Maria Dominguez was born in Mexico, moving to the United States when she was just five years old – a decision her parents made to allow for better educational opportunities for Maria and her six siblings. She has lived in Nashua and gotten to know all that the city has to offer – including Rivier, where she transferred to during the spring semester of her freshman year at the recommendation of her two sisters, both of whom attended Rivier and loved the community and atmosphere.
Although Maria doesn’t live on campus, she gets involved in the Rivier community by volunteering as a history tutor. After graduation, she plans on traveling to a small down in Honduras to teach at a school for one month. “It will be a great experience because it will help me better myself not only as a person, but as a professional by becoming aware of what is outside of American borders,” she says.
Among many lifelong Rivier memories, Maria says that being chosen to speak at a recent New Hampshire gubernatorial debate on campus is her favorite.
“I remember telling my professor, Dr. Menke, that there was absolutely no way I could speak in front of such important people, but he told me that if he knew I would not be able to do this, he would have never chosen me for the job,” says Maria. “Those were probably the best motivational words that a professor has given me, because it truly showed me that he believes in me, and he knows I am capable of achieving something great, even if I may find that I doubt myself.”
“Maria represents one of Rivier’s great success stories,” says Dr. Martin Menke, professor and director of Rivier’s Social Studies program. “She came to Rivier not quite sure of her skills, but responded to the University’s small classes, frequent faculty contact and mentoring by peers and faculty alike with great dedication.”
What Maria values most about her experience at Rivier are the professors. “To know that [the professors] are willing to set everything aside to provide that extra attention if I need help demonstrates not only the quality of the University, but how much Rivier and its professors care about me, my education, and my future.”