Maria Angélica Guerrero-Quintana
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After graduating from my undergrad in anthropology in Colombia, I had 4 years of working experience and felt the need to weave a dialogue between my practice and educational research. I wanted to expand my knowledge and understandings, as well as to build a self-critical approach to my own practice and the one of Corporación Otra Escuela, the organization I am part of in Colombia.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Having contact with friends and colleagues that were part of different kinds of graduate programs at UBC was incredibly nurturing and it awoke my curiosity to pursue an MA. I had the opportunity to experience UBC as a non-student before applying and was stimulated by the academic offer, diverse events, and its beautiful campus. I also found it very challenging to learn about and support the resistance of the Indigenous nations that across Canada are demanding and building together actions towards truth and reconciliation with the government and educational institutions such as UBC, which is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. In my home country Colombia, we are struggling with a challenging time of transformations after the Peace Agreements were signed in 2016, therefore I feel there are lots of shared knowledge and struggles that can nurture my understandings and hopefully give me new tools to go back to Colombia and keep doing transformative work.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was attracted by the diversity of backgrounds of the professors and students, the different kinds of research topics, and the possibility to choose a concentration among a variety of options at EDST. I also found the right fit with my supervisor and his interest in humanities-based research in education, connected to Latin American philosophy of education, philosophy of love and art education.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I have encountered amazing, brave, bold, and brilliant folks here who are doing such transformative, vital, and critical work on Turtle Island. I have learned about the strength, resilience, diversity, and richness of Indigenous nations. I feel grateful and honored to be a guest in this territory; I hope to respect, love, learn and collaborate with in any way that I can.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Go out anytime there is sun, have a walk in the forest or the beach, weaving.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Know that the process will have all kinds of stimulating stages. Stay true to yourself at the same time as keeping an open heart and mind to the new challenges. Be humble with your knowledge and learning as you stay tuned-in with the fact that you deserve to be here. Allow this experience to astonish you and do what you need to take good care of yourself.