SPA 107 final class visit with special guest speaker Cesar Padilla: The duality of an existence

Thursday, Dec 16, 2021

By Iris Hauser

On December 7th, SPA 107: Intermediate/Advanced Spanish, welcomed guest speaker Dr. Cesar Padilla, clinical assistant professor from Stanford University, for a virtual class visit.

Dr. Padilla is a first-generation Mexican American whose family migrated from Jalisco, Mexico to work in the fields of Northern California in the 1970’s. Dr. Padilla shared stories and images to convey what it was like for him growing up in a dangerous neighborhood in California. In his talk, Princeton students learned that having limited or almost no access to educational opportunities because of a zip code is an unfortunate reality for underrepresented minorities and many migrant communities in the U.S.

Screencapture of tweet by Dr. Cesar Padilla

Courtesy of Dr. Cesar Padilla

Dr. Padilla also shared stories of people who inspired him to become a physician. As a child, he frequently spent his summers in a small town in Mexico working with his aunt, who was a nun and nurse at a local hospital. These early experiences impacted and inspired him to discover his true vocation in life. Dr. Padilla now works with non-profit organizations with the goal of supporting and mentoring underrepresented students to gain access to higher education.

In SPA 107 students learned about the educational gap that exists among minorities, especially the Latino community, and all the socioeconomic factors that play a determining role in this gap. But showing a counter narrative, like Padilla’s story, is important not only to eradicate stereotypes that surround the Latino community in the U.S., but to demonstrate the outcomes of equal access to education and the importance of mentors from diverse backgrounds and heritages that can serve as role models.

SPA107 Virtual class visit with Dr. Cesar Padilla

SPA 107-Fall 2021 was coordinated by Iris Hauser. It was taught by Catalina Méndez Vallejo, Gabriela Díaz Davalos, Raquel Mattson Prieto, Adriana Merino, Oriele Benavidez, Lucía Filipova, Jonathan Romero and Iris Hauser.

SPA107 Instructors for Fall 2021