Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2017 Cesar A. Cruz Benítez. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies Department, Linguistics Department

First Advisor

Edwin Mayorga

Second Advisor

Jamie A. Thomas


Higher education is a white dominated field and as such people of color are underrepresented in the field. This paper examines the journey of a student affairs professional of color to higher education and the field of student affairs from high school through to the present day. In this exploration structures and obstacles that arise in the path that present challenges are discussed. The paper uses lenses that touch on aspects of language and identity to interrogate those challenges. The motivation for writing this paper is so that it may help other people of color in their journey either in higher education or any field where they may be only one of a few. Although it is a difficult road it is worth it and one can impact change.Issues of bilingualism, translanguaging, race, White Privilege, class, and immigrant experience arise in this paper.