Lily Zander

Credentials: Undergraduate Spanish Major


Clubs / Activities:

  • Sustainability Co-Chair for Student Housing
  • Badger Volunteers
  • Transcend UW
  • Engineers for a Sustainable World
  • The River Food Pantry

In addition, I’m very proud, thankful, and lucky to have been a member of the Atucha lab during the majority of my time at UW. Not only was I able to apply my Spanish skills while gaining research experience in agriculture and the plant sciences, but was integrated into an international group of researchers that treated me like family (gracias y viva Chile). The same can be said about my international research internship in (virtual) Uruguay, which explored the impacts of COVID-19 on the resiliency of global and local food systems. I look forward to seeing Uruguay in-person one day!

Favorite Class

A tough tie between LitTrans 226 and Spanish 468. The former being Introduction to Luso-Afro-Brazilian Literature, which I took as a Com-B course during my first semester. This class really challenged the way I thought about the natural and built environment, and inspired my continued interest in the complex connections between culture, environment, and language. The latter was Documenting Spanish America, a special topics course on Latin American documentary film-making that taught me a lot about Latin American issues in an engaging way while really challenging me in a subject (film) that at times felt completely out of my element.


Badger men’s hockey games. What I wouldn’t give to show up an hour early for games to sit by the glass and sing varsity with my friends one more time!

The Future?

After graduation, I will be continuing on as a geospatial engineer for a private company that is bridging the digital divide through internet infrastructure planning in rural America and Canada. However, I have an active and ongoing application with Peace Corps despite the pandemic and if selected to serve, I would be placed in the Dominican Republic as a Community Economic Development Facilitator. Beyond that, I hope to return to academia one day to pursue my intersectional interests in agriculture, environmental sustainability, geography, and Latin American culture.

Words of Wisdom

There are so many ways to get involved on campus, but I urge all students to find ways they can contribute to their local or global community outside of academia. These experiences were undoubtedly the most impactful on not only my personal growth and chosen career path, but also my professional skills and overall knowledge. I’d also like to give a huge thank you to all my professors and TAs in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese who encouraged and inspired me on my journey, specifically Israel Pechstein, Kata Beilin, and my professors abroad who treated the entire 2019 cohort like family.