Introducing Amy

by Teresa Lynch

The semester is slipping away quickly.  Before too much more time passed, we wanted to “introduce” the newest member of the Telecom faculty in a more personal way.  If you’ve been around the Radio-Television building, chances are you’ve seen Amy Gonzales around even if you haven’t gotten a chance to speak to her yet.  As a brand new faculty member, Amy has her hands full not only adjusting to life in a new town, but also settling in to the demands of a new job.  In addition to research projects on how communication technology can enhance well-being, individual identity, and social support, Amy is also teaching two undergraduate courses this fall, T195 (Topical Seminar in Telecom: Social Media) and T205 (Intro to Media and Society).  The schedule is keeping her busy, but happily so.

Amy in her office next to a picture of her aunt.

Amy is from Delano – a city in south central California that began as a small railroad town.  Delano is somewhat overshadowed by Bakersfield, a city that Amy acknowledges is bigger, but doesn’t have the charm and character of the heavily multicultural Delano. Furthermore, Delano has the honor of having served as the starting point for the National Farm Workers Association’s march to Sacremento led by César Chávez to protest unfair wages for local farmer workers. Amy’s grandfather started a clothing store that catered primarily to the farming population of the area.  The business was taken over by her parents, who still work and reside in the area, which is still heavily agriculture oriented.

As for Amy, her post-high school move was to the not-terribly-far-away University of California – San Diego.  After completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked multiple jobs concurrently, as a medical translator for local farm workers, a salesperson at the GAP, and perhaps most importantly as a substitute teacher.  It was the job as a substitute teacher that made Amy realize that she enjoyed teaching, but wanted to work with students “who wouldn’t take their shoes off in the middle of class and sleep.”  When I asked whether IU’s undergraduates were fulfilling this stipulation, she laughed and assured me she was.

Amy’s academic career has taken her all over the United States.  She completed her M.A. at the University of Texas in Austin, her Ph.D. at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where she met her wife, and a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia before settling here in Bloomington.  And so far she and her wife, a new faculty member with joint appointment in Sociology and Gender Studies departments, have thoroughly enjoyed Bloomington.  Amy says it reminds her quite a bit of Ithaca, but with far less hills.  It’s been a fun town to explore and a great place for the outdoor activities she loves.  Particularly, she’s excited about revisiting Brown County for the fall foliage.

I found that as we had chatted, I had without realizing answered as many questions about myself and my experience in the department as I had asked of my interviewee.  That she had slipped those questions in so easily speaks to Amy’s charismatic quality and open, friendliness.  I would encourage you all to introduce yourself to her and welcome her as our newest addition.

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