Class of 1996
undergraduate studies at Queens College in the Anthropology department
were among the most richly rewarding and intellectually stimulating
years of my life. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I went on
the Columbia University where I pursued Cultural Anthropology and
received an M.A. in the discipline (1997). In 2016, I published a book
entitled, "Emotions, Culture and Mental Illness: A Short History Of My
Father." It explores the subject of Puerto Rican culture, mental
illness, and the functional dysfunctionality of island life. The book
would not have been possible without the education, training, and
mentorship I received from the outstanding Anthropology Department
faculty at Queens College. I currently live in Colorado Springs,
Colorado where I manage an immigration law firm assisting immigrants
find legal paths to residency and U.S. citizenship."
Class of 1997
photo credit: Mackenzie Stroh
|"I arrived as an
international student at Queens College from Southeastern Europe, but
over the years since graduating, I became a naturalized citizen. I
chose to major in anthropology because I was fascinated by different
cultures and customs, and living in New York City provided me with
firsthand experience of the amazing human diversity there. I also loved
attending lectures during which we discussed topics ranging from
archaeology to human sexuality, while getting exposed to the ideas of
Franz Boas and Margaret Mead. Meanwhile, in my sophomore year, I
decided to minor in journalism as I had always been a news junkie,
following political, cultural, entertainment and sporting events. It
turned out that this choice would lead me to develop and pursue my
passion for journalism, although the knowledge I obtained as an
anthropology major has helped and served me as well.
I’ve been working in the field of print and digital media for more than 20 years. My journalism journey started with an internship at Newsweek magazine during the spring semester of my junior year. I primarily helped on the international news desk, and that was the first place where I professionally used my fluency in several languages. I ended up staying and working on that editorial staff in the summer after my junior year and then continued working there during my entire senior year. Upon graduation, I joined the editorial team at Esquire magazine, where I worked for about a year. I have been a member of ESPN The Magazine's editorial team since 1998, when this award-winning biweekly sports publication was launched. It was a great match for me because I love sports as a fan, plus I’m also active by nature (I swim and cycle daily). I’ve held different editorial positions over time, and six years ago I became the research chief. I manage a staff of 14 researchers/reporters, plus a few project temps and interns. I oversee staffing and recruiting of prospective employees for the research department, which is seen as an entry point to the world of digital and print media at ESPN. I’ve been working hard on setting the highest standards for accuracy and fairness while dealing closely with our legal team on investigative stories. These efforts have certainly assisted the editorial team, and this year ESPN The Magazine won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence for the third time in the publication’s history.
In my current position, I deal on a daily basis with providing researching, reporting and fact-checking help to our editors and writers. I also handle numerous statistical and data requests plus news clip packages for all stories that run in The Magazine along with the long-form pieces that appear on ESPN.com. My duties extend to assisting colleagues in other areas in the company as well, such as ESPN Films, OTL and many others. Last but not least, over the years I’ve also had contributions and acknowledgments in several books—ranging from sports encyclopedias to historical non-fiction titles—and ESPN 30 For 30 series, whose short film Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry and accompanying Magazine piece about the tragic life of late Brazilian soccer goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa were based on my idea. Finally, as you can see on the photo (below)—my desk is uniquely decorated with a collection of sports-related items accumulated and obtained over time from various photo shoots, games and events. It is a must-see destination for people who come to the office."
|Modenos, Lisa||Lecturer Advisor for the University Without Walls Program, UMass Amherst|