Honors College Alumnus Returns Home for BIC Homecoming Lecture

November 2, 2023
Ross Natividad

The Baylor Interdisciplinary Core welcomed Ross Natividad, B.A. ’10, M.A. ’12, J.D. for its annual Homecoming Lecture. In his talk titled, “Lessons Learned after the BIC,” Ross shared valuable insights drawn from his experiences within the BIC program and elaborated on how those lessons continue to shape his life today.

“Ross talked to us about his many BIC adventures, from his appreciation of Socratic dialogue (invaluable in his time as an attorney) to the way our World Cultures course sequence fired his imagination for Fulbright work in Indonesia,” Director of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core Darren Middleton, Ph.D. said. “He is, and forever will be, an ideal instantiation of all that's enduringly good about the BIC.”

Natividad first became aware of the Honors College thanks to his sister, Maria Natividad, B.S. ’05, who is a University Scholars alumna.

“As a high school student, I had my eyes on a few different universities, but my sister kept pointing me towards the Honors College at Baylor,” Natividad said. “She wasn’t in the BIC but spoke highly of the program, which led me to apply. I received a personal call from someone in the BIC office and after that phone call I knew I wanted to do the program.”

Once a reserved student, Natividad found his voice in the BIC. The community fostered in his BIC cohort slowly but surely pushed him out of his comfort zone.

“I was hesitant to express my views as a student, but professors like Dr. Lenore Wright really encouraged me and helped me feel comfortable,” Natividad said. “The BIC was instrumental in my formation and set me on a great path for my future.”

During his time at Baylor, Ross majored in Spanish and International Studies and earned a Fulbright Scholarship to Indonesia. Following his time as an English Teaching Assistant, Natividad attended William & Mary Law School where he narrowed his focus to international and immigration law.

“My path to law school was anything but direct,” Ross said. “I received my master’s in Spanish and spent a year teaching English in Indonesia before going to law school. My time in the BIC and teaching overseas really showed me I enjoyed working with people of other nationalities and learning about different cultures and perspectives.”

Today, Natividad serves as an Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and credits his time in the BIC for preparing him for law school and his career as an attorney.

“In law school, you learn that sometimes the answer itself is not as important as the steps you take to get there,” Natividad said. “With the law, it’s more about how you thought it through and how you can kind of defend your position using arguments. Nothing prepared me more for that type of thinking than the BIC. Those courses taught me to see nuance because life, and often the law, are not black and white.”

Currently, Natividad lives in Waxahachie with his wife, Abby, and their two children. If you would like to hear Ross’s talk, it is available for rewatch on our website.