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Welcome to Talk With A Professor!

My name is Silvina and I consider myself a life-long learner, first generation college students, an educator, dreamer, community innovator, and adventurer. As a child, I was regularly tucked-in at night with my father’s version of the Three Little Pigs: A version in which the pig who pursued education did not have his house blown down. Education became a priority for me, and I continue viewing education as a means for Revitalizing Communities.

High School to First Generation College Student

Some time ago, I was in many of your shoes. I was in high school, applying to college, and unsure about how to proceed. Now, here I stand as a professor with twenty years of teaching experience remembering how it felt to sit in a large auditorium with my family at my University orientation. It was frightening and thrilling all at the same time. Throughout my student years, I changed my major, graduated with two baccalaureate degrees from the University of California Irvine, and earned a doctoral degree from Rutgers University. I watched my parent’s beam with pride at graduation and now I want to continue the legacy by sharing what I learned as an immigrant child attending public schools and highly rated universities.

From Graduate to Professor

In 2013, I founded the University Role Models program which afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with families, particularly Latino families who had not previously navigated the educational system in the United States. This experience sparked a sense of fulfillment that came full circle from the little immigrant girl who had no English skills and who was unsure of how to proceed in elementary school. I found myself providing families, teens, and college students with the information I wish my family and I had all those years ago. My accomplishments had a new purpose and meaning through the sharing of information, resources, and inspiration with others in similar situations.

My journey was full of bumps, joys, challenges, and successes and I am here to help others who can learn from my experiences. I was a first generation college student navigating a university system that was unfamiliar for my family. Now, I want to make a difference by sharing my educational journey and providing insight from a student and professor’s perspective.

Seeking to Inspire and Support New Students and Their Families

There is no single path for success. For me, EDUCATION and HOPE are the key to triumph and a critical step in revitalizing communities into an invigorated and thriving society. I want to provide students, families, and educators with the tools that can facilitate success. A majority of my materials will be presented in Spanish and English, but please let me know if one of my items in needed in Spanish if it is only posted in English. If my personal journey, information, and services can encourage, empower, and inspire you, then I will consider this endeavor a huge success!

I am eager to hear about your experiences…

I look forward to hearing your questions,



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