A law professor and litigator with ten years' experience, Emily Sanchez Salcedo is earning an SJD so that she may become a better teacher for her students at De La Salle University in Manila.
Why Indiana University? "I watched Breaking Away! [a popular movie about IU's famed Little 500 bicycle race]. More seriously, I was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, and IU's offer of admission coupled with generous financial assistance was a once in a lifetime opportunity I couldn't resist.
"I hadn't been to Bloomington before I started school, but I loved it immediately. It's a beautiful place, and the people are warm and friendly. The resources that I can access through the IU libraries are overwhelming. Even rare books on early Philippine history that I can hardly find in Manila are available here."
An Outstanding Place to Build Expertise. "I am studying women's rights. In the Philippines, women are still expected to be submissive, to stay home and prioritize the family. Even if a woman has an outstanding career, she is not considered successful unless she can prove to be a good mother as well. I think we still have a long way to go.
"Professor Susan Williams' courses in constitutional law have been very helpful. Both the U.S. and the Philippines have similar constitutional patterns, and through her I have come to understand the underlying philosophical principles of the Bill of Rights much more clearly and intensely. She is also an advocate for gender equality, so her insights have really guided me in my research.
"Professor Dawn Johnsen is also excellent. Her seminar on gender and sexuality is outstanding. I am grateful for the chance to have close relationships with legal luminaries in the faculty and to share in their knowledge and wisdom."
The Bloomington Community. "I have more international friends than ever because of my time in Bloomington. It's so enriching to be with legal experts from all over the world. I now have a greater understanding of the status of women in other countries, such as Azerbaijan, for instance. I wouldn't have that if I stayed home."
On Getting out of the Aquarium. "I was satisfied with my small aquarium in Manila. I was complacent with my structured legal practice and routine academic duties. Coming here has taught me how important it is to swim in untested waters. If you are considering a graduate law degree in the U.S., you have to be willing to dive in. And you have to ask yourself, 'Am I ready to touch the world?'"
The Future. "My SJD will enable me to pursue scholarly research and I hope to continue serving in the academe. The Philippines has a lot of problems - poverty, corruption, political unrest - but when I see the sparkle in my students' eyes, I know there's hope for our country."