Get to know Ana Teresa Galizes: Alumna to Faculty member
When Ana Teresa Galizes first met a recruiter from Peace College, she didn’t know it would lead to an unforgettable undergraduate experience and an eventual teaching opportunity at William Peace University.
After high school, Ana Teresa enrolled in classes at Wake Technical Community College, but soon realized she wanted more personalized support and connection. A chance meeting with a recruiter from Peace College and a subsequent phone call where the recruiter remembered Ana Teresa’s voice solidified her decision to transfer.
“I was totally blown away,” she said. “I knew that was where I would go next.”
Majoring in Communications, Ana Teresa was in the final graduating class of Peace College, when it was still an all women’s school. Now a decade and a masters degree later, Ana Teresa is teaching art and communication classes at WPU, and seeing the same level of intimate community now as when she was a student.
“The community aspect of WPU is what makes it so special,” Ana Teresa said, adding, “I’ve seen how cared about one feels as a student has persisted over the years and many changes since I was here.”
She credits some of her approach to teaching to the world that awaited her after graduating.
“I came out of school into a depressed economy, and, because of that experience, I feel like I have a lot of compassion for what our students are going through right now with the pandemic and economic situation,” she said.
“I feel like I can share my tools for experience dealing with that situation.”
One of her main pieces of advice to students is to follow their interests and take advantage of the myriad opportunities available at WPU. As a student, Ana Teresa participated in the Campus Activities Board, wrote for The Peace Times and Prism Literary Magazine, and was part of a group of students who attended the Full Frame Film Festival in Durham with Professor Roger Christman.
Beyond the extracurricular activities, she also recommends students use their time as undergraduates to develop systems and find their best way of working.
“I always tell my students to practice adulthood now so you’re better prepared for the workforce and the real world,” she said.
Ana Teresa has taken much of her own teaching style and the advice she gives from the professors who taught her, adjusting her teaching plans each year after seeing how students respond to the curriculum.
“I give the students broad assignments, because the challenge is the problem-solving aspect of it that’s most important,” she said. “Professor Christman did the same when I was a student, and I try to take that experience and apply it in my classes.”
Through her work, Ana Teresa hopes to continue the tradition of the same friendly and welcoming environment that brought her to Peace in the beginning.