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Manuel Heredia-Santoyo ’14: “What if?” – an Unexpected Journey

By Salote Tenisi '15 on February 24, 2014

Art and art history with an emphasis in architecture

Women’s studies

Why did you choose Colgate?
I was a member of Summer Search, and I was advised to apply to Colgate. The deadline to apply for Colgate had passed, but I was urged to contact Dean Scott Brown to ask for an extension. I really didn’t want to, but all I remember was this gut feeling of “What if?” The next day, I contacted him thinking I’d be shot down, but I was surprised when he agreed to let me do it. I didn’t want to fill out my application to Colgate – but then I got that “What if” feeling again. I finished my application and sent it away, not thinking much about it. Then the acceptance letters started to come in, and I had completely forgotten that I applied to Colgate. One day, I got a call from FedEx telling me that they had a package from Colgate University. I didn’t want to go get the package because it was a lot of work to get to the post office – but then I started thinking “What if?” The rest is history.

How did you choose your major and minor?
I wanted to be an architect ever since I was a little kid. I loved drawing, playing with LEGO bricks, and math. I found out that architecture incorporated all those things. I knew I wanted to go into architecture for graduate school. So, Art and art history was the best way to go about that.

I became interested in Women’s studies because of an introductory course in the department. I always held feminist ideals before Colgate; I just didn’t know that I was a feminist per se. For some time, I have been interested in the idea of masculinity in the Mexican community, and how dualistic my identity is because of that. Being a feminist who was raised by a single mother, I have had to reflect on the idea of machismo within the Mexican community. I had the opportunity in Denmark to compare machismo in both Mexican culture and Scandinavian culture.

What opportunities has Colgate provided you?
I have traveled abroad to Denmark, Manchester, and the Dominican Republic. Studying abroad makes all the difference in the Colgate experience, having those little breaks allow you to get outside of the Colgate bubble.

I have also been given the opportunity to be an RAC for the Summer Institute for a second year. My experience at Colgate has made me really want to be an RAC. My biggest goal of becoming an RAC is getting incoming students to the point where I am. I was miserable my first two years here, but I eventually became more involved on campus and studied abroad. I was able to expand my circle of friends.

Is there anything else you would like to say?
Special shout-out to my Colgate mamas – Professor Julien and Professor Rugg. Professors like them have kept me at Colgate. Thank you.


  • Jamie Bergeron said:

    Manuel is one of my favorite people! Thanks for sharing your journey with us on the blog!

  • Evan Chartier said:

    Great to read this article about a fantastic guy! Very glad to finally have a class with him this semester.

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