Mary Elizabeth Cantu ’01

Image of Mary Elizabeth Cantu
Photo by Josh Huskin

Name: Mary Elizabeth Cantu ’01

Current Title/Profession: spare parts founder/director

City: San Antonio, Texas

Major: Museum education (self-designed major)

Additional/Advanced Degrees: MA, art education, University of Texas at Austin

What was your first job after MHC?: Art educator

Favorite class/professor and why: Good question. It was Dr. Debbora Battaglia in the anthropology department. I fell in love with cultural anthropology through her classes. Sometimes topics were challenging, and I felt so comfortable reaching out for help. She was accessible and so easy to connect with. I continue to have a passion for the field, and I thank her for this.

Talents and/or passions discovered at MHC: I realized how much I loved to DJ! I never thought I could be so active and passionate about journalism (coeditor, campus newspaper), sing in the Chorale, or join a Latin dance troupe. And without knowing what crew was, I was asked to try out, and this Texas gal became a coxswain!

What do you value most about your liberal arts education?: I value the ability to explore so many fields and ways of thought, the opportunity to self-design my major, and to be acknowledged as an active member of a community of learners.

Why is a women’s education still relevant today?: Mount Holyoke offered me the opportunity to shape my identity, strengthen my voice, meet amazing women, and be a part of a long tradition of inspiring, fearless, and courageous individuals. This experience is invaluable and timeless. I can’t imagine life without my Mount Holyoke women’s education.

What do you want the world to know about MHC?: Mount Holyoke College is a place to transform yourself and others. It’s a space to feel supported. I carry and use my MHC-ness daily because I’m equipped with the tools to succeed in all facets of my life. I couldn’t have asked for a better education. I am grateful for my MHC friends.

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