5 Questions for a Brunonian: BULAC President & Librarian Araceli Méndez Hintermeister ’12

By helping educators access crucial information resources, Hintermeister taps into passions she discovered as a Brown undergrad: sharing knowledge and giving back.

Making vast troves of educational resources accessible for students and teachers is all in a day’s work for Araceli Méndez Hintermeister ’12. As a Knowledge Manager at a Dallas/Fort Worth area school district that serves more than 21,000 students on more than 20 campuses, she’s an expert in developing innovative solutions that help both scholars and educators find the materials they need.

After graduating from Brown with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies, Hintermeister followed her love for libraries and archives by pursuing dual masters degrees — a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master's in History at Simmons College — and finding a way to serve young readers. In 2016, she co-founded Books on the T, a non-profit that promotes literacy and encourages excitement about reading across the Boston metro area by sharing new titles for adults and youth on the MBTA.

Why do you do what you do?

As a Knowledge Manager for a school district in North Texas, I get to create library processes, systems, and collections that help teachers locate and deliver content to meaningfully impact scholars. I most recently got to work with the well-being team in creating a collection of social and emotional resources for pre-K - 12 teachers to use in their daily work with scholars. I love supporting individuals through their informational needs and seeing the direct impact to our scholars is a valuable bonus.

Why Brown?

Brown is filled with some of the most caring individuals that contributed to my sense of belonging early on. Before even arriving at Brown, I received unparalleled support from the Brown community through the actions of former Associate Director of Admissions Mercedes Domenech. As a first-generation, low-income student, applying to college was foreign and confusing. Mercedes stepped in many times with much needed guidance that allowed me to feel like a part of the community early on. That feeling extended time and time again — from alum Jeffrey Jones ’68 hosting dinners for admitted students in Laredo, Texas to my Third World Welcome host Aida Manduley ’11 greeting me with a giant hug. It is no surprise that Brown is filled with wonderful people.

You’ve been an incredibly active alumni volunteer and currently serve as president of the Brown University Latino Alumni Council. What is your favorite part of volunteering for Brown, and what keeps you coming back?

The people! Volunteering has been an amazing way to connect with members of the Brown community and welcome new members to the community at large. In particular, my work with the Latinx community through the Brown University Latino Alumni Council has allowed me to meet incredible individuals across generations while helping them build connections with each other and connect to resources at Brown to help them through their current stage in life. It has been a great way to pay forward the valuable support I've received as a Brown community member.

“ My work with the Latinx community through the Brown University Latino Alumni Council has allowed me to meet incredible individuals across generations while helping them build connections with each other and connect to resources at Brown. ”

What is happening at Brown today that excites you?

I'm really excited about Brown's Digital Publications Initiative, which is a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty to advance scholarly work through a digital environment. Through collections like 'Race &' in America and Depicting Glory, not only are students getting introduced to the physical and intellectual treasures held across the Brown University Library, but these collections are also making these treasures accessible to the Brown community at large.

As a graduate from the Class of 2012, you’re invited to Reunion Weekend (May 27-29)! What are you most excited about?

I love the buzz that Reunion Weekend creates and I'm glad it has inspired me and many other members of the Class of 2012 to reconnect with each other prior to Reunion Weekend.

Bonus round: What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Take advantage of any opportunity to network, even if you aren't job searching. Do this by taking advantage of BrownConnect for informational interviews with alumni doing cool things, attending Brown events in your area when you're home for the summer, and joining those Brown Club or Class pages on Facebook (even if you don't frequent Facebook). Don't forget to stay in touch with upperclassmen when they become alumni. You never know who you will meet and what those connections will lead to!


Araceli Hintermeister ’12 is currently the president of the Brown University Latino Alumni Council (BULAC), a member of the President’s Library Advisory Council, and a member of the Brown Alumni Association Board of Governors. She has served on multiple committees, including the Multicultural Alumni Committee, the Young Alumni & Students Committee, and the Trustee Selection Committee.

Seeking lives of “usefulness and reputation”

The Brown alumni community is full of trailblazers, problem solvers, critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, and people who defy all boxes. And their stories may inspire others. Nominate an alum to be profiled in this “5 Questions for a Brunonian” series by emailing brunonia@brown.edu today.