“Q&A with…” is a series dedicated to introducing staff members to the Oberlin community. Is there someone you’d like to nominate? Please get in touch.
Natalie Gutiérrez-Negrón is the circulation evening supervisor in the conservatory library. In her role, Gutiérrez-Negrón works to ensure that staff have the resources they need to provide the best service possible. She also manages most of the conservatory library’s social media channels. Prior to coming to Oberlin, she worked as an academic support specialist at El Centro de la Raza, a person of color-led civil rights organization located in Seattle, Washington.
Get to know more about Gutiérrez-Negrón in this Q&A.
Describe your role in six words
Watching people reading nightly since 2018.
What’s the best advice someone gave you?
Exist halfway between honesty and kindness. Sometimes that balance is hard to achieve because in order to be honest, sometimes people can be unkind, and in order to be kind, sometimes people can be dishonest.
Where did you grow up?
I’m from Caguas, Puerto Rico, a valley in the heart of the island, named after Caguax, the Taíno (Arawak indigenous peoples) cacique and founded in the 1700s in what used to be back-to-back pineapple fields—very tropical. Go Criollos!
Favorite concert you attended?
Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour in January of 2016. After 23 years of not being welcomed in Puerto Rico (for doing dumb Madonna things on stage), she opened the show with a “Holy Water” and “Vogue” mashup that melted off all the faces of everyone in the stadium. She closed with “Into The Groove,” so I was a happy gal.
Favorite thing to eat?
Dim sum in general, specifically the honey walnut prawns, or shaomai. Or, anything from the Beecher’s menu in Pike Place. Or, pasteles. Or, plantains.
If you could witness one event in history, what would it be?
It hasn’t happened yet, but the answer would be the revitalization of the economy and independence of my country.