Communication student Andrea Jimenez-Flores selected for College of Humanities Outstanding Senior Award
Communication student Andrea Jimenez-Flores is this year's recipient of the College of Humanities Outstanding Senior Award, which acknowledges accomplishments in the areas of scholarship, research, campus and civic engagement, and leadership. Her work on campus and in the community includes joining the First Year Service Corps through the Bennion Center, serving as the Student Director of the Road Home's Book Club, and working with the nonprofit Comunidades Unidas. Her passion for social justice and public service led to her pursuit of these opportunities and several other internships, the most notable being her time as an intern for Utah State Senator Luz Escamilla and a summer internship with the Ibarra Strategy Group in Washington D.C.
As a first-generation college student and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (D.A.C.A.) recipient, Jimenez-Flores has faced several obstacles inher pursuit of higher education. However, her drive to help others in situations similar to her own, as well as her resilience and dedication to education, led her to the University of Utah and a major in Communication Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. "My parents sacrificed their entire lives for me and are my main inspirations and primary source of motivation," Jimenez-Flores said.
Communication Studies stood out to Jimenez-Flores as it allowed her to explore social justice theory and improve her speaking and writing skills. During her time in the department, she received several scholarships and awards. Most notably, she was recently awarded the Steffensen Cannon Scholarship. In her Communication courses, she was able to explore her areas of interest, learning about media law and the importance of freedom of speech, while also highlighting her creativity and analytical skills, including centering one of her assignments on Beyoncè's Lemonade and discussing it through the lenses of race and gender.
After graduation, Jimenez-Flores will continue to work with the Communidades Unidas organization as part of their COVID-19 Response team, which will continue through the summer. Further down the road, she will be pursuing a Congressional Hispanic Caucus' Public Policy Fellowship and will soon begin applying to law school. Her goal is to become a civil rights and immigration attorney. "I plan to further my public service by using my experience as an attorney to work on public policy issues to strengthen my community, regardless of immigration status," Jimenez-Flores said, "whether that be working with a legal organization focused on protecting rights and implementing beneficial policy or one day running for public office to obtain more Latinx visibility and political representation."