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World Languages and Cultures

College of Arts and Humanities

CWU Alumni Sergio Madrid


Sergio Madrid graduated from CWU in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a minor in Spanish. After Sergio graduated he decided to join the United States Peace Corps as an English Literacy Volunteer because he wanted gain real life experience living and working in a small community. After his time with the Peace Corps he found his current job with the Washington State Emergency Management Division (EMD).

Sergio uses his language skills everywhere he goes, especially when traveling abroad. “When you hear another person using your native language, it is natural curiosity to strike a conversation with those people like that by asking where they’re from, what they’re up to, as well as sharing your own.”

Among the fond memories Sergio has of CWU are the relationships that he built. Sergio explains, “I was blessed to have met staff and professors at CWU that truly had an impact on who I am today. They were able to see the need for guidance that minority students, like myself, desperately seek. Many of us are encouraged or motivated to become educated by of our immigrant parents or grandparents. Some of them don’t really know how to advise us on what to do or how to do it because, perhaps, of their lack of understanding or level of education, they just want a better future for us. So, finding mentorship for me was a blessing in the sky because I wasn’t completely sure what to do once I got to college. It was during a critical period of my undergraduate career when I met one of the professors, in the World Languages Department, that took me and many others, under his wing to help us grow and advance as students and young professionals. Students at larger universities don’t have such privilege like those of us who attend smaller ones, so take advantage.”

CWU alumni Sergio

We asked Sergio if he were to return to CWU would he continue his current studies or chose a different path and learn a new language? With no hesitation Sergio said, “If I were to return, there are two languages that I would like to learn, Portuguese and American Sign Language. Portuguese because it’s a language that isn’t too far from Spanish, so I think I could pick it up quickly. ASL has come under my radar because of my current position as a Limited English Proficiency Coordinator at (EMD) I have been able to see the need for ASL interpretation in the Deaf and hard of hearing community from the Emergency Management perspective”.

From an alumni standpoint Sergio wanted to give advice to our current student body on how to use your time wisely at CWU. “GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS! Build relationships with them because they are your one greatest resource as an undergraduate student. Also, think ahead, if you want to continue studying, for instance getting a masters, guess from whom masters programs ask letters of recommendation? – professors. They are the ones that get to know you the best as an undergraduate because they grade your papers and your exams and watch you grow as a student, so it is critical that you build those relationships with them. Not only for the letters of recommendation, but most importantly because those will be relationships that will go beyond your undergraduate studies to becoming forever lasting friendships. The other piece of advice is GET INVOLVED! If see you signs around campus that say “get involved” it’s for a reason. It’ll benefit you in the future, when you get involved you can add such things to your resume and in turn those lines help you get internships, jobs, apply for graduate school. Simply experience that helps you grow as a student”.

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