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Selected for her demonstrated commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing local, national and international communities, junior political science major, Jennifer Vasquez, has been named a 2021 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact.
“I have witnessed Jennifer’s passion and motivation to make the world a better place, and I know that she is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to social change,” said Beth Kiester, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology.
For the last nine months, Vasquez has worked side by side with Kiester to research the impact of COVID-19, precarious status, detention and deportation on immigrant communities. The student/faculty duo have conducted more than 25 interviews with doctors, lawyers, advocates, politicians and religious leaders who serve immigrant communities — sharing their findings publicly for the Greater Reading Immigration Project 2021 Virtual Lecture Series. Vasquez has also taken on a political science internship with a Reading area immigration law office, serving detained immigrant families. In this capacity, she writes declarations and communicates with attorneys about cases, and even serves as a translator for families.
“This work affirms my drive to become an immigration attorney and defend the rights of those who are so vulnerable,” said Vasquez. “As a first-generation college student and Mexican-American woman, I hope to leave my mark by empowering this community that inspires me through their strength and dedication for a better tomorrow. More than anything, what keeps me going is the question that I repeat to myself every day: ‘If not me, then who?’”
Following nomination and interviews, three Albright College students learned last fall that they have been accepted into the Early Assurance Program at Penn State College of Medicine — Hershey. At Hershey, they’ll rejoin four Albright seniors who successfully earned Albright degrees and navigated the MCAT last summer, as well as several recent Albright graduates already diving into their studies at the College of Medicine.
Among the new recruits is non-traditional psychobiology student Erika Hollinger, who is passionate about closing health care gaps in the Mennonite community. “As a physician, I plan to work in the Amish and Mennonite communities and hope to make quality health care more accessible to these underserved groups,” she said.
“It was humbling to have so many of my professors and mentors write letters of recommendation on my behalf. I’m extremely thankful to have been able to build relationships with each one of them during my time at Albright. My acceptance means a great deal to me.”
Thania Inoa De Jesus ’21 has earned the College and University Public Relations and Associated Professional organization’s 2021 Diversity Scholarship, designed to attract a more diverse group of professionals to the field of communications. Fluent in both English and Spanish, with aspirations to own a public relations firm focusing on women-owned businesses, Inoa De Jesus is a senior, first-generation student working four jobs while studying business and communications and minoring in Spanish and art at Albright.
Albright has been recognized by LendEDU as one of the best schools in the nation for financial aid, ranking #105 in the country and #11 in Pennsylvania.
Utilizing Peterson’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Database and the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), LendEDU’s scale ranks schools according to their average financial aid offerings for need-based aid, non-need-based aid and aid for international students. The college grants $18 million in financial aid each year and 97% of the college’s 1,400 students receive aid.
“As an institution committed to educating students of academic promise, we believe that the life-changing benefits of an Albright education must be equally available to talented, determined students across the broadest range of socioeconomic backgrounds,” said President Jacquelyn S. Fetrow, Ph.D. ’82. “Yet, nationally, gaps in college degree attainment and social mobility are growing. Increasingly — and all too often — the economic circumstances of a young person’s family define his or her future. In an era in which family incomes have stagnated and higher education costs have outpaced incomes, Albright is taking steps to close the gap and make education affordable.”