Shannon K. Portillo Shannon K. Portillo

How I became interested in my area of study/research/discipline:
I was lucky enough to have a professor show interest and help introduce me to the field of study that I am in now. Professor John Nalbandian made a special effort to recruit me to the Public Administration program. He sent me a scholarly article that he had written to introduce me to the field. When I expressed interest in the article, John took time to sit down with me to discuss studying Public Administration.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment is most meaningful to me:
The achievement that I am most proud of is being a member of the Deanís Scholars Program at KU. When I was admitted, the Deanís Scholars Program identified minority students interested and qualified for graduate school and spent two years preparing them. While a student in the program I had the opportunity to have class with a number of other wonderful students and really discuss issues that were of great relevance and importance to me. Later as a graduate student I had to opportunity to serve as a Program Assistant and continue to contribute to a goal of diversifying the professoriate that I feel is crucial to the future of academia. A number of the skills use to succeed now I acquired from that opportunity and working with Nicolas Shump who continues to be an important friend and mentor.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:
There is no way to choose only one person who has been influential in my life, but it is easy to choose two. My parents provided me with a wonderful model of success and support to achieve it. My mother is a wonderful example of success. She worked hard to achieve her high levels of education and throughout my life has been a dedicated professional committed to career success. While my mother demonstrated how to work hard and achieve professionally my father stayed at home and cultivated a supportive environment for myself and my brother. Both of my parents have always had high expectations for me, but they have in turn been highly supportive and provided me with everything I need to achieve success.

Most favorite/least favorite memory as a student:
After my first year of undergrad at KU I studied abroad in England. While this experience had a number of wonderful aspects, the most significant was meeting my future husband, a fellow KU student.

A favorite quote or saying:
We must learn to live together as brothers or parish together as fools
– Martin Luther King Jr.

This quote is an important lesson for us to understand as our communities become more diverse and our society more global.

My hopes for the world:
My hope is that the world will one day be a tolerant place. That we can value differences rather than be intimidated by them.