By Jasmine M. Ellis

For doctoral student Lillian E. Agosto Maldonado, the opportunity to study at Howard University adds to her impressive accomplishments. 

The founder and editor of Mundos Paralelos, a digital magazine that portrays Puerto Rican identity worldwide, is in Howard’s Communication, Culture, and Media Studies PhD program. In addition to her magazine’s exploration of Puerto Rican identity, some of Agosto’s career highlights include teaching journalism courses at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and writing for more than 15 media outlets as a multimedia journalist and freelance journalist.

“I am studying communications at Howard specifically to enrich my potential as a researcher in the industry and academia,” says Agosto. “Considering the diverse opportunities to investigate this topic at Howard, I am exploring the opportunity to expand my academic horizons with this degree by researching Puerto Rican diaspora identity representations in media and cultural spaces.”

In an interview with The Sway, Agosto shares what inspired her professional endeavors and advises those interested in a similar career path. This article has been condensed and edited for clarity. 

The Sway: Why did you decide to attend Howard?

Lillian E. Agosto Maldonado: I decided to attend Howard because it will offer me a unique context based on diversity and social justice in my career as a scholar and journalist.

TS: You’re an award-winning journalist, digital strategist, and academic. Who or what inspired you to pursue these professions?

LA: My major inspiration is to tell stories from people who regularly aren’t exposed to the media’s attention. Since childhood, I have explored how to combine writing, informing, and teaching, considering these actions as powerful tools to tell stories and understand historical contexts.

TS: How will your time at Howard help you advance in your career?

LA: Howard will help me to explore the communication industry with a critical lens. The opportunity to receive and study an education based on social justice will offer me a unique experience to understand the world from other perspectives based on historical and cultural contexts.

TS: What advice can you share with students interested in pursuing a similar career path? 

LA: Read and travel the most you can. Respect differences and explore diverse cultures.

For more information on Agosto, check out her recent interview with the publication Shoutout LA.