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Staff Spotlight: Oksana Deinak

Staff Spotlight: Oksana Deinak
Posted on 04/02/2019
OksanaNickname: Ms. Oksana

Birthday: September 23rd

Hometown: Havana, Cuba

VLUS position: Spanish Teacher

Where did you go to college? UMASS Boston

Who was your favorite teacher and why? Amy DenOuden, one of my Social Anthropology professors and a woman with limitless empathy. She is an advocate for social justice, who helped me intellectualize what I instinctively felt and thought was right (Standpoint theory anyone?). She also made me aware of social issues that were foreign to me, such as Native-American current land grabbing by local and state governments, or other issues such as, women’s rights, rural and inner city poverty to mention a few.

What is the most favorite part of your job? Interacting with my students.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Law

Children: Zaida (10) & Victor (7)

Pets: Cats: Micha (~12 yo) & Ava (10 mo)

Favorite Color? Bright ones! Orange, red, blue

Favorite Quote or Saying? This is a mantra straight from my grandmother’s mouth (translation from Spanish): “There is nothing like one day after another, which I found to be the ultimate hopeful phrase.

Where is the farthest place you have ever traveled? Hum? India? Japan? Borneo? Which one is farther?

Favorite food? Mangoes

Hobbies or Activities: I’m passionate about traveling to places off the beaten path, hiking (all levels of altitude), surfing, dancing, should I keep going?

Something I am proud of? Living (not just surviving) the last three years of my life with an open heart and mind, a genuine smile, and full of hope for the future.