“I wasn't prepared for what a creative and emotional experience the class would be, and how it would impact me personally and academically,” said Romanello. “We need that humanization of others, we need that softness and vulnerability with each other that influences change on a real, physical level. I'm really proud and honored I've been a part of it.”

Alicia Godinez, an undergraduate student studying Spanish in the School of International Letters and Cultures, had taken the Facing Immigration I course and wanted to learn more about how to help her community. She was blown away by how much she and her classmates were able to accomplish during the semester.

“It started in a small classroom, a repujado art event and it turned to another project where we paint a mural, but all with one purpose; bring community together,” said Godinez. “It’s a vision that can go far beyond. Art was a bridge to help the community to be unified, to be humanified and to realize you are not alone.”

Students not only left the class with experiences they will remember for a long time, but with tangible skills and practices they can include in future job applications as well. They earned grants, executed projects and public events, gained experience in controlling a social media account and learned how to communicate their research to multiple news outlets.

“It is an amazing class,” said Godinez. “This class shows you the real world in many areas. It gives you the push to learn new things or new experiences you can add to your resume. I will take this class just for the fact you are seen as a person not just another student.”

Although the Facing Immigration courses will not be offered next semester through Humanities Lab, the lab is offering other interdisciplinary courses that will take students into an experimental space to investigate grand social challenges. 

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies