a sociology course on immigration and was thrilled to start learning the language and framework for the forces that shaped my life. The professor taught us to apply theory to real-world problems. It was life-changing … a discipline with real meaning and impact. I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Today, I’m a Ph.D. student focusing on structural inequality in education.
Biggest Bryn Mawr Challenge
I remember sitting in our first-year writing seminar and realizing how many authors I hadn’t read, or even knew of. I felt like I had to catch up, so I started reading one book each week that wasn’t related to my classes. It sparked my interest in so many different topics, which ultimately led me to the path I’m on today. Bryn Mawr motivates you that way. It opens you up to new ideas and experiences.
Step Sing. It’s just a wonderful moment of community.
The only definite “no” is the one you tell yourself. At Bryn Mawr, I learned to not deny myself a chance at any opportunity and to not fear rejection.
What’s your goal as a Bryn Mawr Trustee?
As one of the youngest members of the Board, I try to offer input about the challenges that young people face in this fast-changing world and encourage us to think about how the College can adapt, evolve, and innovate to meet their needs, including those around social justice. That’s what I’m most inspired by—our ability to imagine and create new possibilities for Bryn Mawr’s future.
How do you defy expectation?
There are many expectations, or restrictions, for someone like me—a black Dominican immigrant woman. But I’ve defied some of them already, by getting a Bryn Mawr education, traveling abroad, and going on to grad school. I won’t let others define me.
I’ll decide for myself what my life will be.