First Generation Student Returns to her Home in Greece in Search of Answers

By Daphne Galatas, Communication Arts and Politics & Society major
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Posted in: Student Perspectives
Related: Communication Arts, Politics & Society,

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Daphne Galatas in 2009 in Naspaktos, Greece

Greetings everyone, I’m Daphne!

I have been a student at UNH Manchester since fall of 2008 and I am now a senior. I was born in the USA to a Greek family who migrated here decades ago in order to live the American Dream. My family decided to move back to Greece just in time for me to start elementary school there. I lived in Greece for about ten years, and then I moved back to the States during my freshman year of high school. Once I graduated from Goffstown High School, I applied to UNH Manchester and was the first one in my family to attend college.

I am now double majoring in Communications Arts with a focus on interpersonal communication, and in Politics & Society with a focus on foreign affairs.

Over the past six years I have made UNH Manchester my second home through working with our Student Activities Coordinator, Jamie Saucier, as a club leader and also working with the First Year Experience program as an Orientation Leader. I’ve formed great connections with people through my participation in the Classy Cats-Dance group, Brick and Mortar Theatre Group productions, and as part of the college's Diversity Committee. In 2011 I was even awarded the Diversity Award through student activities for putting together a multicultural event on campus with the help of faculty/staff and fellow students.

Next year will be my last as an undergraduate, and although I am very excited for what the future holds, there is one last academic goal that I have had in mind for the past two years now. I would like to present my senior capstone thesis at the Undergraduate Research Conference (URC) in the spring of 2015.

The URC gathers students from all majors who have done some type of research on a specific subject. They present their findings three different ways 1) orally, 2) via poster boards, and 3) by film projects. My presentation goal is to produce a film project based on my research.

I plan on traveling to Greece during the month of November, when there tends to be a few political movements, mainly with the youth groups of Greece. I will be documenting interviews with ordinary citizens and will try to get in contact with as many political representatives as possible. I will have video and voice recording devices in order to “show & tell” the issues I will be covering.

Some of the issues I will be focusing on will deal with the Greek government’s devastating economic impact on its youth, the impact it has with the citizens who depend on agricultural means for a living, and how the different political parties play a role in how the Greek citizens react to their government. Looking at the unemployment rate, which hit over 64% for Greek youth, really makes me think “What if I had stayed, what would I be doing”?

I am fascinated by some of the statistics I see, and I really wish to get a firsthand look into the issues. I am very excited about this adventurous research project, especially since I will be one of the first students to travel that far out of country to conduct research.

I value my education more than anything, and it has been my most important focus since graduating high school. As a senior, I look back on all the great opportunities I was able to take advantage of at UNH Manchester and know that I will be ending my academic career with much joy, and no regrets.