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“Find Your Passion,” Eric Salgado ’14

This week we were honored to interview Eric Salgado, the 2014 Martin Luther King Vision Award recipient. With graduation approaching in May, Eric reflects on his Fairfield experience and how he’s grown the past four years. Eric is a double major in Spanish and Latin American Studies, which he actually designed! Keep reading to learn more about this devoted and inspiring Campus Celebrity… 

Her Campus: Can you explain what you had to do to win the MLK Vision Award? And, is this the highest honor you have ever received?Eric Salgado: Well to start, the MLK Vision Award is definitely the highest honor I have received. To be thought of as embodying the spirit of MLK is humbling. I didn’t have to do anything in particular to receive this award. Since freshman year I have been a committed member to the Fairfield community serving as a tour ambassador, orientation support team member, and going on my first service trip to Quito, Ecuador. As I moved up in my years at Fairfield, my commitments increased and I was doing everything I could to take the reins of my education and my extracurricular activities. For the award though, Dr. Michelle Farrell of the Modern Languages and Literatures Department who felt that I embodied the spirit and dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King through my studies and commitment to Fairfield nominated me. It was such an honor and when I found out I just remember feeling beside myself. It was a really special moment for me, for sure.

HC: As a senior who’s been extremely influential on our campus, what is one piece of advice you wish to leave to underclassmen?ES: One piece of advice I would leave to underclassman is find your passion and follow it with all you have. I’m fortunate to have found mine, Latin American studies, and it has and continues to open so many doors to me. I’ve been able to travel to Ecuador, Nicaragua, and will go to Cuba over spring break. It has gotten me closer to my dreams and you can find that passion too.

HC: How has Fairfield University helped you to grow and become a leader?ES: Fairfield has played a large role in helping me to grow as a campus leader. I began by leading a service trip to Ecuador in my sophomore year and from there found more and more leadership roles I wanted to undertake. What I love about Fairfield is that all of the opportunity in the world is here for us, we just have to take advantage of it. I have gained stronger skills in leadership that I know will take me far in life.

HC: What is one thing you encourage your peers to get involved with?ES: I’d say expose yourself to travel in Latin America. It’s an amazing place to visit. It’s sad sometimes to hear about how frightened people are to visit because of how the media has portrayed the region, but the people are kind and warm spirited, the region is gaspingly beautiful and it’s adventurous and fun. I have had nothing but great experiences the four times I’ve traveled to either Ecuador or Nicaragua.

HC: Where do you see yourself in five years?ES: I see myself either back in school for a PhD or having received my Master’s working with a think tank in DC focusing on social justice and human rights issues in Latin America. For now, I’ve gotten into Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service for a Master’s in Latin American studies. I’m beyond excited to see where this next chapter will bring me.

HC: Has there been one specific person who has influenced you the most during your time at Fairfield, if so who and how so?ES: I can’t say that only one person has influenced me because I have had so many models to look up to. The most influential and helpful people here at Fairfield to me have been John Paladino, Carolyn Rusiackas, Conor O’Kane who is no longer here, and Drs. Michelle Farrell, Gisela Gil-Egui, Janie Leatherman, Dina Franceschi, Terry-Ann Jones, Ryan Drake, and Joy Gordon. These are all incredible people who in one way or another touched my life for the better.

HC: Is there anything else that you want to share about yourself?ES: Just thought I’d share that I love my family to death and without the hard work and sacrifice of my mom, I would not be nearly half as successful as I have been thus far. Oh and I have charming blue eyes, get to know me while you still have a chance, ha!

Eric and Dr. Michelle Farrell



Danielle was previously the Deputy Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw social and content strategy, lifestyle, beauty, fashion, news, and entertainment. Prior to joining Her Campus, Danielle worked at House Beautiful as Senior Lifestyle Editor, directing and producing feature videos and stories. Danielle also served as Snapchat Editor at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the brands daily Snapchat Discover channel. In 2016, she launched Cosmo Bites — which is now the official food and beverage vertical at Cosmopolitan. That same year, Danielle was named as a Rising Star in the digital media industry by FOLIO Magazine. Danielle got her start in digital media by launching the Her Campus chapter at Fairfield University in 2014, where she acted as Campus Correspondent for 2.5 years, before graduating with a degree in English and creative writing. She enjoys wine, food, and long walks through HomeGoods. Follow Danielle on Instagram! 
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