Stang Story: Susana Montoya Alvis

May 05, 2023 • Meet a Mustang

“I want to be an art teacher because I really like being creative. I like being colorful and being able to show people that you don’t have to be good at art to love it. There are so many different things that art can do, it can be a stress reliever, it’s used in therapy and it can be a cool hobby. I think that’s really important to teach people.

My parents are both from Mexico and my mom recently got her citizenship, so that’s exciting. I came to Morningside because I have two friends that came here and I didn’t really have a college plan. It’s been difficult to some extent because I haven't been able to be with my culture as much as I used to be, being so far away from home. My first language is Spanish, I wasn't able to speak much English. My mom didn’t know English, but she made sure that I learned at a young age so I could help my family who was also moving to America with my mom. I became the family translator at that point, and I was in elementary school.

Eventually, when all of my family made it to Lincoln, Nebraska, we made our own little community. In my schools before coming to Morningside, the minority was the majority, so coming to Morningside was an adjustment for me.

The size of Morningside felt right for me. I’ve never learned in a classroom with 200 people and if I went to a large state university, that would have been my experience. I feel like I wouldn’t connect with faculty in that environment. The faculty at Morningside really do reach out to you, and if you have any questions their doors are always open. It was almost like a family here.”

  • Susana Montoya Alvis, a first-generation immigrant wanting to make an impact through art