Parent and Family Spotlight: Pedro Sanz-Altamira and Nieves Rios-Moya

Emilia Sanz-Altamira and parents pose in front of CWRU sign

Name(s): Pedro Sanz-Altamira and Nieves Rios-Moya
Student: Emilia Sanz-Altamira
Class Year: 2026
Hometown: Andover, MA

How do you connect with your student?

We speak with her very frequently, almost daily. And visit her at least once or twice per semester. She comes back home every time she has a school break.

What resources have been helpful to you in supporting your student?

To be honest, Emilia is extremely independent and we are very much parents who are not on top of our children. We strongly believe in their independent learning skills and embrace any mistakes as they will shape their future! We haven’t had the need to reach out for help yet. The only time we had to contact Case was to help Emilia to keep her current room for her summer classes. The housing team was very helpful and she was able to keep her room for her summer classes without having to move out. Because we were away, this was huge for us!

How do you support your student while they are on campus?

We speak with her very often even if it is just a minute. We also have created a family chat so she is in the loop with our current day-to-day conversations. Her siblings are still home so we found this as a great solution so she doesn’t even miss our bad jokes!

What were you pleasantly surprised about this past semester?

Emilia had an exceptional year, exceeding the typical semester load by taking additional classes. This decision proved invaluable as she plans to embark on a semester abroad in Chile, one of her advisor recommended to experience a semester abroad on her sophomore year given the fact she is in the premed track. By completing some mandatory premed courses as freshman, she has set herself up for a rewarding and enriching study abroad experience. We were thoroughly impressed by the flexibility and accessibility of all her professors. Without exception, they were always ready to meet with her whenever she needed assistance. Even during a summer online biology class, her professor consistently made time to address any questions and provide support. Despite the virtual format, the class maintained a high standard of quality, and the professor's flexibility was truly outstanding. In addition to her academic pursuits, Emilia's involvement in the university chorus has become her cherished "me time." Not only does it provide a welcome break, but it also allows her to connect with students from diverse disciplines. She is delighted that she can even earn credit for this class, a delightful surprise that has added to her overall college experience. Emilia's year has been marked by academic excellence, supportive professors, and the joy of participating in the university chorus. These experiences have surpassed our expectations, and we couldn't be happier to see Emilia thriving academically and finding fulfillment in her extracurricular activities.

What is your favorite part of Cleveland or CWRU?

We are truly impressed by the dedication of the professors at CWRU. Their commitment to their students is remarkable, and we have been thrilled to witness their accessibility and willingness to support students. Moreover, the abundance of opportunities for experimentation and exploration at the school is truly commendable. Emilia has seamlessly embraced all that the school has to offer, and it has been a delight to see how quickly she has immersed herself in various activities. She is already contributing to a lab, actively participating in a social cause club, working as a tour guide, and lending her voice to the chorus. We couldn't be happier that Emilia has been able to pursue all three of her passions without having to compromise. Her decision to double major in sociology and premed while also participating in the chorus is truly inspiring. It's wonderful to see that the college has provided her with the opportunity to excel in her academic pursuits while indulging in her artistic interests. Emilia's ability to balance her passions is truly impressive, and we are thrilled to see her thriving in such a supportive environment.

What advice do you have for parents about staying connected to CWRU?

Joining the Facebook group for parents helps becoming a part of the community in spite of living far from campus. It's a valuable resource filled with tons of helpful information, especially for newcomers. While it's natural to want to assist your student at the beginning, it's important to allow them the opportunity to navigate their own path and seek help independently. Encourage them to speak up and reach out when needed. Additionally, make it a habit to read the weekly newsletters. They are a fantastic source of information, keeping you updated on all the latest happenings. In fact, these newsletters often sparked many engaging conversations between us and our student on the weekends. They provide a valuable glimpse into the vibrant campus life and ensure you stay connected with the college community.

How have you seen your student grow while at CWRU?

She is learning how to accept that even though she might have great grades, she needs to slow down a bit and enjoy her journey. For us, her going to Chile was pivotal. Being able to deviate a bit her focus on just the academics and experience something like this is major.