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An Interview with Stephanie Crespo Méndez, Intern with the Digital Resources Division

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Stephanie Crespo Méndez standing in the Jefferson Building.
Stephanie Crespo Méndez at the Jefferson Building [Photo by Geraldine Davila Gonzalez]
Describe your background

I was born and raised in Añasco, Puerto Rico, a small town on the west coast of the island. I was able to learn English while enrolled in a specialized bilingual school. I have a loving and supportive family who always encouraged me to pursue academic excellence. In addition, I am the eldest of two siblings, and growing up I felt a strong responsibility to be a role model to my younger brother. 

What is your academic/professional history?

I graduated from high school in 2016 with 12 college credits already approved. Afterwards, I started pursuing my Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus. I am an intern in the Digital Resources Division (DRD) here at the Law Library of Congress as part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program (HNIP). This is my first professional work experience.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I assist in the digitization efforts at the Law Library of Congress. My assignments involve examining Hispanic legal documents dating from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries and converting them into an accessible format for researchers to browse online.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

I feel it is an honor for my first work experience to be at the world’s largest law library. I’ve always been told I would make a good lawyer, so I believe that working closely with important and historical legal documents and other law-related materials will give me a better sense of understanding  whether a career as an attorney is a good option for me. I also feel privileged to be working in what I believe is one of the most influential cities in the world, and I can walk right by the Capitol and the Supreme Court on my way to the office. It’s definitely a thrill.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

The fact that most of the foreign legal specialists here at the Law Library have both a U.S. law degree and a law degree from the country in which they specialize definitely impressed me. We have very skilled and knowledgeable professionals here. Also, learning about the types of materials in the collection impressed me a lot. There are documents, like the ones I’m working on, that I wouldn’t have thought would be here. These are collection items from over 400 years ago, and I consider it special to be able to work with these materials on a daily basis.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

Most of my co-workers don’t know that I am an artistic person. I have a passion for drawing and painting and can even play a bit of guitar. A love for the arts is something that’s very predominant in my family, which greatly influences the way I express myself. My parents helped me develop my talents from a young age by encouraging me to take art and guitar lessons to sharpen my skills and learn new techniques.

Comments (4)

  1. Congratulations young lady.

  2. The UPRM community is very proud of you!! Continue representing us well.

  3. I’m very proud of the young lady and her accomplishments, I know there are more to come.

  4. Congratulations Stephanie Marie! We are very proud of you! Enjoy this season in your life! The best is coming for you! Blessings!

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