Spotlight on W&M Alumni Careers and the Hispanic Studies Major: MEDICINE

Philip Grotz, class of 2020

In this inaugural piece in our new Hispanic Studies series for Global Voices—“Spotlight on Alumni Careers and the Hispanic Studies Major”, we profile five of our alumni from graduating classes spanning an almost two decade period. All alumni are either practicing medical doctors, medical school students, or W&M graduates accepted into med school. All share… Read More

Gotta JET!

Back row, l-r: Andrew, Isabel, Michael. Front row: Mark and Jack

Last summer several graduating seniors jetted off to Japan—in order to become  “JETs.”  The Japan Exchange and Teaching, or JET, Program was established by the Japanese government in 1987 to “promote grass-roots exchange between Japan and other nations.” The Department of Education selects college grads from around the world to teach English in Japan for a… Read More

Congratulations German Studies Graduates of 2015!

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2015! From the left, Lisa Laird (German Studies and European Studies), Mike Crumplar, Helene Melke, and Tyler Bembenek (German Studies and IR).

Matthew Baker ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


The Modern Language Department at W&M is more than lectures and tenure – it is a center for sharing international languages and cultures with many diverse channels. Without the language programs, there would be no language houses, no friendly tutors, no immersion study abroad trips, fewer on campus celebrations of international festivals, and, most importantly,… Read More

Marlee Baucom ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


Studying Chinese has taught me not only a new way of speaking, but a new way of thinking. Learning a language opens up a new world of people, cultures, and perspectives, and your own self-perception is forever changed. Being able to travel to China and speak an unfamiliar language in an unfamiliar environment was a… Read More

Tyler Bembenek ’15 Senior Profile: German Studies


As someone interested in working in foreign policy, studying language has formed a key part of my college curriculum. However, the utility of modern language studies is greater than just providing language proficiency. My courses in the German Studies department, as well as my one summer learning Farsi, have given me valuable insights into foreign… Read More

Shannon Berenbaum ’15 Senior Profile: Italian Studies


My studies in MLL have permitted me to meet incredible people around the world and right here on campus. Taking language classes really creates a bond between people! From these friendships I have gained a more global perspective. One of my favorite things to do while studying abroad was to ask my friends their opinions… Read More

Elisabeth Bloxam ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


My experiences in the Department of Modern Languages have been among the most formative of my college career. Over the past four years of French and German classes, I have, of course, had the opportunity to improve my language skills. But it has been so much more than that! As a French major, I have… Read More

Marilyn Bowen ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


When I arrived at William & Mary, I thought my language studies were done. I’d studied French all throughout high school and had completed the language requirement for my major, so I was surprised when, during Spring Registration, I found myself looking at classes in the Modern Language department. My studies in MLL transformed my… Read More

Tyler Brent ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


The MLL was extremely encouraging and supportive of my endeavors to explore my interests and to realize my dreams. The faculty in the Chinese program in particular and in the MLL department in general was instrumental in helping me to intern in China for two summers, study abroad in Spain for a semester, and conduct… Read More

Evan Chandler ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


Being a Chinese major in the Modern Languages and Literatures program has helped globalize and diversify my college experience as well as supplement my Finance major.  Through studying Chinese language and literature, reading about Chinese culture, and traveling to China, I have gained a broader perspective on every aspect on my life.  Being a part… Read More

Liz Cloghessy ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


Studying French has given me a great schema for problem solving. Even if my jobs in future don’t specifically call for foreign language skills, the transferable skills I’ve gained from French will serve me my whole life. My personal favorite of the many skills one gains in learning a foreign language is the ability to… Read More

Meghan Costello ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


My studies in MLL gave me the opportunity to study abroad in Montpellier, and allowed me to experience the language and culture in a way that could never be captured in the classroom. It opened my mind to the experiences and cultures of others. It empowered me when I was able to communicate with others… Read More

Mike Crumplar ’15 Senior Profile: German Studies


What is perhaps most exciting and stimulating about German Studies is its interdisciplinary. It isn’t limited to a single field or aspect of history, philosophy, literature, art, and so on. Rather, it is a door to a series of conversations on all these categories in a language that has its own fundamental ontological quality, and… Read More

Molly Davis ’15 Senior Profile: French & Francophone Studies


I am so thankful that I am a French major at the College of William & Mary.  French language has been a part of my life since I was young.  I fell in love with the language then and could never imagine not sticking with it after that! The Modern Languages department has supported me… Read More

Danny Falloon ’14 Senior Profile: Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

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Danny Falloon and Logan Ferrell sat down with their teacher, Bella Ginzbursky-Blum for a video interview recognizing their upcoming Fulbright Teaching Scholarship trips to Russia. They will be teaching English for the Fulbright program and here they talk about their experiences as students in the RPSS program and their upcoming plans for the future.

