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On the Move: Student Spotlight on Antonio Chaurand

Rebecca McDermott
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts

Antonio Chaurand

Antonio Chaurand dances at a university Cinco de Mayo event.

A Mount man on the move, graduating senior Antonio Chaurand, C’22, draws upon the communities that have always played an important role in his life and have inspired him to give back. His family originally emigrated from Mexico before settling in Kansas City, Missouri. When his father was offered a job working for the Department of Labor during Barack Obama’s administration, his family moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland. Chaurand began college in Washington, D.C., then transferred to the Mount for his junior year. His story illustrates the rich experience available to transfer students when they join our vibrant mountain home.

antonio-c2-in-text.jpgDuring his childhood in Kansas, Chaurand spent much of his time around two family-owned businesses. “My grandmother owns both a dance company and a Mexican restaurant,” he explained. “When I was younger, I spent a lot of time around both, either working or participating in dance!” He has been practicing and performing Mexican folk dances since he was five years old, and has continued the hobby through his college years. Antonio also has a passion for music and played the trombone as a high school student. The Mount provided several opportunities for Chuarand to share his talents. Last year, his father, Enrique, presented a talk on the rich tradition and long history of Mexican folklore, after which he, Antonio, and his sister, Gabriella, demonstrated Mexican folk dance. Recently, Chaurand participated in a Cinco de Mayo event in the Palmieri Activities Center, during which he and his group performed dances from the Mexican states of Jalisco and Veracruz.

Chaurand began his college career at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. There, he studied digital media, communications, and media studies. “When I finished my sophomore year,” he said, “I realized that I wanted a little bit more out of my college experience.” Keen on challenging himself academically, he was introduced to the Mount through a close family friend, Bernard Franklin, Ph.D., former vice president for student life. Upon touring campus, Chaurand quickly knew he wanted to be a part of the Mount’s small, tight-knit community. “Even though I have only had two years here,” he reflected, “I have still been able to meet some of my closest friends who I will carry with me beyond college.”

As he furthered his academic career at the Mount, Chaurand began to think more deeply about what he wanted to do after college. His communications professors informed him about the possibilities available in the field and actively helped him discern a path forward. Originally, he envisioned himself pursuing a career in politics, but his passion for sports stimulated an interest in sports journalism. He and his friend Jack Bowman, C’24, are in their second year of hosting a weekly, hour-long sports show on the Mount’s radio station. “On our show, we mainly talk about the NFL, MLB, and the NBA, but we try to cover all sports as much as we can,” Chaurand explained. His involvement with the Mountain Echo as this year’s Sports Editor strengthened his interest in the industry.

Chaurand deeply appreciates the welcoming nature of his peers and professors, who helped him succeed as a junior transfer. “My advisor, Dr. Loveridge, has been extremely instrumental in helping me feel adjusted on campus as a transfer student,” he said. Chaurand also believes his desire to give back to the communities he belongs to helped him thrive. Some students may see transferring to a new college as a scary transition, but the well-rounded senior settled in smoothly, even though his first year at the Mount was primarily virtual due to COVID. His involvement with the Mountain Echo and the radio show allowed him to make friendships and explore a career path. The Mount’s Center for Student Diversity also helped him connect and give back to the community. “I have always tried to stay involved with the Center of Student Diversity by participating in panels and discussions,” he explained. “The CSD allowed me to settle in because they welcomed me with open arms.”

While studying at the Mount, Chaurand gained valuable real-world experience by completing two internships, working for the National Education Association (NEA) and Maryland Latinos Unidos. His role as a Communication Associate for the latter organization turned into a part-time job, focused on the Mid-Atlantic Latinx Vaccine Equity Coalition, or “MALVEC.” The mission of this coalition is “to ensure all Latinos in the state of Maryland have access to vaccination.” To meet this goal, Antonio focused on community outreach, generated social media content, and researched areas where services are most needed. The role allowed him “to learn more about issues that have affected the Latino community when it comes to health equity and access to adequate health care.” He has enjoyed working in the healthcare sector, especially because it has allowed him to give back to his community.

Chaurand was recently offered a full-time position after graduation with Maryland Latinos Unidos and is grateful for the opportunity. “I have loved my time with this company,” he explained, “but my dream is still to work in sports, and I have been applying for jobs in the industry.” Whatever happens next, Antonio keeps moving. Having made a great impact during his two years at the Mount and having modeled what it means to be a successful transfer student, he will continue to improve all the communities fortunate to call him one of their own.

Rebecca McDermott
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts