After talking with Ala and Dr. Meyerhoffer last week, we couldn’t wait to continue the allyship conversation at the student level. Today we hear from recent Southern grads about their experiences while students and perspectives on allyship since graduating.

Gabriela Vazquez is a first-generation student-turned-graduate and graduate intern for Southern’s Office of University Access Programs. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Gabriela’s outstanding athletic and academic performance landed her at Southern, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She is currently pursuing a M.B.A. in Finance.

Camryn Arpino-Brown is also a first-generation student-turned-graduate and AmeriCorps VISTA for Southern’s Office of University Access Programs. As an undergraduate, Camryn served as an Orientation Ambassador, Orientation Coordinator, Resident advisor, and Diversity Coordinator. She was also involved in OLAS, N.A.A.C.P., SGA, and S.I.S.T.A.S. In her final fall semester, she co-hosted the university’s Black Lives Matter March. In May of 2021, she received her bachelor’s in psychology, also earning the prestigious Henry Barnard Distinguished Student Award, the Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Service Award, the University Leadership Award, and the Diversity Scholar Excellence Award.