Krystal Feliciano Vazquez ’19 is using her skills and experiences to change the world around her. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Feliciano Vazquez will complete a one-month intensive study program this summer at The Hague Academy of International Law — a center for teaching and research in public and private international law. She says Puerto Rico is adjusting to globalization, so her goal is to see what skills and knowledge she can bring back and apply in her home country.
“If you want to see the real deal of what goes on in the international courts, then you have to go to The Hague, which is why I applied for the program,” says Feliciano Vazquez.
At The Hague, Feliciano Vazquez will take public and private international law courses and complete simulations of court cases. After the program’s completion, she will earn a certificate from the International Court of Justice. Feliciano Vazquez, who is wrapping up her third and final year of law school at the Interamerican University School of Law, notes that she is one of two current law students who have been accepted into the summer program; all other attendees are practicing lawyers and go to enhance their international law practices. While she admits that being in the minority is a little intimidating, this information has not impeded her excitement.
Feliciano Vazquez, who graduated with a degree in Global Studies, credits Bryant for making this opportunity possible.
“I got into the program because The Hague saw my transcript from Bryant and all the international-focused courses I took,” Feliciano Vazquez says, listing how her classes included a variety of international communication and business law.
When Feliciano Vazquez stepped onto campus her first year, she couldn't have foreseen leaving Bryant four years later with a love for law. At the time, she had chosen Bryant because she wanted to attend school in the states and liked how her education could include a mix of business and politics.
“I thought I was going to stay here [in the United States] and then Bryant inspired me to come back home and pursue a government career,” says Feliciano Vazquez.
Feliciano Vazquez started her Bryant experience with the Multicultural and International Leadership Experience (4MILE) Program, a cultural and leadership initiative designed for international and domestic multicultural students. She says the experience introduced her to peers who became some of her closest friends and she later became a peer mentor for the program.
During her sophomore year, Feliciano Vazquez worked at the Fisher Student Center and was heavily involved on campus. She joined the International Student Organization, Multicultural Student Union, Bryant Democrats Organization, Franco BU, and participated in the Sophomore International Experience where she spent one semester learning about South African businesses and then visited the country following final exams.
Feliciano Vazquez also took advantage of internship opportunities, which she cites for opening doors and accelerating her success post-graduation. With no car on campus, Feliciano Vazquez would board the RIPTA bus at 6 a.m. and head to Providence for her internship at Retail Solutions. Returning to campus in the early afternoon, she would continue her classes until 9 p.m. and repeat the cycle. The six-month internship turned into a year-long opportunity; Feliciano Vazquez pursued a BAE Systems internship in New York, as well.
If asked to list her favorite Bryant professors and classes, Feliciano Vazquez is bound to give a long list of notable faculty and courses that helped shape who she is today. An alumna who exudes Bulldog pride, Feliciano Vazquez is full of stories from her days walking the university’s campus — whether it included hopping on a bus for a seven-hour ride to Canada with the Franco BU or thinking on her feet during Bryant's IDEA Program.
Reflecting on her Bryant experience, Feliciano Vazquez emphasizes the value of interacting with other cultures — noting the vitality of Bryant’s Intercultural Center.
“Having international interactions are critical for everyone because, once you interact and see the reality of other people, that’s when individuals become better leaders and interculturally wiser,” Feliciano Vazquez says.
Campus friends and mentors encouraged Feliciano Vazquez to pursue law so, after graduating Bryant, she returned to Puerto Rico and entered law school. Feliciano Vazquez currently provides administrative support for the Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico, which deals with the fiscal plan and budgeting of the island. She has also completed work for one of Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court judges and recently discovered her passion for criminal law and economic development.
“In the next five years I see myself pursuing my passion for being a prosecutor and then opening my own firm after that,” Feliciano Vazquez says.