My name is Vanessa Monterosa, and I am proud to be a 1st generation college/graduate student. My parents immigrated to the US in the 70s from El Salvador. Despite being raised speaking Spanish, I understand it better than I can speak it. During my undergraduate years, I got the opportunity to study abroad in Japan where I learned how to speak and write in Japanese. I chose to study in Japan because I was (and try to still be) an avid video gamer, so I was drawn to the culture of gaming at the time. If I had to compile a list of favorite video games (because it is impossible to choose only one!), it would include Dance Dance Revolution, World of Warcraft, The Walking Dead (PC Game), and Kingdom Hearts. My love for video games actually led me to my first job, which was as an arcade attendant at Golf N’ Stuff. Funny where our interests can take us… 🙂
Aside from interesting tidbits, I truly am passionate about the work I do, and this is thanks to the several mentors and supporters I have had along my journey. In addition to my scholarly efforts, I am committed to working with outreach and access programs: I worked closely with the AVID program, presented at various TRiO conferences and the Adelante Mujer Latina conference, and interned for uAspire (formerly ACCESS Boston), leading their social media initiative. I have a deep commitment to giving back and serving my community. Another passion of mine, which I aim to infuse in my work, focuses on social justice.
Whenever I can get away from the busy life of a doctoral student, I enjoy dancing, traveling (particularly to Japan and the UK), teaching my doggy, Nuxx, new tricks, and getting lost in Reddit.