Associate Professor Oswaldo Estrada is no stranger to the classroom. He is a current Faculty Fellow as the recipient of the Chapman Family Teaching Award.
He says that it’s a blend of “preparing a lot” for a class and “being flexible” that allows him to bring his best as an educator. He also enjoys bringing stories to illustrate in class. As the son of Peruvian immigrants, his family had pushed him to more lucrative ideas for professions, but Estrada felt called to life as a humanities scholar, even when he didn’t know all the steps “getting a master’s, or a PhD, having to write a dissertation. But I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
He discusses the books that changed his life. He begins with Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the first book he ever read in English. What attracted him? “The fact that it was about an African-American woman… and [dealt with] issues of otherness, marginality, and empowerment.” Another is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude. “I started reading all of his works, ” I became in love with him,” Estrada said. “I became more interested in literature.”