Class of 2020
Lizbet Gonzalez, a recent graduate of the CALS BA program, is the subject of the current edition of “Alumni Spotlight”. We are delighted that Lizbet agreed to be interviewed via email:
CALS: While you were at SSU, did you have an idea of what you wanted to do after graduation?
Lizbet: I began my first year at SSU thinking I would pursue nursing as a career, but after taking my first CALS class I quickly changed course. I knew I wanted to work in the legal field in some way, specifically working with the Latinx community and specifically immigrants within our community, so I thought maybe law school was the way to go. After CALS 458 and joining the McNair program, I realized that there were so many more paths that I could follow, and I became intrigued in working with policy issues. I interned at an immigration law firm the summer before my senior year, and it made me realize that instead of working within a broken system, I wanted to work on fixing it and writing policies to better aid our community, which is how I decided that I wanted to pursue public policy as a career post-graduation.
CALS: Are you furthering your education after graduating from CALS? If so, how?
Lizbet: I will be pursuing a Master of Public Policy (MPP) at The George Washington University [in Washington D.C.] for the next two years. I hope to specialize in both national security/immigration policy as well as social policy.
CALS: How has your CALS major helped you?
Lizbet: CALS introduced me to so much history that I had never learned, ideas I never knew existed, and it allowed me to better grasp my identity and my place in the world and what it meant to be a Latina. It also allowed me to understand our complex history and how with the privileges I have of receiving a higher education, I can give back and help my community, and I cannot think of a better way to establish a career. If it would not have been for that first CALS class with Dr. Malpica, I would have never pursued public policy, specifically with the goal to aid our immigrant community.
CALS: What advice do you have for current or future students?
Lizbet: Seek out as many opportunities as you can and meet as many folks as you can as well. My first two years, I became heavily involved in extracurriculars and student leadership and through the connections I made, I was introduced to academic and career opportunities in my junior and senior years. The connections you make with staff and faculty are what help you get through the difficulties of undergraduate work, as well as help you reach your graduate school or post-graduation job goals. These undergraduate years go by incredibly fast and what you do with them becomes so valuable and formative if you take advantage of all of the opportunities that are available to you. So, go out and seek them, ask millions of questions, and push yourself because all of that hard work will eventually pay off.
CALS: What are you going to do after graduating with your BA?
Lizbet: I am enrolled as a full-time MPP student at GWU where I will start working towards my degree this upcoming fall.