I am Patrick Duffey, professor of Spanish, and I’m a first-generation college graduate. My mom was a secretary, and my dad worked in building maintenance. Both taught me about working hard, about being kind, and about not being pretentious, but neither went to college, and neither could give me advice about navigating the paths of higher education. At the three large institutions where I eventually earned four degrees, it was sometimes difficult to find good mentors. I chose to teach at Austin College precisely because it valued what I did. Austin College is all about substance over flash, important ideas over mere formalities. Austin College values intellectual rigor, but it does so in a caring atmosphere with lots of thoughtful mentoring, the kind of mentoring I could have used more of when I was an undergraduate. I feel fortunate to have found a home at Austin College for the last 25 years.
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