Interview with Education PhD Candidate and Homerton Changemaker Alumn Adriana De Persia Colón

“I’m a Changemaker, I’m here to pursue my vision, my project, to be unique, to be me.”

By Jane Mumford 2min read


We got the chance to interview Adriana De Persia Colón, Homerton Changemaker alumna and PhD candidate. She is doing her PhD in Education and provides a graduate perspective to the program’s board of directors. She told us about how her experiences with Homerton Changemakers energized her and emboldened her to pursue her vision for her PhD dissertation which is a creative project that brings multiple genres together through the lens of personal narrative. 


Tell us about your PhD dissertation…

My dissertation is a memoir/autobiography where I bring together children’s and young adult literature, culture, and media, Puerto Rican Studies, and creative writing to talk about the last years of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st century.

I decided to undertake a creative project because I am Puerto Rican and Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States and from the onset, I wanted to take control of my own narrative since it all comes down to creativity and the imagination. Moreover, the combination of Cambridge not funding my studies and my PhD being shaped by the covid-19 global pandemic further led me to focus on my life and Puerto Rico, so crafting this creative nonfiction dissertation seemed like the best way to bring it all together.

My project has allowed me to read across many sources, fields, and subjects. I like to read outside of what I’m expected to do; I don’t like to read just one type of scholarship because I lose interest, plus it is always deeply gratifying learning from multiple perspectives, so it’s been fun to jump around and craft a project that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Although I place it within the memoir/autobiography genre to simplify explanations, I prefer saying it contains glimpses of the personal while not really being any one genre. I allowed myself to move multidirectionally as my ideas and inquiries shifted and morphed. It is a fragmented account of some happenings of the 20th and 21st centuries, containing more questions than it does answers. Maybe I'll publish it one day! 


How has Homerton Changemakers influenced you in this project? 

Homerton Changemakers was key in my first year, as I wanted to live the idea of being at an elite institution and feel like I was immediately making grand contributions. So, when I was approached to join, it felt like the right booster. Being an Ambassador emboldened me to continue my project. “I’m a Changemaker, I’m here to pursue my vision, my project, to be unique, to be me.” This energy allowed me to have a strong second year, a bold third year, and will keep me going through the end of my PhD and long after I’m done.