Hometown: Castile, Spain
“I really liked my professors. I enjoyed sitting in the first row and learning all I could from them. These are people who love teaching. Every day I learned something I did not know the day before.”
As a child growing up in Castile, Spain, Javier Munoz-Laguna had never heard of St. Thomas Aquinas College or the suburban hamlet of Sparkill, New York. And when, as a high-school senior, he was recruited to play tennis for STAC, he had no connections to the college and country he’d call home for the next four years. After graduating with a degree in biology major, acting as a student leader and standout star on STAC’s Division II tennis team, Javier connected in ways he never anticipated.
“I have a friend who goes to a really big university who came to STAC to visit me for a weekend,” Javier says. “I took him to a campus basketball game, and on the way, most of the people we passed said hello. At one point he asked me, ‘Are you famous or something? You know everyone.’ He said his university didn’t have the sense of community we have here. That’s part of what makes STAC so special.”
In addition to his responsibilities to the tennis team, Javier held a strong GPA, served as secretary of the college’s Science Club, and took full advantage of the college’s proximity to New York City. Upon graduation he enrolled in Palmer College of Chiropractic West (San Jose, CA) with the dream of someday, opening his own practice (pictured on right with his mother).
“I found my place at STAC. The international students are really taken care of in terms of keeping us happy, helping us get involved and making sure we’re supported academically,” Javier says. “Everyone here is friendly and ready to help. You never feel alone.”