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Andrea Bolivar

Student Stories

Andrea Bolivar headshot
“I want to challenge students to examine the things they take for granted and learn to think critically about the world.”

Andrea is the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Her father emigrated from Medellín, Colombia, to the inner city of Providence, Rhode Island. He worked in a textile mill until he became disabled, two years ago. Her mother is a teacher’s assistant who works with special-needs children. She says her parents had no idea that college was even possible for her until she received a scholarship. It has been hard to be so far away, she says, but her parents are very proud of her.

“In college, I discovered that academia is a place where people meet as equals to study things that matter,” Andrea says. An undergraduate anthropology course inspired her to learn about other cultures. When she was introduced to theory, she knew she wanted to become a professor:  “I want to challenge students to examine the things they take for granted and learn to think critically about the world.” 

The outstanding reputation of the anthropology program at Washington University made it Andrea’s first choice for graduate school. “I could not pursue my passion for learning without financial support, and I’m very grateful for the chance to earn my doctorate from a top-tier research university,” she says. “As a Chancellor’s Fellow, I’ve found a real sense of community here, and I’ve also started a support group for Latino students on campus.” 

Support for the Annual Fund helps sustain the excellence of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. “Donors make it possible for students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to attend, enhancing the learning experience for all of us,” Andrea says.

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