(Photo by Manny Pandya)
Meet our most recent #CMugshot, Andrea Flores! Andrea is a doctoral student researching how Latinx populations in the United States use social media to organize politically and socially.
Prior to UT, she worked in visual effects and animation at Disney, WB Animation and Digital Domain. She’s a board member of Techquería, a national non-profit organization that works to increase the visibility of Latinx in tech, and helped organize the first Startup Weekend: Latinx in Tech Edition.
What’s one thing you’ve been inspired by lately?
I’m insanely inspired by my Techquería Slack community and the discussions I have with other board members. We’re focused on creating meaningful partnerships for our members and our Latinx community overall: whether that’s local Latinx vendors to provide food at our meetups or highlighting Latinx talent at major tech companies, our goal is to show that we’re here and doing some really awesome things.
It’s exciting to be at a point in my life where I have a space where other people look like me. I’ve found a community finally. In the Slack community, there’s somebody there all the time who gets it. It’s helpful for people younger than me who can grow up with this and for the people who are older who finally have it. We want everybody at the table.
What’s one way you feel like you’re weird and how does that inspire you?
I have an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture. I’ve been surprised with how much I can apply this knowledge to my research. With everything you’re taking in, you never know what’s going to connect back to your work.
Where do you go to get inspired?
My grandparents’ house is my place, my safe place, it’s where everybody gathers. It’s community and warmth and home.
When I’m traveling, it’s bookstores and museums. I have to leave extra room in my suitcase when I go on trips because I always come back with five more books!