Office of Alumni Engagement

Gabriella Abrego

My hometown when I was a student was:

Rochester Hills, MI

I graduated from Alma in:


I studied:

Program of Emphasis: Cultural Anthropology and Modern Languages

I currently live in:

Oaxaca City, Mexico

I am now:

…a grassroots community development practitioner (aka international woman of mystery!). These days I am working on a small sustainable housing project in an indigenous community outside of Oaxaca, Mexico. I am supporting an up-and-coming Mexican non-profit organization plan and implementing the reconstruction of adobe houses that fell during the earthquakes that hit in late 2017. I love working alongside community members in the field and have found real impact requires building relationships and strong cultural understanding. I use what I learned in my Anthropology classes at Alma every day.

Since graduating from Alma:

I have been exploring the world and serving those in need. After graduation, I participated two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Pinckney, MI, went on to earn my MA in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in California, served two years in Peace Corps Paraguay as a Community Economic Development volunteer, went back to Detroit for a bit and worked with girls in the city, but then decided to hit the road again and now I’m in Mexico. I’ve bounced around a bit, traveling most of Latin America and a bit in China, always working and studying (and eating good food).

My Alma education:

…taught me that I can do anything and if I need help, all I have to do is ask. My Alma Experience was so personal and tailored to want I wanted from my education. I was able to design my own degree, learn three languages and receive funding the study abroad in Peru and China. I did this all while dancing full time in the Dance Company, DJ-ing at the radio station, participating in two Alternative Spring Breaks and living it up as a Kappa Iota sister. I did so much during my four years and I had all the help and support I needed every step of the way.

My favorite place(s) on campus included:

The Heritage Center, WQAC Radio Station, Any and All Green Space.

My favorite professor(s) included:

Dr. Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund, Carol Fike, Thomas Morris, Bob Rozier.

My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is:

I can’t choose! Honestly, every year was filled with so many laughs, good friends and incredible experiences.

How Alma has helped with my current plan/job/graduate school/etc.:

Alma pushed me take more risks and step up to unique opportunities. I said ‘yes’ to everything that came my way during my undergraduate career, which made be an open, adaptable and adventurous student. It also helped me understand the less is really more. I am so grateful that I went to small Alma because I never would have received the same attention and care at a larger school. I loved the intimate learning environment so much; I attended a graduate school that was half the size – only 800 students.

How I have given back to Alma since graduation

My first thought is that I need to give back more! Since leaving Alma, I have encouraged many to attend and kept in touch with a handful during their Alma experience. I am looking forward to participating more as an active alumni and supporting new Scots!

Advice I would give a new graduate:

Do It All! You have four years at Alma - make the most of them! If something seems interesting to you, try it out and see where that goes. If you need help getting there – ask for help! There will always be someone to help you fill out an application, write a proposal or just give you some advice.

Contact Info