Full name: Merisenda Alatorre
Degree/Graduating Year: Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education, 2015
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Position on HAEd: Director of Communications and Marketing
Current role or job: Project Facilitator at the Clark County School District. I develop professional development programs and activities.
3 Fun Facts: I love to crochet. I’m obsessed with unicorns. I believe in magic.
WHY DID YOU JOIN HAED?
I was thinking back to my time at HGSE and how much I enjoyed being surrounded by some of the most amazing people I had ever met. I found that it became difficult to stay in touch once we all graduated and went back to our busy lives. I found HAEd to be a great way to connect with other Harvard Alums who are passionate about making a difference in education.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE THROUGH HAED?
As the Director of Communications and Marketing, I am looking forward to coming up with creative ways to showcase what we're doing. I hope to connect with other awesome alums and highlight their stories.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN EDUCATION?
While I was completing my undergrad degree, I volunteered at local high schools as a mentor and digital storytelling instructor. I went to school to study journalism, but I found I was more passionate about working with young people and empowering them to tell their stories. So, in my senior year, I applied to Teach for America. I was placed in the Bay Area and taught elementary school for three years. I was really interested in utilizing media and technology to enhance education, which is what led me to pursue the Technology, Innovation and Education (TIE) program at Harvard, and ultimately other educational opportunities outside of the classroom.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT INSPIRES YOU?
I am continually impressed by the stories I read about young people changing the world and challenging the status quo. Everything from this new generation overthrowing gender norms to youth activists making a difference in their communities. Whenever I find myself feeling disillusioned with the current state of affairs, I remember that there are some awesome young people who care about making the world a better place.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE YOU REMEMBER FROM YOUR TIME AT HARVARD?
It's so hard to pick just one! If I had to choose though, I'd say Karen Brennan's T550: Designing for Learning by Creating course. Even though it was a large class, it felt really intimate. It was such a blast and very hands-on. One particular activity I remember is everyone being given a set of legos and instructed to create a duck, and just how vastly different everyone's duck looked. It was a really neat way to illustrate how individual and unique everyone's approaches to learning are.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER HARVARD ALUMNI?
I would encourage you to find ways to get involved and stay connected with other alumni, whether it's within your local community or via social media. There are so many people with a wealth of experience and knowledge who can help you out, and vice versa.