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Mark John Sanchez

Mark John Sanchez

Lecturer of history, literature | Harvard University | Class of 2018

Of the umpteen things Mark John Sanchez learned from his dissertation advisor at Illinois, two stand out above the rest.

“The biggest reason Augusto Espiritu immediately comes to mind as a key figure in my time in Urbana is that he showed me how to mentor and teach,” says Sanchez (Ph.D. ’18, history/Asian-American studies), now a lecturer of history and literature at Harvard.

“He showed me what it means to meet the student where they are. In all my interactions with him, he was, and continues to be, a generous intellectual who pushes me to be a better scholar in my writing and in my teaching."

Also high on Sanchez's fond remembrances list:

— The Iron Post of Urbana, which "will always hold a special place in my heart. This small dive bar off the Lincoln Square bus stop in Urbana was a frequent meeting space for many of us after a day of teaching/learning/writing.

"In the spring and the summer, we would often meet at the outside tables for a pitcher of Hamm’s and a pound of fries. Getting to sit there and shoot the breeze with dear friends and amazing intellectuals was always such a treat."

— Golden Harbor of Champaign. “There are few restaurants that serve food as delicious. It was our favorite spot to celebrate a dissertation defense, a birthday, or even to wish someone the best of luck in the next step in their career.

“It didn’t hurt that for a while they had one of the most uplifting Facebook pages, as well.”