Alex finds her passion for others through service
New graduate Alex Sanchez’s passion for serving others has lead her on an unexpected path of discovering her voice and excitement for the future.
Alex graduated in May 2019 with a degree in anthropology and minors in art and French. She is continuing her studies this fall at Indiana University Bloomington where she will work toward a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in folklore.
Through her relationships and experiences at Berry, Alex discovered that she could pursue research as a career. Beginning her junior year, Alex started a cross-cultural research project on the prevalence of monster concepts in encouraging good behavior in children with Associate Professor of Anthropology Timothy Knowlton. She also served as secretary of Orgullo, an organization that celebrates the diversity of Latino culture and raises awareness of community issues. Halfway through her Berry journey, Alex joined the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars leadership team and the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership program.
Alex’s work and participation in clubs brought many mentors into her life who have helped her recognize the paths available to pursue her passion.
“The faculty and staff at Berry genuinely care about their students and are always there to help find the right opportunities for them,” she says.
Meredith Johnson, assistant dean of students and Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholars coordinator, told Alex about the Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative in Digital Humanities. This summer program gave Alex insight into research as a career, graduate school and the experience of being a person of color in the professional field.
“It was through this program that I realized what I wanted for my future could be achieved through graduate school,” Alex says. “If it wasn’t for Meredith Johnson and her sincere interest in her students, this program would not have been on my radar.”
Alex’s friendship with fellow classmate Suleima Millan also helped her realize her passion for underrepresented groups. As president of Orgullo, Suleima’s initiative and motivation in raising awareness of issues in the Lantino population such as immigration inspired Alex. Suleima also co-founded Romanos Unidos, an organization in the Rome community that educates Hispanics about issues and policies that affect them.
“She inspires me to become more vocal about my own passions, and she serves as an amazing example of how one person can do great things for her community,” Alex says.
Alex is eager to see what the future holds.
“Without Berry, I believe that I would not be as happy as I am now nearing graduation,” Alex says. “I have a future that I am excited for, and Berry made that possible.”
Written by senior Megan Benoit