My Journey as a Professor of Computer Science

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I am a first generation born American and was raised in New York City by a family from Puerto Rico. After I finished my first semester in 10th grade, my family moved to back to Puerto Rico.

In Puerto Rico I was enrolled in a high school where all textbooks were written in and classes were taught, in Spanish. While I spoke Spanish, I had to learn how to read and write in this language quickly. Meanwhile, my continued mastery of the English language suffered since I was now taking Spanish for native speakers and English classes for students who spoke it as a second language.

After finishing three semesters of college in Puerto Rico, I transferred to the University of South Florida and earned a BA degree. I worked up to three part time jobs to help pay my way through college. Due to my multiple jobs, I could only maintain an average GPA.

In 1989, I was a new mother on leave from my job as a teacher. My husband and I were at a birthday party where we had a chance meeting that changed my career.

We were talking with a new friend when the conversation came around to what I did for a living. I mentioned that I taught middle school Spanish and English. He surprised us when he told us he was the dean at my local community college and was in need of Spanish adjunct faculty.

He explained that the Spanish academic discipline was a critical shortage area and the college was looking for adjuncts with at least 5 graduate level education classes, as long as they had plans to get a MA Degree in Spanish.

He asked if I have ever thought of teaching Spanish at the higher education level. I told him it was one of my dreams. I explained that I working toward an MA degree in Spanish and that I had already had earned 15 credits as...

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...eting and a smile on her face. If we send her email, she responds quickly. I admire that she admits to the faculty in person when she makes an administrative mistake. At one faculty meeting she apologized and then invited us to throw eggs at her.

She often drops in to attend faculty meetings and is a cheerful, casual and friendly participant. At college-wide faculty meetings, she enjoys telling us inspirational stories about some of the former students of our college and how our teaching efforts have made a difference for them. I just love these leadership qualities and if I ever become head of my department, I will be emulating her.

I understand that this degree program is designed specifically for education practitioners and I proudly consider myself to be part of this group. Please accept my application to be admitted to this program starting in July 2010.

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