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Spanish & Portuguese Studies

Recent Stories

Portrait of CIS Coordinators Sara Mack, Stephanie Anderson, Cristina Castro

A Taste of College

College in the Schools is a program that provides highly motivated high school students the opportunity to take college courses in a high school setting—with the chance to earn college credit, too. Faculty Coordinator Assistant Cristina Castro explains the program’s impact on students and how it engages Minnesota’s high schools with the University.
Photo of Olivia Nortwen, Kylie Sievers, Professor Luis Ramos-Garcia, Danielle Jurichko, and Sydney Provinzino

The Thirst for Justice

After the far-right government executed more than 3,000 young civilians, many Colombian mothers have become dedicated social activists. As part of the Grand Challenges and CLA’s First-Year Research & Creative Scholars Program, a trio of undergraduate students traveled to Soacha, Colombia to interview some of these women. Olivia Nortwen, Sydney Provinzino, and Kylie Sievers explore how mothers are transforming the Colombian social landscape. Their research received the award for “Best Scholarly Presentation” at the 2018 Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference.
Portrait of Julia Dworsky and Lauren Rickman.

Conference Confidence: Preparing Undergraduates for Academic & Professional...

The annual Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Conference provides a platform for students to share their academic work in a professional setting. It’s an experience that co-chairs of the event, Maryanne Williams Smoczyk and Danielle Dadras, believe allows for students to grow academically and professionally: “The College is placing emphasis on professionalization and readiness as a way to help students understand their potential in the work world.”
Photo of Mónica de la Fuente Iglesias and José Aguirre.

A Fear of Empty Spaces

Mónica de la Fuente Iglesias and José Aguirre co-chaired a conference that bridged the gap between Spanish and Lusophone disciplines and provided new approaches as how to best address different kinds of emptiness in research. Read more about how the Graduate Student Conference filled voids in research.
Portrait of Mandy Menke.

Can You Tell a Joke?

Assistant Professor Mandy Menke connected the research and teaching of second languages to define the term "advanced" through a conference she hosted called Evolving Perspectives on Advancedness: A Symposium on Second Language Spanish. Read the full article.
A group of students from the Spanish 3401 class listening to a speaker next to the boarder of the United States and Mexico

Border Tales

At a time when divisive rhetoric around immigration abounds, bringing a group of students to the US/Mexico border might intimidate some. Not Spanish Instructor Kathleen Ganley. Ganley and her students share about their time volunteering at the border, and the impact it has had on them since returning.
Image of four students standing on a bench with hills, trees, and mountains in the background.

The Power of Language

When Owen Murray decided to study Spanish and Portuguese in college, he had no idea the kinds of possibilities these languages would bring him. "There are a lot of incredible things you can learn from studying languages; it’s a door opener for so many experiences and relationships. It’s powerful."