Radio-TV-Film Doctoral Student Manu Aviles-Santiago

Manu Aviles-SantiagoEight years ago, as an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, I had the opportunity of be part of the Summer Research Opportunity Program, a mentorship program. This experience made me realize--among many things-- how powerful an impact an intellectual role model has on the life of an undergraduate student. Because of my experience as a mentee, I realized that an excellent education needs to move beyond the confines of the classroom and I became a big advocate of mentor/apprentice initiatives. Because of my experiences, I decided to take part of the IE Pre Grad Internship.

This year I had the privilege of working with Ashley Garcia, a first generation Mexican American student with a double major in Radio-TV-Film and Latin American Studies. I met Ashley during the fall of 2010 when I was her TA for the course U.S. Latinos and the Media. She was not only an active voice in class, but she also has intellectual curiosity. Her contributions to class discussion, her research proposal, and our chats about the connections of narcocorridos, borderlands and the media, made me realize the promising scholar I have in front of me.

Thanks to the IE program, Ashley and I had the chance to attend the 2011 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference (SCMS), which took place in the city of New Orleans. There, we listened to panel discussions, participated in workshops, but most importantly, we experienced the importance of creating communities of knowledge among scholars of color-a community in which I'm sure Ashley will thrive.