Student Spotlight: Anai Dominguez '24
The ECC Library is a space that Anai Dominguez ‘24 has grown quite familiar with during her time at Bryn Mawr. It’s often the place where she would meet with her Mujeres* e-board members, study, or simply connect with other friends. One day while sitting in the library last semester, Anai looked around and felt inspired to build up the space.
She began thinking of the ways she could possibly contribute to the space and brought them forward to Assistant Dean for Intercultural Engagement Joi Dallas. After hearing her ideas, Dallas encouraged Anai to apply to The Impact Center Fellowship to receive funding to carry out her vision. Anai’s application was accepted, and she worked this past summer as an Impact Center Fellow and as the ECC’s intern to work in their library.
During Anai’s summer, she visited libraries in the Philadelphia area, where she learned about the different ways they connect with their communities. She also interviewed staff at Ludington Library in Bryn Mawr and Queen Memorial Library in South Philly to see how they create programming that’s engaging and reflects their communities’ needs.
“Ludington has an older population, while Queen Memorial is a children’s library. So, it was really interesting comparing their programming and applying what they shared with me to the ECC Library,” says Anai.
In addition to her research, Anai dedicated her time towards general maintenance of the ECC Library, cleaning and organizing the shelves, and designing a new logo. Returning ECC residents this semester will also notice a new check-out system for the library that Anai developed over the summer.
“I wanted whoever will be working for the library to have an easier time keeping track of the books. I don’t think a lot of people end up checking books out of the library, but if they do, it would be nice for that process to be easier.”
Given her natural interest in libraries, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Anai is a Literatures in English major. However, that was never part of Anai’s original plan when she was entering Bryn Mawr.
“I thought I was going to be a math major or an international studies major. English wasn’t on my radar until I came to Bryn Mawr and took my first English class, Narratives of Latinidad, with Jennifer Harford Vargas in my first year.”
It was Vargas’ class that was the catalyst for Anai to declare both as a Literatures in English major and to pursue the Latin American, Ibierian, and Latina/o Studies (LAILS) minor. Both areas of study come together for her senior thesis which explores how Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, presents sibling and familial dynamics, and how the novel has influenced the way contemporary young adult Latinx literature depict those dynamics.
Not growing up with a large Latinx community in her hometown of Nashua, New Hampshire, Anai was hoping that she would find one in college. So, being able to connect with her Latinx identity both academically and socially has been one of the most treasured parts of Anai's Bryn Mawr experience.
“Having that community that understood me and not have to explain myself to all the time was really refreshing while being away from home for the first time. Food was one way that my friends and I connected, and Mujeres* has a lot of food driven activities so that made bonding easier. And I didn't realize how much I missed my mom's cooking until I got here. So, being with my friends and cooking for each other became really special."
For the past three years, Anai has served in key roles in Mujeres*, from public relations chair to secretary for the Latinx affinity group. She is especially proud of her work as co-culture show head with her friend Lizzany Mayta. Together, they brought back the first in-person Mujeres* Culture Show since the pandemic.
In addition to Mujeres* Anai has actively been involved throughout Bryn Mawr as a Dorm Leadership Team (DLT) member, a member of the Night Owls acapella group, a supervisor at Erdman Dining Hall, and as the Co-President of the Class of 2024.