Emily Macaluso the Faces of Tucson AZ

Emily Macaluso

Hi! I am Emily. I am just an ordinary person trying to figure out how to live well in a world full of both brokenness and hope. I am a sister, daughter, friend, and follower of Christ. I own a sweet home in mid-town, work at a refugee resettlement agency, and am currently trying to figure out what comes next on this journey!

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
Most of my extended family is back East–my parents, sister, brother, and I are the only ones who live in AZ. They are all up in Phoenix with my stepparents, and I am the straggler in Tucson!

Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
My career has always revolved around education. After teaching middle school for five years, I began working with refugee and immigrant students in a few different capacities. The best part of my job is working with people from around the world–they are incredibly welcoming and have taught me so much about life.

Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
Guero Canelo, Seis, and Time Market. I also love many places in town that are refugee owned and run, like Nur Market, Za’atar, and Queen Sheba’s.

Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I’ve been in Tucson since I started at the UA in 2007.

Q: Who is the most interesting person you have met here in our community?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I meet so many interesting people in my line of work. Recently, though, I’d say my neighbors. They are political asylees from Cuba and have shared some of their incredible experiences with me.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Sicily. I have family there I’ve never met, and I am interested to see where my grandparents came from. Plus, the food and the views are amazing!

Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I don’t watch a lot of movies or TV!

Q: What advice would you give to people?
Mind, body, and time are not limitless, so take care of yourself and have compassion for those around you.

Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Live and work in another country for a time

Q: What is your go to band when you can’t decide what to listen to?
I’ve been loving Phil Wickham’s Songs from Home.

Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
Casa Video and Lucky Strike. I remember going there with my friends in college all the time!

Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
This answer definitely changed due to COVID. Now, it is probably one of my friends or coworkers that I haven’t seen in ages! We would go somewhere in Mercado San Agustin.

Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
Something sweet in recent years has been running into past students around town. I love that our city is small enough that paths cross and we reconnect with people from other seasons of life.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I have no idea! Hoping to have a family and a few rental properties in Tucson. Or maybe be living in another country and starting a school? Who knows what the future holds!

Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
One of my simple joys is dancing

Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
La Fundadora, Nicaragua.

Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
I love mid-February to mid-March because of the wildflowers.

Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Biting into a hot slice of cheese pizza that you’ve waited longer than expected for

Q: Who inspires you to be better?
Those who know me best encourage me to lay down perfectionism and love myself as I am, flaws and all.

Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Clean laundry and orange blossoms

Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Safety. Community. Love.