Languages: Spanish, English, conversational French
I was raised by my mother in San Juan, Puerto Rico, my first home, until I was 17 years old and began my university studies at the American University of Paris, France and Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO.
I completed my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, where I also received an M.A. in International Relations. After teaching political science at Bates College, ME, I moved to New York City, my second home, as is the case with so many of my compatriotas of the Puerto Rican diaspora, and worked as an academic in non-profits organizations and as community organizer with diverse communities directly impacted by poverty, violence and discrimination. Before becoming the University Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the University of Nevada, Reno, I had again relocated to Puerto Rico to be with my mother before she passed away and where I was dean of Social Science and Humanities. In Puerto Rico, I experienced life in the midst of absolute financial and social collapse, including the devastation resulting from Hurricane Maria and human mismanagement, as well as the incredible strength, resilience and humor of my people—whether in Puerto Rico or the diaspora.