Celebrating Rosalía Reyes Simon

Rosalia Reyes Simon

To honor the achievements and contributions of our Humanities Alliance Fellows, this year we are featuring each fellow on our website, introducing them to our CUNY community and the public, and showcasing their accomplishments as fellows. 

Rosalía Reyes Simon (she/her) was a 2021-2023 fellow based at the Guttman Community College while pursuing her Ph.D. in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Rosalía has been part of the organizing committee of the Pulitzer Center Student Reporting Fellowship, where she drew on her journalism experience to mentor a student in developing a multimedia news piece that highlighted an underreported social justice issue. The student documented how immigrant Latinx women were learning to fight for their labor rights as cleaning workers in New York. Rosalía also helped faculty organize readings and lessons with visiting Pulitzer Center journalists and designed a lesson on racial justice and human rights to accompany filmmaker and photographer Eli Hiller’s presentation, who shared his experience covering the mass protests triggered by the murder of George Floyd by police in 2020. Rosalía also supported interactive lessons and community-building programs that fostered reflective discussion around the humanities beyond the classroom. This included Afro-Latinx Heritage Month events such as a bilingual poetry reading. Separately, in a hands-on workshop, each student created a “Cartonera”-style cardboard book in which the overarching theme was the diversity of Latin American cultures. Rosalía also formed part of the Guttman Big Read Series, a project organized by the GCC library director that encouraged community building and critical thinking through guided literary discussions. In 2022, participants read a memoir by Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning, and in 2023 participants read Faces in the Crowd by Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli.

Reflecting on the fellowship, Rosalía says, “The most rewarding experience I had with the HA fellowship was as a journalism mentor to guide the student who won the Pulitzer Center Student Reporting Fellowship, a joint initiative of Guttman Community College with the Pulitzer Center. This project provided an opportunity to explore the role that activism can play within the academic and education fields.”

We celebrate her brilliance and creativity, her tenacity and compassion, and the many ways she has been there for her colleagues during a pandemic and its aftermath. She showed both a willingness to learn and understand the systems and cultures that define these academic spaces and a generosity to contribute her own experiences and interests. 

Thank you, Rosalía!