Testimonials and Interviews -- Students, Faculty, Staff and Administration

Felicia Cruz (B.A. ’12, M.A. ’14), Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, Blume Library, St. Mary’s University 

Two distinct but related choices during my St. Mary’s experience come to mind when thinking about positive difference. First, my decision to study the digital divide and the relationship between the Latino-White achievement gap in online education for my doctoral dissertation. Although technology can be a great resource and now more than ever a necessity, it’s important to recognize systemic inequalities that do not afford access to everyone. The second choice was when I said yes to adapt our model of training for online teaching at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last March. After completing my doctorate the first week of March, the very next week I was asked to consider changing how we trained faculty to teach online. It went from a 12- to a five-week program and we worked around the clock to assist faculty to ensure the best experience for them and their students. Due to my research, I made sure to speak on the reality of the digital divide and its impact on our students, faculty and staff. Having the courage to speak and challenge the status quo is embedded in me because of my time as a St. Mary’s undergraduate and graduate student.

To read more about Cruz, click here.