Edurne Beltrán de Heredia Carmona
In May of 2016, Edurne graduated with her M.A. in Foreign Languages and Cultures (Spanish). While she attended WSU, she earned the Vandeford Scholarship from the former Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures (DFLC). She also published her work about women rights in Basta anthology. She presented at several conferences, including: XIX SPAGrad Literature Conference at Arizona State University, X Spanish Matters Colloquium at the University of Puget Sound, and Cinelit XVIII at Portland State University. She also served as Senator of the GPSA, representing DFLC. During her time at WSU, Edurne learned the importance of creating community with people from diverse countries, religions, and all paths of life, she said. She currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, and studies as a Ph.D. student in Spanish Literature and Culture at Arizona State University. She is also a Spanish teaching assistant at ASU. Last summer, she got two visiting research fellowships at the University of Granada and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) that lasted three months.
In 2007, James graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Foreign Languages & Cultures (German) and a minor in French. He later achieved his M.A. in Affaires internationales, Sécurité internationale from Sciences Po (Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris). Since graduating from WSU, he has worked for OECD in Paris, USAID in Baghdad, and the United Nations in Mogadishu. During his time at WSU he studied abroad twice, once in Berlin and once in Bonn. He said he has never regretted taking the leap and living outside of the U.S. While he attended WSU, he achieved Distinguished Regents Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, and chair of the WSU President’s Student Learning Academy. He currently lives in Mogadishu, Somalia, and works as special assistant to the deputy special representative of the UN secretary-general for Somalia.
In 2010, Amanda received a B.A. Spanish and French from the University of Idaho. In 2011, she completed her Teacher’s Certification courses from Lewis Clark State College. In 2018, she achieved her M.A. in Hispanic Studies from WSU. During her education she still remembers her favorite works and authors which include: Dulce Chacón (La voz dormida), Isabel Allende (Inés del alma mía), Gioconda Bellí (El pergamino de la seducción), and Don Quijote and El mío Cid. During her masters program, she attended and presented at four conferences. For the 2017-18 school year, she was honored with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the former WSU Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures. That year, she also was named Outstanding Graduate Student by the College of Arts and Sciences in the Master of Humanities category. Currently, Amanda lives in Pullman and works as an instructor of Spanish and a film assistant for the School of Languages, Cultures, and Race.
Michael Johnson, Jr.
In 2013, Michael graduated from WSU with a Ph.D in American Studies. He currently lives in Northridge, California, and works as an assistant professor of Media Theory and Criticism at California State University Northridge Time Management and Project Prioritization. In 2018, he published “Teaching While Ugly: A Story of Racial Pulchritude, Privilege, and Pedagogy” pg. 389 – 410, in On the Politics of Ugliness, by Sara Rodrigues and Ela Przybylo (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan. In 2018 he earned a “Certificate of Mastery in Prior Learning Assessment” from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, Chicago, Illinois. At the 2018 Popular Culture Association Conference in Indianapolis, he presented “Gender Nonconformity and Sexual Caricatures on FX’s Nip-Tuck.” At the 2019 Popular Culture Association Conference in Washington, D.C., he presented “Interracial Fetish and Exoticized Latinidad on HBO’s ‘Looking.’”
In 2006, Grant graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Grant said his Comparative Ethnic Studies taught him that there are many different ways to find truths. He found that truth can be discovered through data, statistics, sociological approaches, theories, music, and literature. “It was liberating, as a working class, first-generation college student, to turn the lens from the textbook to the world at hand. It made me think maybe I could do something with it, and that my experiences had an outlet in the world,” he said. His classes at WSU propelled him to embark on a career path he loves. Since graduating from WSU, he volunteered as an advocate at Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse, where he received training on sexual violence prevention. After that, he joined Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and other anti-violence organizations. He currently lives in the Midwest with his partner and serves as Communications Director for Equality Ohio, which works for equality for LGBTQ Ohioans. He enjoys especially the storytelling aspect of his job, whether it’s doing social media campaigns or pitching stories on issues that matter.