Valerie Umaña-Anderson

School of Education

Photo of Valerie Umana-AndersonSecondary Education, B.S.Ed. major

Aspiring teacher from Honduras

"When I looked up the program on the website, I got so excited and kind of overwhelmed because it was exactly what I've been dreaming of for years." Valerie will be beginning her sophomore year at the School of Education this fall.

Despite being born and raised in Honduras, Valerie has a Pittsburgh connection. Her mother Lisa is originally from Pittsburgh and attended Penn State before she settled in Honduras as a missionary. Valerie has also spent many summers in Pittsburgh's North Hills with her family friends.

The private, bilingual Christian school she attended in Tegucigalpa, the country's capital, granted her both a Honduran and American diploma. She attended the small school from Pre-K to 12th grade.

"I feel very much at home at Duquesne. It's a good size. I've absolutely loved, loved my UCOR Theology class. I'm studying to be a social studies teacher but I would personally love to become a Bible teacher. The history of the Bible is something that gets me really excited." Valerie has also begun to get involved with the student organization Crossroads Christian Fellowship. "I've met lots of good friends through that."

"My roommate is originally from the Philippines but is an American citizen so we both have the kind of weird balance where we feel like we're part of another country, but we're also technically Americans." Her first semester "felt like a dream" but she experienced more culture shock at the start of the spring semester after she was back home for the holidays.

After the spring semester Valerie participated in the School of Education's first Maymester Finland experience. She then travelled home to Honduras for her brother Victor's high school graduation. He will start at Duquesne as a business student this fall. Valerie will also spend a month this summer assisting her mother with her work in Costa Rica.