Gena Duran

  • #mifamilia
  • #learning
  • #teaching
  • #micultura

Why did you choose UNC?

For many reasons. It was affordable, my husband and I started college at the same time. We had three young children, a mortgage, car payments, you know – life. The Stryker Institute for Leadership Development was also very important to me, as was Dr. Priscilla Falcon with Mexican American Studies.

Did you always know what you wanted to study?

Entering UNC, I already knew what I wanted to study. It was not for career purposes, rather personal. I needed to understand communication; to learn who, why, how, when, and what it is that helps us communicate as humans to bring hope and engagement. I started college at the age of 32, and one of my reasons was because my brother was in prison, and I needed to model the way for him to go from incarceration to education.

Also, the Mexican American Studies program was important to me. I needed to learn about my own culture; my community, heritage and the contributions that my people made to the United States. This was not something I learned in the K-12 system.

Find a campus that is inclusive.

What's your best advice for a student who is trying to decide on a college?

Find a campus that is inclusive; where there is diversity and appreciation for culture, whether it's your culture or representation of many cultures. The learning experience is not limited to the classroom. Also, college tuition does not need to be the most expensive to receive a college education, it should be cost efficient. It's the people in practice of care and concern that work on that campus that make your educational experience priceless.

At the end of the rainbow, there is…

"…always a new rainbow."