Why You Should Take Courses with a Latinx Professor

As we all know, the need to diversify college campuses is a big factor of our college experiences. Coming to Bryn Mawr, I was worried that there wouldn’t be many people of color, especially professors of color, as Bryn Mawr is historically a predominantly white institution. Turns out I was right. There aren’t many.

Photo courtesy of Bryn Mawr College

Last spring I went to La Gala, a ceremony for POC, specifically those of Latin American Descent, which was hosted in the Tri-College consortium (Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College and Swarthmore Colleges). Walking into the event, I saw the most POC I’d ever seen in a single room in Pennsylvania. I was shook.

Several Latin American Tri-Co professors gave speeches, one of which was Professor Veronica Montes. After hearing her moving speech, I remember thinking to myself, “I’m going to take a course with her next year, no matter what the subject is.”

Taking my first class with Professor Montes, Mexican-American Communities, was quite an experience. As a woman of color and Mexico City native, she offered a different perspective to the material she was teaching. She taught with purpose and taught for deeper understanding. A lesson about migration was not just a lesson about migration from a historical perspective, but also a lesson of migration from a sociological perspective. Being a migrant herself, she created a unique classroom experience because her research carried a personal significance that not many other professors could say the same for the courses they teach.

Fast forward to today, I’m taking two more courses with Professor Montes, one of which is Women in Society. Again, she relates to the subject on deeper levels as a WOC. With her help, Bryn Mawr is shining light on the position that women hold in this world and fighting towards equality and recognition of women, especially Latinx women.

Professor Montes is one of the reasons I love Bryn Mawr. She gives me a sense of hope that Latinas can make it to higher places and make a difference in education. This is why I’m taking more courses with her; as one student mentioned in class, “I’m trying to get the full Montes experience.” But most of all, Professor Montes reminds me of home. My parents are both from Mexico, and hearing her speak reminds me of them and gives me a sense of nostalgia. I think that’s pretty rare to find in any college classroom.

If you want more info on what Professor Veronica Montes is up to, check out her blog here.