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Angelique Serrano '19

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Angelique Serrano '19

As a student, Angelique Serrano '19 was involved seemingly everywhere on campus, from hosting Admission events in Emison to cheerleading at Blackstock.

When most in her class graduated and moved on from Greencastle, Serrano chose to stay and work in Student Affairs as a housing coordinator. Her reasons for remaining at DePauw had as much to do with her connections to campus as they did with her Puerto Rican heritage.

In the 1950s, Serrano’s grandmother and great-grandfather moved from a small town in Puerto Rico to start anew in Chicago. Her grandmother had dreams of becoming an educator and went on to work in Chicago Public Schools as a teacher’s aide in special education classrooms.

Seeing her grandmother’s impact in education “was one of my inspirations for wanting to stay within the field,” Serrano said. “She showed me that everyone learns differently, and there are many environments where people learn. I came to understand that I don’t need to be in a classroom to be an educator. I really like working with young adults on their own for the first time and having agency over their decisions. Helping them navigate those decisions – that’s what I enjoy the most.”

Another Puerto Rican educator, Myrna Hernández, a former dean at DePauw and current chief of staff at Grinnell College, likewise affected Serrano’s decision to remain at her alma mater.

“We say representation matters, and it really does,” Serrano said. “Being able to see Myrna in her position here was the representation I didn’t know I needed. I started considering student affairs as a career because I could see myself, as another Puerto Rican woman, in her.”

Given Serrano’s gift for making DePauw feel like a home for others, someone will likely one day say the same things about her. Though Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean while Serrano was away from campus, she soon began reaching out to students to let them know they had her support.

“I know that family can be a major stressor for how things are going at college, especially if they’ve been affected by a tragedy,” Serrano said. “Even if things are going okay, I’m always letting them know I’m here.”

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