Faculty Q&A with Professor Rosa Tapia

Photo by Danny Damiani/Office of Communications

How have or haven’t faculty been supported by the university throughout COVID? (Anonymous)
I have felt supported because I had the means to carry on with my teaching and research, despite the sense of isolation that comes with working off-campus for so long. My individual opinion is that it was the right call to trust faculty with the decision to deliver their classes in person or remotely during the pandemic. We are overcoming this extraordinary situation by being both flexible and responsible together, students and faculty, despite the practical difficulties. It goes without saying that we wouldn’t have been able to survive this without our IT specialists, librarians and staff across all offices on campus.

What was your first impression of the varieties of Spanish spoken in the Fox Valley? (Lauren Kelly, 2022)
When I arrived at Lawrence, I was lucky to connect right away with a lively but small community of Spanish speakers from Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Spain. Since then, the Spanish-speaking population has grown a lot in the Fox Cities. Now, one can have the pleasure to go to stores, festivals, school functions, etc. and hear different Spanish accents from various regions in Mexico and in the U.S., as well as Caribbean, Central American, and other Latin American varieties.

If you could teach any other subject what would it be? (Anonymous, ’24)
My fantasy is to teach a class on sci-fi movies and series, including old stuff (Star Wars, Star Trek or anything with “star” in the title) and new shows. Yep, I’m a geek.

What advice do you have for students wanting to design an unconventional career path? How do you make professional connections and build the career you want? (Anonymous)
Tell anyone and everyone who matters to you about it, even if you are not 100% sure yet. If your family expects you to follow a more conventional path, I wouldn’t wait until senior year to have the conversation. Remember (and remind any doubters) that you are in great company, as many successful Lawrentians before you have made similar choices. Grab your computer, make an appointment with our career services counselors, and they will connect you with the right alumni and local resources. Don’t forget to tell your advisor and all your professors. Recruit several mentors and allies who can give you advice and ideas, make calls, write recommendations, introduce you to people on LinkedIn, etc. Most people like helping others in this manner and they are just waiting for you to ask.

What is one thing you wish students knew about the faculty at Lawrence? (Anonymous)
They are always on your side, believe it or not, especially the tough-love maniac who just destroyed your paper.

Pelicula hispano americana favorita? (Juan Felipe Ayala ’22)
Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.