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Prof. Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez

Prof. Sanchez y Sanchez advising a studentAssociate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Why did you apply to be an adviser?
I enjoy working with students and getting to know them as individuals as they transition from high school to college. In my 11 years at Davidson I have found the advising of students to be one of my most rewarding experiences as an educator in a liberal arts environment.

How have your personal and professional experiences prepared you for your role as an adviser?
In 1996 I worked for the Red Cross in Spain teaching Spanish to refugees from the Tutsi/Hutu conflict in Rwanda. Very soon I found out that this position went beyond academics: I was teaching students but interacting with individuals in the midst of a challenging transition. This experience taught me the importance of two things I try to emphasize in my role as adviser: to listen first, and guide second.

What was your favorite campus event last year, and why?
One of my favorite campus events last year was the Spring 2015 YouthMAP Gala. Youth Marketing & Photography is a non-profit organization founded by current Davidson students that mentor students at the Barium Springs Foster Home for Children, building relationships and encouraging creativity and individuality through photography. This event represented a unique combination of life, art, and a strong service-learning component that characterize that Davidson experience.

Tell us about a mentor/someone who was important to your success when you were a student.
Although now I am a medievalist, I went to graduate school convinced that I want to become a Latin Americanist. In my second year of studies I took a required class on medieval literature. The professor who taught this class changed not only the course of my studies but also the way I read texts. Her classes were enlightening but what really allowed me to grow as a reader and learner was our one-to-one meetings and her mentoring throughout the writing of my dissertation. If today I am a medievalist and I read literary texts the way I do, it is because of one key person and professor.

What advice would you give yourself as a college first-year student?
Embrace the idea that college is a journey with its ups and downs. Especially at the beginning, "give time to time," but also be proactive in seeking balance between all the components that make up the college experience and you as an individual.