Senior Profile: Soli Barrera

Soli Barrera in the Writing Center. (Marya Kuratova / McDaniel Free Press).Soli Barrera in the Writing Center. (Marya Kuratova / McDaniel Free Press).

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Spanish and English majors, religious studies minor.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

I’ve been a peer mentor, a peer tutor at the Writing Center with master tutor certification, a research help desk specialist, a circulation desk employee, a first look facilitator, and a SASS tutor & note taker at McDaniel. I’ve also worked at JeannieBird Baking Company and taken on professional Spanish language tutoring and editing work outside of the school.

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

I am co-president of Palabras to Words and vice president of the Students for Life organization at McDaniel. I am involved with the Hispanic Latinx Alliance, the Honors Program, and the Global Fellows Program. I am also involved with four honors societies: PBK, STD (English), PSI (world languages), and NSLS. I am the president of Sigma Tau Delta and a representative figure for the chapter of PSI.

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

I really have. I think what I appreciate the most about McDaniel is the amazing faculty and staff. I have had so many fantastic professors and mentors over the course of my four years. I’ll be really sad to have to say goodbye to all the amazing people here and I feel like I can’t say a big enough “thank you.” I also really appreciate the fact that McDaniel is such a small school and I hope that the administration is aware of the fact that McDaniel’s population is small is something that makes the school great and really enhances the student experience.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Vanessa Flora-Nakoski—one of the people that I can never thank enough!

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

My close friends and I always gather at Casey’s Corner to chat and to do our homework together. It started off as just me and my friend Kristina and then our friend group grew. I have some really fond memories of us spending time together there.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

Students really push themselves at McDaniel—everyone does multiple things (majors, minors, clubs, projects, etc.) I felt pressured to sort of keep up with everyone and do everything at once. I’ve tried to do a lot all at once and it’s been pretty draining for me, mentally, emotionally, physically. I haven’t overcome this issue yet because I still feel the pressure to keep high standards for myself. But this was a good learning experience.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I want to get my master’s degree, but I haven’t picked a school yet.

What would you tell yourself as a first-year student at McDaniel?

Stop being so shy and get involved!