A tremendous experience

“I've thoroughly enjoyed teaching these students. It's really just a tremendous experience.”

“Singular.” “Unusual.” “Dedicated.” “Self-aware.”

That’s how David Hernández describes Mount Holyoke students — and why he says, “I've thoroughly enjoyed teaching them.”  

“They want to be challenged,” he says. “Because of the diversity of the College, they are white and non-white, domestic and international. They are from multiple class backgrounds. It's really just a tremendous experience to teach them.” 

Hernández studies immigration enforcement, specifically immigrant detention, which is how immigrants are confined pursuant to deportation. He’s taken classes to prisons to visit detainees — and he and a colleague and students published an article about the experience. 

He worked closely with students when he directed the SAW (Speaking, Arguing and Writing) Center, overseeing them as they offered peer-to-peer guidance. “It’s a tremendous resource on campus — and it even continued during the COVID crisis last spring,” he says. “It is open remotely this fall. A lot of students and faculty were concerned about that and we’re all glad that the College is prioritizing it.”

In his new role as faculty director of the Community-based Learning program, operating remotely this year, Hernández guides the very important relationship that Mount Holyoke students have with the local communities, including Springfield and Holyoke. 

“I am working with faculty and assessing what they need for their classrooms and then providing them with a CBL mentor for their class, to remotely connect students to the community.”