MELLON MAYS FELLOW
Upon entering college, majoring in English was an easy decision for Sophia and choosing a Women Studies minor came naturally. She wants to contribute to the literary community by voicing her unique Hispanic, feminist perspective. Coming from a family full of resilient, hard-working women, she is eager to explore the history of Hispanic females and the ways they have coped with oppression. As she begins her journey toward a doctoral degree, studying the works of Latin American authors helps her to balance the Dominican and U.S. cultures she inhabits. For example, in magical realist literature, she has been fascinated to discover critiques of colonialism, admirable cultural resilience, and reinvention of traditions.
Sophia’s affinity for women's studies is founded in her pride in her mother and grandmother. Both women are first generation Dominicans who—with very limited resources and no knowledge of the English language—raised, nurtured, and molded her into who she is today. With their sacrifice in mind, she has studied women’s history and feminist theory; she has been captivated by the history of women's suffrage, the great works of Mary Wollstonecraft, and the thought provoking prose of Virginia Woolf. Her passion for reading from a very young age has opened up the world to her.