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Uriel Medina Espino

Hometown: McComb, Miss.
High School: McComb High School
Intended major: Political Science and Spanish double major
Possible career: Immigration law/scholarship

Words: Curious & hopeful

What impact do you want to have on the world?

My trajectory as an immigrant has always shaped my identity and goals. I hope to use the resources and opportunities afforded to me to serve the immigration community at large in this country, whether through immigration law, scholarship, or engaging in public policy. 

Name a person you admire.

As cheesy as it sounds, I can't help but say my parents (despite asking for one person). What they've been through to achieve what they have is incredible, in and of itself. But their story also grounds me. It gives me a sense of purpose and motivation. 

What is something you are proud of in your life so far? 

I'm proud of the advice and help I've been able to give my younger siblings. Going through the college admission process as a first-generation immigrant and college student was daunting, and I'm happy that I'll be able to assist my own loved ones to strive towards their goals. Becoming an Evans Scholar, and later a Mellon Mays Fellow, amplifies the skills and knowledge I'm able to pass down, as each opportunity has further opened my world to traveling and new experiences both in and out of the classroom. 

What have been the most valuable Evans Scholars program experiences for you?

Two of my summers I used the program to travel abroad, onces to Buenos Aires and another to Mexico City. Both were invaluable experiences in person growth, having never left the country since moving to the U.S. from Mexico as a child. Academically, I was able to immerse myself in Mexican academia through research and seminar-style classes at El Colegio de México, which had always been a goal of mine. The trip expanded my academic capacity across language barriers. 

What was the most transformative class you have taken and/or what subjects do you want to explore deeply?

Junior spring I took Professor Sharpe's Honors Seminar on Latin American Politics. That class changed me profoundly. I've always had a deep interest in Latin American politics, but the class went far beyond teaching me the academic/political material. My perspective on the nature of discussions and how I approach them transformed during and after that class. I feel that I now recognize and value dialectic of discussions in a way I had no idea I wasn't doing before, and I stress the importance of the "logic" line connection between points within an argument in a constructive way. Fortunately for me, this is also the subject I wish to explore more deeply, as I believe Latin American politics, economics and history are intimately intertwined with immigration patterns. But the way in which I seek and value information was altered after taking Professor Sharpe's class.