December 7, 2018
Alessandra Luiselli graces our last Alumni Spotlight of the semester! Dr. Luiselli graduated from UNM with her PhD in Philosophy and Romance in 1990. Currently, she is a Professor at Texas A&M in the Department of Hispanic Studies. We hope her journey, inspires many to pursue a graduate degree.
At The University of New Mexico, I obtained my Ph.D in Philosophy and Romance Languages in 1990, and was immediately hired as Assistant Professor by Washington University in Saint Louis. I left New Mexico the same year that I obtained my degree and went to live in Missouri. After two years in this state, which never really grew in my heart as the beautiful, magical New Mexico did, I moved to New York City, where I was hired to taught at the prestigious women school of Barnard College. After five exciting years in NY, I moved to New Orleans, hired by Tulane University.
Looking back at those years, I noticed that just after I left NY, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 took place, but having replaced the Big Apple for the Big Easy, as New Orleans is called, I thought I would be safe. Nevertheless, the constant danger of being hit by a hurricane (which is the permanent talk of the jazzy New Orleans), made me move to its neighbor state, where I was hired by Texas A&M University. It was hard to believe that after leaving New Orleans, Katrina sunk the magnificent city.
So, I have stayed in Texas for fifteen years, where I am currently Full Professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies. Perhaps I have stayed here because I am afraid to leave: 9/11 and Katrina were horrific events, and each one respectively occurred immediately after I left these cities!
After almost 30 years of having left New Mexico, I can state without a doubt that one of my favorite memories is the almost sacred vision of Sandia Mountains. I love them as much as I loved The University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. I had wonderful professors, including Gustavo Sainz, and the directors of my dissertation, Ángel González and Alfred Rodriguez.
I embrace my New Mexico memories like sacred treasures. I have lived a wonderful life because I obtained a Ph.D. at UNM. My youngest son was born at Lovelace Hospital, and my oldest learned English at Zia Elementary School. How not to love New Mexico with all my heart? Perhaps one day I will return to spend the last years of my life looking at the Sandia Mountains, talking to those beloved souls of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese that departed before me.