Alumni Interviews — Andrew Salinas (’16)

With each year that passes there are more and more BIC graduates doing great work all over the world. Each year we publish brief Alumni Updates where our alumni can tell us some about their post-BIC lives. In addition to these annual updates, we post interviews with our alumni. Today we are excited to post an interview with Andrew Salinas (’16). We hope you enjoy, and if you are interested in being interviewed for a future blog post, email us at BIC@baylor.edu.

What year did you graduate from Baylor? What did you study?

I graduated in 2016 with a major in History and a minor in Rhetoric and Argumentation.

Tell us some about your career and journey since graduating from Baylor.

Immediately after graduation I began working as a congressional intern with my local Representative in Houston, TX. In addition to acting as a case worker for constituent issues in the district, I also attended many community events throughout the City on the Representative’s behalf and occasionally as an aide when they attended the event itself. Simultaneously, I began working with a local educational non-profit as a Community Engagement Manager through the Americorps program. The non-profit served Houston’s at-risk youth and operated a mentorship program for first generation college students.

After 8 months in Houston I began law school at the Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, VA. In law school I actively competed in and coached teams for national moot court competitions. During my second year I was a student attorney for the Immigrant Rights Clinic, where a fellow student attorney and I litigated and won asylum for a Central American domestic violence victim and her two daughters (learn more). We also had the chance to file legal briefs before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a stateless Ethiopian client who had been fighting for legal status for over two decades.

During my first-year summer in Washington, D.C. I worked as a law clerk for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund where I had a hand in drafting legal arguments for various civil rights litigations throughout the country. At Ayuda, a non-profit based in the D.C.–Maryland–Virginia locale, I drafted various motions and legal memoranda in service to Central American clients seeking asylum here in the U.S.

For my second-year summer I was a law fellow at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. There, in addition to drafting various motions on criminal cases, I served as a second seat assistant on a three week felony Assault in the Second-Degree trial that resulted in a conviction. Ultimately, I accepted a position as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, NY where I currently work and reside.

How has your BIC education influenced your life and/or work since leaving Baylor?

My BIC education has had a profound effect on my life. Having the opportunity to engage with so many facets of the humanities, literature, history, and philosophy engendered a deeper appreciation for our place in this era of history.

Do you have any favorite memories from your time in BIC?

Probably the time we went on the field trip to a mosque, synagogue, and a Japanese garden in Dallas. If I remember right, I almost missed the bus and had to change clothes and sprint from out of bed from Alexander to Moody Library in five minutes. Fun times!

Is there something you learned in BIC that still sticks with you today?

That the unexamined life is not worth living. Maybe it is because that phrase is one of the first things I read in BIC that it comes so quickly and repeatedly to mind. What Socrates meant by that phrase is that a life spent not thinking about the capital “T” Truth and not questioning basic societal presumptions is wasted, because it is a life lacking in basic intellectual rigor that ultimately informs the soul. Personally, I would expand that to also mean that life should be spent doing things worth being examined by others. That doesn’t mean you should spend your time and energy clout-chasing or becoming the next big Tik-Tok star – though if it pays these student loans off quicker then more power to you. What I do mean by that is that you should be conscientious of what type of life you’re living. Even if the historians of the future forget our names when writing on our times, you should strive to live a life that would make your children and grandchildren proud of the type of person you are.

Do you have any advice for current BIC students?

Enjoy your BIC education while you can. I know not everything you’re assigned to read or study will particularly interest you, but in the real world it is rare to find other people that have ever heard of the philosophers and histories that you learn in BIC, let alone those who would appreciate the richness of that knowledge and its implications.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I haven’t been back to Waco in years, but if Dichotomy is still open, make sure you patronize it as much as you can. From Washington, D.C. to San Francisco to New York City, in my opinion, Dichotomy still makes the best drinks of any place I’ve been to. Cheers.

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