Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, Education Studies and Sociology

Where are you from, and what brought you to UW–Madison? Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez

I was born in Mexico City and I lived in Canada for a while before my family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. I decided to take a risk and come to UW — It was a different state and I didn’t know anyone, so I wanted to challenge myself!

What are your majors, and how did you choose them?

I’m a double major in Education Studies and Sociology. I had only planned to take the Education Policy Studies certificate. But after some encouragement (s/o to Dr. Posey-Maddox and Jerry Jordan!) I decided to go for the Education Studies major. I chose to pursue education for many reasons: 1) Family exposure (my mom and grandparents are teachers!) 2) Friends and mentors who talked about their experiences in education 3) Working in summer schools and education programs, and 4)  of course my own interests.

What was your most meaningful experience at UW–Madison?

That is a difficult question. I would say it was the time I’ve spent with my student org, Mecha de UW Madison. They’ve been a friend group, a support system, a knowledge and experience base, basically everything for me. So much of my academic, social, and community work has, in some way, been thanks to them.

What class or professor had the greatest impact on you, and why?

Another tough question! To boil it down to only a few: Dr. Posey-Maddox encouraged me to take the major. She also helped me a lot by answering questions about graduate school. Dr. Bianca Baldridge also gave me an opportunity to be her research assistant and that’s been a whole experience unto itself. Finally, taking EDPOL 675: Introduction to International and Comparative Education with Dr. Ran Liu had an enormous impact in discovering what kind of work I want to do in the future.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Take risks! Don’t limit yourself to the stereotypical image of what “college life” should look and feel like. I’ve learned so much by taking the “unconventional route.” I’m not asking that everyone copy that, but there are a lot of places, experiences, and ideas that can challenge you in ways you never knew. There is so much out there, both in school and in the greater community.

How will you celebrate your graduation?

With my family and friends!

What are your plans for the future?

Currently, I’m looking for jobs and other opportunities. In the long run, I hope to move back to Mexico and work in sustainability education or something of that nature!

You’re a UW–Madison expert now, so we must ask: Where’s the best place to eat on campus?

There is nothing better than getting food from the carts by Memorial Library (some of my favorites are the Thai-Laotian cart, Caracas Empanadas, and the bubble tea cart) and eating on the lawn or by the lake on a nice warm day.

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