Andrea Watson graduated from UIC in 2011 with a B.A. in English. Currently, she is working as a news reporter with The Chicago Defender. Andrea enjoys covering community news and writing about health issues. She also incorporates multimedia into her work whenever possible
I chose UIC because of its academic integrity, diversity of the student population, and its proximity to the city. I also chose NASP because it allowed me to be part of of an often overlooked population of students. NASP has allowed me to build friendships, both academically and professionally, with other members of the organization.
When I first moved to Chicago to begin my studies at UIC, the NASP office was one of the first stops I made. I hoped to connect with other Native American students and Native people in the city. The staff were so welcoming and helped me in many ways. To this day I credit finding my niche in the Chicago Native community to building a strong relationship with NASP."
I graduated from College of Liberal Arts and Science at the University of Illinois - Chicago majoring in biochemistry. Originally my intentions were not go to college right after high school. My plans were to join the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and become an electrician. It was my guidance counselor who chose UIC for me. I do not regret coming to UIC. I made a ton of great friends and a ton of awesome memories. Going to an university in a big city lead a unique experience. It allowed me to explore the city I've always called home in a much deeper level.
NASP, was my home away from home. I was welcomed and included.
I chose UIC because at the time my wife, who is also a UIC Alumni suggested that I go there instead of Northeastern because of its reputation for a high demand by employers for UIC graduates. In addition, I was referred there from INAD at Truman, where I graduated from because of the NASP program to support Native students. I received great attention and care from Patricia Wesaw and Joan Jourdan. I am presently teaching Physical Education and serving as a Consultant on American Indian Studies at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Oak Park, Il. I also teach a course there for teachers entitled "Unlearning Indian Stereotypes". In addition I teach Conversational Spanish at the College of Dupage part time in Glen Ellyn, Il. I will be retiring in June of 2016.
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