Student Star: Angilmarie Rivera Sanchez

‘Speaking up for marginalized communities’: Senior uses research to propel legal career

Name: Angilmarie Rivera Sanchez
Major: Political Science and History
Graduation: Spring 2023
Hometown: Bayamon, Puerto Rico

““The ongoing support of faculty and students helped me reach leadership positions where I prioritize the mission of FSU, particularly the core value of dynamic inclusiveness.””

Fast Facts

  1. Favorite pastime: Intramural volleyball with the Puerto Rican Student Association team
  2. Memorable moment: Going to the Rez with my friends before finals week
  3. FSU Memory: Studied abroad in Croatia this summer
  4. Favorite FSU spot: El Centro, the Hispanic/Latinx Student Union room
  5. Ideal day: Hiking and ending the afternoon in the springs

Senior Angilmarie Rivera Sanchez has always had a passion for helping people.

With ample extracurriculars, leadership opportunities and an acclaimed political science department, Rivera Sanchez found a broader path for her passion at Florida State University. She credits the campus for her connections and experiences.

As a freshman, Rivera Sanchez joined the Puerto Rican Student Association (PRSA), an organization that she said amplifies FSU’s core value of dynamic inclusiveness while also uplifting its members’ voices and identities. Inspired by her experience, Rivera Sanchez became president of the organization and the programming coordinator for the Hispanic/Latinx Student Union.

Rivera Sanchez, who is pursuing a certification in U.S. Intelligence Studies, was chosen to attend FSU’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program (FSU EMHS) 2022 Intelligence & National Security Summit. She sees that as an opportunity to play a role in expanding the diversity and equity of the intelligence community.

“Attending such an influential summit where I will have the opportunity to speak with leaders in both the intelligence and legislative communities ensures that a broad range of communities is considered when making future decisions,” she said. “I envision myself speaking up for marginalized communities and ensuring that no one is negatively targeted due to oppressive mentalities.”

Rivera Sanchez aims to continue inspiring the campus community to embrace differences and help FSU stay on its path toward a more diverse and inclusive future.

In the future, she hopes to pursue a career in law.

What impact do you hope to have on the culture and community at FSU?

I hope to be someone who encourages other people to be proud of their roots no matter what. One of the things that make FSU so incredible is the diversity on campus. However, this often goes unnoticed because people feel afraid of expressing themselves freely sometimes. In the time that I have been at FSU, I have seen how so many people have gone from not really knowing who they are to proudly displaying their identities in a matter of months. With the opportunity I have been given of holding student-leadership positions, I have the resources necessary to reach out to people who may need that little push. I am also very proud of being who I am and will always make sure to show it, and I feel like that inspires other people to do the same. 

In what ways has your service involvement within the FSU and Tallahassee communities influenced the kind of mark you hope to make in your intended field?

Participating in Dance Marathon, fundraising for Ronald McDonald House Charities and volunteering with Letters for Rose means I can give back to the people around me and bridge the gap between communities. My lifelong passion for human rights inspires me to someday play a role in protecting them internationally. I want to leave a mark on the world, and my service involvements taught me to value even the smallest wins. Though I hope to help many people in the future, if I can help even one person, it means I impacted someone’s life.  

What inspired you to pursue a certification in U.S. Intelligence Studies?

As I delved deeper into my political science major, I discovered subfields I had never considered studying. I especially enjoyed public administration, where I had the opportunity to learn from individuals who have been heavily involved in the U.S. government. I learned valuable lessons from these individuals on how I can one day positively impact our country the same way they did. I was especially captivated by the intelligence community’s role in combating terrorism and narcotics. As someone whose family has been greatly affected by addiction, it is my mission to ensure that something is done to protect the nation’s security. By earning this certificate with honors, I not only have the tools necessary to tackle the intelligence field, but also the opportunity to join it right after graduation if I choose to do so. 

What resources at FSU have helped you achieve your research goals?

Participating in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program within the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement during my first year allowed me to work under the mentorship of Nathan Stoltzfus, who would eventually become my thesis director for my Honors in the Major. I also connected with funding opportunities that helped continue my research, one of them being awarded by the Tyler Center for Global Studies as an IDEA Grant. The honors department has also been a great resource in helping me find the tools necessary to complete my study on the White Rose. I particularly found the off-campus library access helpful while I was abroad and unable to go to Strozier or Dirac. There are so many academic sources available to us through libraries – more than we even realize. 

How has your time at FSU allowed you to grow as a leader for the causes you represent?

My time at Florida State University represents a chapter in my life in which I have been figuring out who I am and what my role in society is. I have been exposed to so many different people, views, and environments that have helped shape my understanding of the world around me. The opportunities provided to me by the university have aided in my growth as a leader, boosting my confidence in my abilities and consolidating the belief that being true to myself is the first step on the path to success. Because of the heavy emphasis on student accomplishments, I have always felt like both the faculty and student body at the university are constantly rooting for my success. The ongoing support has helped me reach positions of leadership through which I have always made it a priority to embody the mission of FSU, particularly focusing on the core value of dynamic inclusiveness.