|Yamile Astrid Mantilla||Colombia|
|Anna Marie Macias||Brazil|
|Sara Ann Isaac||USA|
After having earned a degree in Communications Journalism at the Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga and working as a writer for Vanguardia Liberal, I was fortunate to win an IAPA scholarship. I still remember the overwhelming joy I felt when I received the confi rmation telegram (I still have and treasure it). The scholarship was a great help toward furthering my graduate studies in the U.S. The difference was paid for by my parents.
I studied for a Master of Arts - Communication Arts, at The University of West Florida, Pensacola. It was an un- forgettable experience – beginning with my arrival on campus I had the emotional and professional support of wonderful people like Dr. Churchill L. Roberts, Chair of the Department of Communication Arts, J. Laurence Day who was my professor of journalism, and my unforgettable Jill Cappadona, “student advisor” for international students. At UWF I had the good fortuneto share my classes and hours of leisure with wonderful people from other countries who taught me many lessons. The IAPA was and remains a mainstay in my professional and personal life. Today I continue achieving goals thanks to that invaluable support.
Returning to Colombia, the master’s opened doors for me. For almost four years I served as Head of the Press and Communications Offi ce of the Ombuds man for the Santander region. I recently graduated as a specialist in the Management of Organizational Communication, and I am part of the Corporation of Journalists and Social Communicators of Santander where I am the president of the gender committee.