Rocky and Me: Teresa Alvarado-Patlán ’19 Senior Reflection

In the Rocky & Me series, seniors reflect on their experiences during their time at Dartmouth.

Teresa Alvarado-Patlán graduates this spring with a major in Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean Studies as well as a minor in French. When looking back at her time here at Dartmouth, a class she took on gender in Latin America with Professor Baldez stands out as a key experience in helping her discover her academic passions. Professor Baldez introduced her to the concept of intersectionality and how gender plays a role in her everyday life as a student. She also introduced Teresa to the Latin America, Latino, and Caribbean Studies department.

It was also through Professor Baldez that Teresa learned about the various programs offered by the Rockefeller Center. She decided to take the Management and Leadership Development Program (MLDP). First as participant and then later as a Student Program Assistant for the program, Teresa was able to see how the core values taught through this program can be applied to any moment at Dartmouth where growth is possible. Specifically, MLDP taught her that these growth moments are always present, and that it’s not necessary to hold a titled position to practice leadership in everyday settings.

With the opportunity to study in France her junior year, Teresa grew in her independence as well as cultural awareness. Being immersed in a completely new culture is an invaluable experience for personal growth. She discovered how to be personally accountable and what it means to be open to new experiences when living and learning in a foreign place. For Teresa, the experience also taught her what it means to spend time reflecting when she came back to campus. 

Her experience as a Mellon Mays Fellow at Dartmouth was an essential part of Teresa’s time, because she was able to explore her research interests, specifically in regard to U.S. immigration policies post-9/11. She would not have had the opportunity to meet political leaders, such as former Mexican President Vincente Fox, or even pursue her interests had it not been for the resources open to her through the Mellon Mays program and through her thesis advisor. Teresa always encourages students to seek out funding opportunities and resources on campus, especially the Rockefeller Center’s Internship funding, in order to engage in experiential learning.

Teresa is a Class of 2019 Rockefeller Leadership Fellow (RLF), a program she initially applied to with support from a Fellow from the Class of 2018. Teresa finds that “having the ability to attend RLF discussions has allowed me to find a space in which answers are not a priority, but learning how to become a more understanding and ever-evolving leader is our goal.”

Teresa advises incoming students to not be too hard on themselves or over-commit. “Focus on finding a balance, while not burning yourself out.” After graduation, Teresa plans on spending time traveling and pursuing graduate studies.  

As told to Bethany Malzman '19, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant for Communications