Meet The Henry E. S. Reeves/Miami Times Endowed Teaching Chair: Victor CalderinHelping students find their voice

Portrait of Victor Calderin

Through the power of language, Victor Calderin, associate professor, teaches MDC students how to find their voice and tell their story, with life-changing effects.

Whether providing students the building blocks of writing in their first college English class or working alongside his committed creative writers on Hialeah Campus’ award-winning Café Cultura literary magazine, Calderin has an ability to connect with students in a way that inspires them to reach for greater heights.

“Professor Calderin helped me find my love for academia and prepared me for an Ivy League education,” said MDC alumnus Victor Garnica, a recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship who transferred from MDC to Columbia University. “Most importantly, he treats all his students with respect and is always eager to help them at the drop of a dime.”

A native of Hialeah, Calderin holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, an experience that informs his drive to help students succeed not only at home but also beyond their city limits. Since Calderin co-founded Café Cultura in 2007, the student magazine has won numerous awards from the Florida College System Publications Association and two coveted Crown awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. These accolades have resulted in publishing credit for students as well as local, regional and domestic travel opportunities.

“The art of writing is telling our point of view, telling our story,” said Calderin. “Building a degree of confidence to share our story and our narrative is part of the human condition and it’s how we build community. I get the privilege to be part of that process, to help someone succeed and, by extension, improve the lives of their family and communities.”

The foundational work he does with students is equally important to Calderin, who has contributed to research on English Composition I repeaters, seeking to identify factors holding them back from successfully completing the course and, all too often, college altogether.

“Professor Calderin is passionate about what he teaches, and he is 100% committed to his students, colleagues, campus and college,” said Dr. Kelly Kennedy-Everett. “It is because of professors like Victor that MDC is so successful.”