Bianca Barragan '06
Bianca Barragan did not think she had the level of patience, flexibility and creativity required to teach after her first teacher assistantship one summer.
“I am an easy-going person, but after a week of breaking up fights, wiping teary eyes, and answering the complaints and questions of very curious parents, I was ready to quit,” Barragan explained.
Barragan, an English and World Literature major with a minor in Spanish, always thought she would be a writer. Her calling began to shift during her second summer as a teaching assistant and was later reinforced after teaching came into her life again during a Pitzer in Ecuador program.
“I like Pitzer and felt instantly comfortable here on campus, even though I initially wanted to distance myself because I grew up in a nearby town. I like the small classes and believe this lends itself to excellent class discussions, because the teachers and students know each other they respect each other’s opinions,” Barragan said. She considers Laura Harris and Marina Perez de Mendiola highly inspirational and supportive professors.
Barragan still likes to read and is navigating her way through the works of Dorothy Parker. She would like to teach high school American
literature when she returns.
Veronica Briggs '02
Over coffee at the Grove House with Professor Nigel Boyle during a visit back to her alma mater, Veronica Briggs made the determination to submit a Fulbright proposal to fulfill her desire to increase “Cross Cultural Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.”
Briggs’ participation in the Pitzer in Nepal program inspired her interest in teaching: “From the moment I finished handing the alphabet on the wall, I understood the importance of education. I had spent the day drawing ‘rungichungi’ ABC’s, and the kids at the orphanage were responding with energetic awe at the colorful additions to our home,” the 2002 graduate said.
Enthusiastic about building upon these and other Pitzer opportunities, Briggs said that she relished the chance to work as a teacher again while a student at Pitzer.
“During my senior year, I traveled to numerous Los Angeles schools to give interactive presentations about Nepal and my experiences while a student there,” she explained.
Briggs graduated with a combined major in anthropology and Environmental Studies from Pitzer College. Following completion of her Fulbright, she plans to pursue a Masters in Public Health with an academic and career focus on international health policy and administration.