Today I had the opportunity of covering the seventh annual Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Luncheon. Before the event, I had some time to interview the keynote speaker, Guillermina “Gina” Nunez-Mchiri, an alumna who is a professor of anthropology at University of Texas at El Paso.
We talked about her route to becoming a professor and the people that helped her along the way. Of course, we also spoke about her research interests and what she was currently working on. So, imagine my surprise when we came to the end of the interview and she exclaimed, “Now I want to hear about your story!”
It’s not every day that the interviewer becomes the interviewee! Since Nunez-Mchiri is currently researching cultural identity of mixed heritage individuals living in border areas, she was interested in learning about my experiences growing up in San Diego as a mestiza. I was silent for a moment before responding, letting her know briefly about my family and background.
Quite honestly, it’s something that I don’t address very often. But, it was interesting to discuss it with her in the context of Obama’s election and the growing number of students of mixed heritage she sees in her classroom. While we didn’t have enough time to discuss the topic in depth, I will admit that I look forward to speaking with her again.
For me, my job in Marketing & Communications is more than just “editor” or “writer.” In many ways, I simply get to hear good stories and retell them, like a modern-day storyteller. I guess it’s just odd for me to have someone interested in hearing my story.