Annabel Landaverde graduated last spring with the class of 2012, yet she maintains an active presence on campus as the Admission Counselor/Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment. She actively recruits in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Annabel enjoys her new position at Gustavus despite its high learning curve.
When Annabel came to St. Peter she brought with her an appreciation and sensitivity to other cultures partly because she grew up in the extremely diverse city of San Fransisco, Cali.
This rich cultural background influenced her choice of study which was a mixture of Political Science, Peace Studies and LALACS. She has drawn many meaningful connections between these different areas of study. Her passions have manifested themselves in interdisciplinary endeavors focused around social justice within both the Gustavus and St. Peter community.
Annabel’s involvement with the LALACS program with its focus on culture, linguistics, politics and religion really brought her closer to St. Peter through her work with its sister city in Mexico, Petatlán. In the Spanish American Cultures class with Assistant Professor of Spanish and LALACS Angelique Dwyer, Annabel, along with the other students were paired with Spanish-speaking St. Peter families in a sharing of cultures.
Annabel was also the intern for the “Learning to Serve” trip taken to the sister city last year, in which students compiled the stories from the community into a collection to give to their host families in Petatlán.
This type of community interaction offered by the LALACS program has been important to Annabel in her search for vocation. The opportunity to strengthen the connection between these two distant communities has led her to consider future career choices such as working in international relations, study abroad counseling or immigration and civil rights law.
One person who has played a significant role in Annabel’s experience at Gustavus as an instructor, friend, mentor and colleague is Professor Dwyer. They worked together planning Hispanic and Latino cultural events along with the spring break trip to Petatlán, and Dwyer also assisted her in preparing for her job search with her curriculum vitae and practicing mock interviews. Annabel’s work with improving Gustavus community outreach programs also stood out to Dwyer.
“She provided a lot of insight to Language Buddies and other community-based learning organizations on campus,” Dwyer said.
An event the two recently worked on was the Workshop and Teach-in on the Femicides in Mexico, Guatemala, and El
Salvador hosted by the Zetas. The teach-in focused on Annabel’s thesis topic of femicides occurring in these countries, “where women are raped, mutilated and then discarded.” Those in attendance painted pink crosses in honor of femicide victims to line the walk to the Chapel for the Day of the Dead processional.
Even after graduation, Annabel has continued to work with Dwyer to publish her work on femicides and other research she has done. In fact, the two recently submitted a panel proposal to present at a National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies (NACCS) event in San Antonio, Texas and are waiting for reply.
Annabel’s friends can attest to her ongoing commitment to social justice. Junior Valentina Muraleedharan describes the
development of their friendship, which began when they attended the White Privilege Conference in spring of 2011. Their friendship continued to grow out of involvement in Diversity Center events and organizations. Muraleedharan was especially impressed by Annabel’s ability to live her calling to social justice.
“She always carries her identity in her daily life, and in so doing I feel she’s more aware of her day to day surroundings,” Muraleedharan said.
Annabel was an important source of support to her this summer as well. Last summer they both stayed on campus—working together in Admissions—and when Muraleedharan began to feel distant from her family, Annabel was there to support her.
“She’s a little person, but she stands really, really tall,” Muraleedharan said. “Her calmness and thoughtfulness causes me to reflect on myself as well.”
Dwyer agreed that Annabel’s sense of passionate investment, dependability and cheerfulness are essential character traits that allow her to attain her goals and achieve both academic success and effective community outreach.
Annabel, herself, believes that the Diversity Center was central to her Gustavus experience and dedication to social justice within the community.
“The people in that center really kept me grounded and fighting for social justice,” she said.
Annabel remains rooted in her commitment. As the Counselor of Multicultural Recruitment, Annabel is able to offer an opportunity to those who deserve higher education and encourage students to apply to the College in order to receive a higher standard of education and excel despite socioeconomic obstacles they may have faced. Annabel is looks forward to a future continuing to fight for social justice and equal opportunity.