Leticia was initially drawn to the English major because of her passion for creative writing. She enjoys writing short stories but is also interested in nonfiction, particularly memoirs. Her writing explores themes around family and identity, and she plans to eventually publish a book-length project. However, while Leticia uses her creative writing coursework to hone her writing, her long-term career goals are in the public health field.
By seeking hands-on work in the public health field, Leticia balances her passion for writing and her career goals. Currently, Leticia is an intern with UNC’s Institute for the Environment, whose mission is to “strengthen environmental research capacity across UNC by supporting a multi-disciplinary community of scholars that enhances collaboration, increases sharing of knowledge, and identifies solutions to the world’s critical environmental problems.” Leticia conducts research with her mentor, Dr. Kathleen Gray, on “flood resilience in Eastern North Carolina and the impact of hurricanes in the past” in order to see how these communities have adapted and responded to these events.” Leticia is looking forward to the possibility of publishing the results of her work on this important research.
Leticia’s experience with the institute points to the transferable skills and interdisciplinary nature of the English major: “I see my English major really helping me [answer]: how do I take this big chunk of complicated information and simplify it so people anywhere can understand? … I see myself as the bridge between the science and the affected communities. [The Institute for the Environment] really sees my English major as an asset for analyzing interviews from a different perspective.”
When Leticia isn’t working on public health research, she stays busy nurturing her creative writing interests as a fiction editor at Arts Everywhere, “a comprehensive initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to make the arts a fundamental part of the University culture and daily campus life.” Leticia has been working with Arts Everywhere as fiction editor for over a year. Her interest in becoming an editor arose from the value she saw in the editing process: “What really piqued my interest was being able to work with writers … I was really looking forward to helping people improve their writing and get published.”
Leticia’s work as an English major has continued to let her pursue her creative writing while also fine-tuning skills that help her clearly communicate with communities affected by public health crises. In the future, Leticia hopes to return to UNC-Chapel Hill for graduate school at the nationally-renowned Gillings School of Public Health.
Leticia’s latest work for Arts Everywhere has been coordinating submissions for Short Story UNC, where they accept submissions year round. Submit your poem, short story, or nonfiction piece here to be considered for publication!