When Ligia Domenech steps into a classroom she brings her interest in history, teaching, and human drama with her.
A social worker who went on to earn a master’s in Caribbean Anthropology and a PhD in the History of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Professor Domenech sees a connection between all these subjects.
“I guess all are related because they deal with human actions,” she says. “I am fascinated by the capacities of human beings to create drama.”
As a four-year-old growing up in Puerto Rico, Professor Domenech pretended to teach her nursery of dolls and stuffed animals. It wasn’t until she was 35 that she got to play the role of history professor. Now 47, she has been teaching in NECC’s Department of Global Studies since the fall of 2011.
“I have loved teaching since day one. I love young people and I love the chance I have to open their minds to ideas they had never considered before…and to instill in them a curiosity for other cultures and ways of thinking,” she says.
One of those ways is to look at history research as an investigator would a crime scene. She exposes them to eyewitness accounts, real photos, and original movie footage.
“My class is like a History Channel documentary, but without commercials,” she says.
A published author, Professor Domenech has written about the governorship of Roberto Sanchez Vilella of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico during World War II, and the German U-boat Blockade of the Caribbean in 1942.
Professor Domenech has her own interesting history. Three years ago she moved to Argentina. While there, she spent three months at sea teaching World Civilization and U.S. History to U.S. soldiers aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter chasing drug traffickers around Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and El Salvador.