By Samantha Carvallo

Something about me that is kind of shocking to most people is my origin and ethnicity. It is my favorite thing to tell people simply because I love their reactions and sudden interest. Before I get into that, let me introduce myself. 

My name is Samantha Carvallo and I am a senior graphic design major and mass communications minor here at Piedmont University. I came to Piedmont as a recruited cross country runner and had an interest in athletic training. My science skills, however, were pretty subpar and I did not do so well my first semester here. My art skills have been around since I was little but I always thought of them as a back-up plan. I never thought I could make a career out of it until I discovered my interest in graphic design. I changed my major the following semester and felt like I found my place. Last year, I decided to take my graphic design experience a little further by becoming the publications designer for The Roar and made so many new friends. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to minor in mass communications to pursue a career in design editing. 

How did I end up in Georgia to begin with? Well, I was actually born in Talca, Chile along with my older sister (yes I do speak spanish). When I turned two years old, my family and I moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia which is where my younger brother was born. We moved down to Georgia not long after because my father had gotten a teaching position at the University of Georgia as a spanish professor. I come across as fully white because of my skin color but that is not the case. I am mixed. My mom is from Lafayette, Indiana and met my dad while they were getting their master’s degrees at Ohio State University. My dad is the one who encouraged my mom to go to his hometown (Talca) to meet his family and learn about the culture. She became fluent in spanish not long after she moved with my dad and they got married not long after. 

Whenever I ask about why we left Chile, I am always told that it was so my siblings and I could have a better life and work for things that not every chilean can have. I am thankful and so happy to be here. It is crazy to think about how a simple decision affected my whole life up to this point, but I will never forget where I am from. 

I graduate next spring and it sends chills down my spine even writing this because I have no clue what my capstone is going to be on. I haven’t determined if these are excited chills or anxious chills but I know that I will make it out okay. Piedmont will always have a place in my heart. 

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