Senior Profile: Bailey Ellicot (Hispanic Studies, ’18)

EllicotI struggle to find the words in either English or Spanish to accurately describe my gratitude and relief that I chose a Hispanic Studies major. I transferred to William & Mary my junior year and was immediately introduced to an entirely different approach to learning Spanish; I was also immersed in social justice, art, history, literature, and government. Over the course of my time at William & Mary I studied abroad in Argentina which was a truly life changing experience; I was able to travel all over South America and also worked with a human rights NGO. I earned a research grant from the department to share my experience on a blog which helped me put all the questions and new lessons into words. This major provided me the background to think beyond facts and figures. It has taught me an entirely new method of thinking in which I can apply ideas and concepts to new situations: I spent this semester researching the Franco dictatorship in Spain in which I studied the rise to power and the years in which the fascist regime was able to maintain control for so many decades, important lessons applicable not only to Spain. I have also studied the US-Mexico border and contemporary issues in the US such as SB 1070 and Arizona’s ethnic studies ban, important topics that relate to race, class, and even gender in deeply important ways. Most importantly I am able to discuss, write about, and even present these topics in a second language. I am leaving William & Mary confident in the skills I have acquired here. I recently found myself interviewing for a position entirely in Spanish, and left the office feeling confident and secure in how I was able to convey my academic and professional background. I am positive and excited to see where my Hispanic Studies degree will take me.

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