Meet one of our 2009-2010 GSAS Mentors:
Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a first year masters student in the English Department pursuing a concentration in Creative writing. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at New York University in Journalisn and Latin American Studies in 2007, where she spent a semester abroad at the Universidade Federale de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
A former employee of NBC News, El Diario/ La Prensa and Launch Radio Networks, Melissa has been published in Latin Beat Magazine, The Ithaca Journal, Gay City News, Washington Square News, University Wire, El Diario/La Prensa, Underated Underatted Magazine, The Journal of Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering and The Journal of Theoretical Biology to name a few. Her research interests include Latino literature, Street literature, emerging genres and popular culture.
Her article, "The Legacy of Gloria Anzaldua: Finding a Place for Women of Color in Academia" is forthcoming in The Bilingual Review. Within creative writing Melissa explores themes of culture and relationships in both her fiction and creative non-fiction pieces. Her short story, "Start Anywhere" was awarded the Sonoran Prize for Creative Writing at Arizona State University and was a finalist for Crab Orchard Review's 2009 Charles Johnson Student Fiction Award. She is currently at work on her first novel.
As a mentor for Academia Hispana, Melissa has continued to build on her experience as a graduate assistant in the English department in preparation for a career in teaching at the university level. She hopes to assist the already incredibly active group in seeking out additional resources and opportunities for self-expression and collaboration both within Fordham and the greater New York Latino community, as well as bring her experience both in academia and the workforce to the discussion of life after college. Best of all, Melissa has found that the discussions and priojects of the group help her question, define and explore new areas of interest both in her academic and creative work.