Volunteer Profile: Adela Hurtado (CAS ’14)
“Our club represents a mix of identities, histories, and geographies. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds, from Central and South America, the Caribbean, and more. It’s a place for us to celebrate who we are, through participating in events and dialogues about our heritage, but we can let loose and have fun too,” says Adela Hurtado (CAS ’14) [she/her], the dynamic new president and a founding member of the NYU Latinx Alumni Network (LAN).
What is perhaps Adela’s favorite part of LAN is the rich representation of a tapestry of identities and backgrounds, offering a space for alumni to celebrate their cultures, engage in meaningful dialogues, and connect with their heritage in unique ways. “Consider it your NYU hub to not only celebrate your Latinidad but to also learn about your story in a way you may not have before,” she says.
Exploring a diverse landscape is vital to Adela in every aspect of her life. She earned a JD at Fordham University School of Law, where she studied public interest, intellectual property, and business law by day and took film, animation, acting, and photography classes at night. She then earned her LLM at the Yenching Academy of Peking University, with her master’s thesis focusing on the Chinese and Latin American animation industries’ laws and policies. Professionally, Adela is an animator, production designer, and lawyer.
As we begin recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, learn more about Adela, how she plans to use her unique skill set to lead LAN, her ever-evolving journey as a volunteer, the exciting lineup of club events on the horizon, and more.
How did you first become involved as an NYU alumni volunteer?
I joined the NYU Latinx Alumni Network when it was founded in 2017 because, as a Peruvian-American, I was excited by the idea of a network for our community. I then became part of its leadership team as its Communications Leader. I was fresh out of law school when I joined, and it’s been a wonderful journey since then. Over the years, I’ve created the group’s social media and engagement content, and I’ve led many community service and cultural events for our alumni members. Now I’m President of the club!
Congratulations on becoming the club’s new president! Can you share a little bit more about your role?
I’m very excited about my new role! Now, while I’ll be bringing my legal and artistic background in planning events and fostering new relationships with our community, I’ll also be leading our Events and Communications teams consisting of new and returning members. I’m excited to be nurturing the next generation of NYU LAN leaders, and I can’t wait to see what we achieve together!
Does your club have any events coming up?
Many! We’re having an exhibition tour at the Americas Society, a new volunteer recruitment event, an artmaking workshop at the Museo del Barrio, a dance class with Ballet Hispanico, and a meal prep shift with God’s Love We Deliver. We’re also working with new partners and other alumni clubs—so keep an eye out for our events!
Why would you encourage other alumni to get involved?
Our community is only as strong as our alumni involvement. Alumni bring new perspectives that keep us growing and evolving, which is vital if we want to best serve our alumni community. NYU LAN is no different, and we truly appreciate engagement from the community, whether through becoming a volunteer on the leadership team, sharing ideas, or participating in our events.
Would you please share your most memorable moment(s) from NYU?
Winning NYU’s Banco Santander Scholarship to study at NYU’s program in Shanghai, then, as a surprise, being invited along with other winners to the highest building in Shanghai to have breakfast with the bank’s chairman. Overlooking the city made me feel on top of the world! I’ll never forget it.
Did you have any NYU classes or instructors who inspired or majorly impacted you?
I’ve loved Chinese literature since childhood, especially the novel Three Kingdoms, the edition translated by Moss Roberts. I’d lug the volumes around elementary school. So I could not believe that so many years later, I’d end up at NYU being taught classical Chinese literature by Moss Roberts! Needless to say, the courses I took with him and the stories we studied were wonderful. He gladly signed my beat-up Three Kingdoms edition, writing, “For Adela, a dedicated student.”
How has your time at NYU shaped your life outside of NYU?
NYU threw me into life in New York, and with that, gave me a foundation I needed for the future. Before, I lived in Miami Beach, and coming to New York was a completely different change of pace. I met classmates from around the world, made lasting friendships, and took classes that inspired me and helped me explore interests close to my heart—all in the heart of a city that is always changing. Being part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program and studying abroad in Shanghai were dreams come true. The foundation I built at NYU led me to carve my human rights path in law school, earning a Master of Law at Peking University, and pursuing my animation and filmmaking dreams.
What is something your fellow alumni would be surprised to know about you?
Sometimes I felt embarrassed that my Spanish wasn’t perfect. So I’d be shy to speak it. Sometimes I felt that because of that, I am not fully Latina in a way. I’m doing my best, but over time I’ve learned that our identity is rich and multi-faceted, and I am fully part of it.
So that our global community can get to know you a bit better, we have a quick lightning round for you:
What’s a bucket list item you have? Open my own film studio. Cruise down the Nile River. Attend a World Cup match.
What’s your favorite day off activity? Watching a great film or some silly reality TV show!
What’s a place you want to travel to? Italy! I’d love to see Venice and Pompeii in particular.
Favorite food? Tallarín saltado (sauteed pasta with meat, onions, soy sauce, and tomatoes) from Peru. The lomo saltado variation, with rice and fries, is also amazing. But really, anything my dad makes!
Favorite song or musical artist? Hard to just pick one, but I do love dance music, 1970s disco, songs from animated films, and pop in general. I love traditional music from Peru too. Britney Spears was my musical idol growing up so there’s that!
What’s your favorite place on NYU’s campus? The Rosenthal Pavilion. The view of the Washington Square Arch all the way down 5th Avenue is timeless!
NYU Shanghai Classmates in Yangzhou Field Trip
Adela with Professor Moss Roberts
NYU MLK Jr Scholars Program Trip to DC.
LAN Club Member at Citymeals on Wheels
Adela at the UN
Remarks at the UN
In Trujillo, Peru, Adela's parents' hometown
In Trujillo, Peru, Adela's parents' hometown.
Summer Animation Program at Gobelins in Paris 2023
Pitching Film Project at Gobelins in Paris