Being a student in the DLLC not once, but twice during my educational career was fundamental to my development as a globally and culturally aware citizen. It opened doors for me to travel; it instilled in me a love of learning language; and it taught me to look outside the box of my field, and to seek connections between all the things in which I’m interested.
As an undergraduate student in the DLLC, my most memorable moment occurred when I was studying abroad for the first time in Seville, Spain. Two weeks into my semester there, I realized that I was able to comprehend everything that my phonetics instructor was saying to me, and I no longer left class with a headache from concentrating. Understanding native speakers finally clicked for me there. It is an amazing realization to have, when you suddenly understand another language; so many doors open for you in that moment. As a graduate student, my most memorable moment was probably when Dr. Souza, Dr. Fountain, and Dr. Moser told me “Congratulations, you’ve passed your oral comprehensive exam!” Truly one of the best days of my life. One of my funniest moments as a student occurred when I did an entire presentation on a 19th century Spanish author thinking it was a man, but it was, in fact, a woman. Whoops.
When I completed my undergraduate degrees (BA Spanish and BA English) in 2011, I worked several temporary jobs and traveled. During this time I spent four months volunteering in Honduras with an orphan outreach organization. I just recently completed my MA in Spanish (community college teaching track), and started my job here in the Office of Research right away. I’m now the Assistant Director of Grants Resources & Services here at Appalachian State University. I also plan to teach a section of Introductory Spanish at Mayland Community College in the fall. I still live locally, and am happy to be staying in the mountains.
Describing the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures in three words is challenging, but if I had to choose my words would be: inviting, educational, and student-centered. In general, my lasting impression of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is positive. I was fortunate enough to work with some wonderfully dedicated and intelligent faculty members while I was there, and since I stayed in the area, I still have the honor of working with them from time to time.