Former INTS Honors Student – In Pursuit of Shaping the World
Hannah Aragon graduated in the spring of 2019, fluent in Spanish and with a passion for speaking up for the socially disadvantaged. After graduation she spent a year as a Spanish teacher in Lubbock, TX and served as a translator in Guatemala. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in social work at the University […]
Hannah Aragon graduated in the spring of 2019, fluent in Spanish and with a passion for speaking up for the socially disadvantaged. After graduation she spent a year as a Spanish teacher in Lubbock, TX and served as a translator in Guatemala. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in social work at the University of Pennsylvania. In high school, Hannah had a wide range of interests including English literature and calculus. She was drawn to International Studies because of the program’s flexibility and emphasis on culture and language.
Hannah says that her experience in INTS completely changed her outlook and trajectory in life. Through INTS, Hannah gained invaluable hard skills (such as language acquisition) and soft skills (the ability to view the world through different lenses and think holistically). During her time at A&M, Hannah was able to connect with professors within the International Studies and Hispanic Studies departments. She found that many professors were more than happy to talk about language and culture over coffee. The close-knit community of INTS allowed Hannah to still have a “liberal arts experience” at a large state university.
Hannah became intrigued by the importance of defining words, especially from a multilingual perspective. Hannah recalls a moment of inspiration from one of her favorite professors, Dr. Maddalena Cerrato, who said, “If you can learn one new word every day, then that’s what makes the educational experience worth it. Because if you can learn to be a better communicator, the possibilities for shaping the world are endless.”
Through the INTS honors program, Hannah worked as a grader for INTS 205 and INTS 410 and had the opportunity to write a thesis on community as a dichotomy of inclusion and exclusion. Her thesis included a case study of exclusionary elements in Malilla, Spain. Hannah found that INTS honors was easy to complete alongside Cornerstone (Liberal Arts) Honors and she says her honors thesis was her “favorite experience of her undergraduate studies.” One of her favorite moments from her time in INTS was watching classmates grapple with challenging ideas in discussion-based classes.
After completing her Masters in social work, Hannah is open to many possibilities for her future career, saying that, “the pursuit of social justice needs to come from more professions than just one.” She is hoping to get into for-pro1t social programs or institutions and can see herself working in fundraising and community organizing projects. She is also interested in immigrant and refugee relief programs, raising concerns about the recently increased cost of citizenship and the difficulties of navigating the naturalization process. Hannah embodies the heart of international studies, demonstrating both critical thinking and humanitarian concern. She strives to always ask questions, evaluating whether this or that program or policy is really the best it could be.