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Student Spotlight: Erica Salazar

Submitted by on November 21, 2012 – 9:00 amNo Comment
Quick Facts:
Born in Nicargua, raised in Massachusetts, and considers Mexico, where most of her family lives, a third “hometown”
Div III working title:
Cultures of Caring; understanding youth, identity and the notion of care in schools
Division III Committee:
Kristen Luschen and Andrew Habana Hafner
Student Groups:
member of People of Color Telling Testimonios

On Hampshire Favorites:

Erica says that the Division III that has blown her mind was Akil Gibbons‘ Div III film from last year.

“[Akil’s film] was a huge success both in the Hampshire community but more importantly in the community of the middle schools students he worked with. I look up to his work in so many ways,” said Erica.

Her favorite teacher at Hampshire is Kristen Luschen, one of her Div III committee members, as well as a mentor who Erica describes as “amazing.” Erica says that Professor Kristen Luschen has been inspiring her since the first day they met.

“In almost every conversation we have she brings my thinking to another level entirely,” Erica said of her committee member.

On Her Division III

Erica’s Division III project is an ethnography based on participant observation and interviews with eighth grade students in the UPR (Unconditional Positive Regard) Program, transcriptions of the videos produced by these students, and research.

Working to understand the issues around school climate which affect these students, Erica has decided to further explore bilingualism in schools, specifically how students group themselves and socialize on the spectrum of language.

“Being bicultural and bilingual with Spanish and English myself, I’m interested in the politics of language and how we negotiate our identity through that lens,” Erica said of her ethnographic focus.

On Life Outside of Hampshire

When asked what she would be doing if she weren’t enrolled at Hampshire, Erica said that she would be foster-parenting.

“It’s something I think about all of the time. I can’t wait to be a foster parent later in my life,” Erica said.

In addition to parenting foster children, Erica plans on perusing a Masters in Social Work after she graduates. She hopes to practice social work in middle schools after she completes her Masters degree.

By: Barbara Morrison F10