Stephanie Elizondo Griest

“Out of the Barrio” Lecture to be Presented at Hartwick

May 2, 2013

Hartwick College will soon host a lecture entitled "Out of the Barrio." The speaker presenting the talk, Stephanie Elizondo Griest,  has mingled with the Russian mafia, polished propaganda in China, and danced with rumba queens in Cuba. The lecture will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 in Shineman Chapel on the Hartwick College campus. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

During her talk, Griest will describe her "escape" from South Texas to become a globe-trotting foreign correspondent, human rights activist, and author. She will also speak about how she fought racial, gender, and cultural stereotypes, and her struggles with her Mexican identity and her experiences interviewing Mexican undocumented workers, indigenous resistance fighters, and gay/lesbian activists.

As described in her biography, Griest's adventures have inspired her award-winning memoirs Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana (2004) and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines (2008), and her guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go (2007). In 2007 she won the Richard J. Margolis Award for social Justice Reporting and edited Best Women's Travel Writing in 2010.

Griest is also a teacher, and has taught at more than a dozen writers' conferences and literary organizations. From 2010-2012 she taught undergraduate creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa as a Dean's Graduate Fellow. She is currently the Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University, and in the fall of 2013 she will become Assistant Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Griest is a passionate activist and journalist, and her articles, photographs, and documentaries have been widely published and viewed.

For her work, Griest has won numerous awards, fellowships, and residencies around the world. For example, Mexican Enough won the 2009 PEN Southwest Book Award.

Griest completed her MFA in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 2012. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1997 from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and Post-Soviet Studies, and earned a certificate of Advanced Russian from the Moscow Linguistics Institute. She learned Spanish at the Ole Language School in Queretaro, Mexico, and picked up Mandarin on the streets of Beijing. Griest's love and passion for traveling has led her to 40 countries and 49 of the United States. 

This event is sponsored by the Visiting Writers Series, The Peace and Conflict Studies Program, The Center for Professional, Service, and Global Engagement and the Cyrus Mehri '83 Global Pluralism Fellowship. 

For more information about Griest, visit her website. For more information on the lecture, contact Mansir Petrie, Global Education and Service Learning advisor at 607-431-4414 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031