Originally from Bogota, Colombia,
Dr. Amanda Baron brings a different perspective and life experience to
Southeast Community College. She hopes designated months like National Hispanic
Heritage Month help spread cultural awareness.
“Everyone can learn more
about the traditions, culture, scholarship, art, history, and experiences of
individuals who have positively influenced and enriched our nation, and
continue shaping it,” she said. “Recognizing people’s heritage helps us ensure
we are inclusive of all members of our community.”
Baron is the sixth of nine
children in her family. She attended the Teacher’s College at Universidad de
Los Andes where she received a degree in foreign language instruction and a
master’s equivalent in translation. She first came to the United States in an
exchange program between her college and Minnesota State University in Moorhead.
After her second year as a visiting instructor, she came to the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied for her Ph.D. in Spanish, with a
concentration in Latin American Literature.
“While at UNL, I met my
husband, John Fritts, through one of my professors,” she recalled. “At the end
of this month, we will celebrate our 25th anniversary.”
Baron has been at SCC for 27
years. She started as a Spanish instructor, then became the language
coordinator, co-chair of the Humanities program and is now Associate Dean of
Arts & Sciences.
“I have been fortunate to
count on deans who are visionary and supportive of faculty and staff
professional growth,” she said. “In my current job, I work with incredible
faculty members who are innovative, caring, hard-working, and fun to workwith.”
Baron said being away from
family is a great challenge, but dealing with microaggressions is yet another.
In order to counter these challenges, she focuses on civic engagement. She
believes in giving back to the community in which she lives, and volunteers at
organizations such as the Lincoln Arts Council, the Malone Center and Las
Voces. The goal of the latter is to advocate and inspire positive change in the
Latino/Hispanic community of Nebraska.
“The Great Seal of the United
States, adopted in 1776, contains the motto ‘E pluribus unum, which means:Out of Many, One,’ ” she said. “While at the time it reflected a
determination to assemble a single unified nation from a collection of states,
it has also come to symbolize that each heritage is one of many voices in one
When she’s not making a difference in the local
community, Baron enjoys running and spending time with her cat, EdWord.