Cassidy Fazio ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic & Italian Studies


Coming in as a transfer student, I felt kind of pressured to pick a major right away.  I knew I liked languages but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, so I continued to study Spanish, and on a whim signed up for an Italian class.  I’m so glad I did, because these two… Read More

Logan Ferrell ’15 Senior Profile: Russian and Post-Soviet Studies

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Logan Ferrell and Danny Falloon sat down with their teacher, Bella Ginzbursky-Blum for a video interview recognizing their upcoming Fulbright Teaching Scholarship trips to Russia. They will be teaching English for the Fulbright program and here they talk about their experiences as students in the RPSS program and their upcoming plans for the future.

Shannon Fineran ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


I had always loved learning Spanish in high school, but I never dreamed that it would have such an important role in my undergraduate education and in my life. After studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain my sophomore year, I discovered how a language could unlock a culture and a people that came to mean so… Read More

Nicole Fitchett ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies

Nicole Fitchett ('15)

My decision to major in Hispanic was a bit accidental, but whole-hearted. I began solely as a Linguistics major when I went to Seville to study abroad my sophomore year, but I was enchanted by the people, the language and especially the accent. I returned to Seville for a second semester the next year and… Read More

Rianna Jansen ’15 Senior Profile: Russian and Post-Soviet Studies


After studying Russian & Post-Soviet Studies at the College, I have been exposed to many more schools of thought and ways of thinking about the world than I could have imagined just four short years ago. Through the Russian program’s emphasis on film and literature, I have come to realize how much weight cultural texts… Read More

Elizabeth Jenkins ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


Susanne Khatib ’15 Senior Profile: Italian Studies


My Italian minor shaped my college experience in ways I never imagined. I began taking courses my freshman year strictly to fulfill language requirements, but quickly fell in love with the language and culture. My sophomore year I spent a semester in Perugia, Italy, where I learned to break out of my comfort zone and… Read More

Andrew Kim ’15 Senior Profile: AMES East Asian Studies


My high school left me with a bad impression of the humanities. As a consequence, I spent my first two years here at William and Mary struggling to pursue a science major. Were it not for the classes I took with the Japanese department in my freshman year, there’s a good chance I would have… Read More

Andrew Kopca ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


After four months of studying abroad in Beijing, Catherine, Henry, Owen, Paula and I wanted to explore some of the vast country. When the five of us stepped off the plane at midnight in Guilin, China, rather than being focused on adventure, our exhausted minds only wanted to find the fastest way to get to… Read More

Akela Lacy ’15 Senior Profile: Sociology & Italian Studies


My time in the MLL department at William and Mary has been some of the most enriching of my college experience. I’ve become close with my Italian classmates and professors in this sort of mini-community that has supported me and given me the courage to use Italian to explore the world, to explore my strengths… Read More

Taylor Lain ’15 Senior Profile: Russian and Post-Soviet Studies


I began my studies in the RPSS Department as a freshman on a whim. At that time, the only things I knew about Russia came from stories about my mother’s travels as a junior naval officer during the Cold War; I viewed Russia only as America’s past enemy and a curiosity. Since then I’ve learned… Read More

Lisa Laird ’15 Senior Profile: German Studies and European Studies


The German Studies department was my first home at William & Mary. Walking in to meet my advisor was like coming up for air after the frenzy of freshman orientation. After four years of German in high school and a month in Aachen, I knew going in that I wanted to pursue a degree in… Read More

Michael Le ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


Being a Vietnamese American born in New Orleans who jumped from French to Latin to Spanish and then eventually Japanese, I sometimes wonder if I could have majored in anything but Hispanic Studies with a minor in Japanese. What drew me to the programs was the heaps of cultural theory work that helped me make… Read More

Maria Loverde ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


I’ve always been one to look ahead. I’m always thinking about how the choices I make today can impact the person I’ll be in five, ten, fifteen years. Just four years ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life: to study Chinese. I studied Romance languages in high school and had gotten… Read More

Leah Marty ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


I began studying Mandarin Chinese during my freshman year of high school, and since continuing into higher education I have only grown more and more fond of and fascinated by the language. During my study abroad in the summer of 2013 I experienced first hand the vibrancy of Beijing, the worldwide impacts of globalization, and… Read More

Helena Melke ’15 Senior Profile: German Studies


Schon immer hat mich deutsche Literatur, Philosophie und Geschichte interessiert. Auf dem Gymnasium haben wir oft nur Themen wie Bismarck oder die Weltkriege besprochen, und das auch nur oberflächlich. Ich hatte oftmals das Gefühl, dass wir nur die ‘wichtigsten’ oder ‘bekanntesten’ Geschehnisse behandelten, aber nie Fragen gestellt hatten, wie diese überhaupt zu Stande gekommen sind…. Read More

Alice Morrison-Moncure ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


Through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, I’ve taken courses in French, Spanish, and German over my four years here. While my major studies in French have enabled me to express myself fully in another language and to understand the intricacies of francophone cultures, they’ve also encouraged me to investigate more closely the wide… Read More

Lynn Nakamura ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


In learning another language, you also learn another culture; French is spoken natively on nearly every continent, so in studying French, I learned about another world and how so many cultures were shaped. To experience it firsthand, I studied abroad in France, twice. Paris is where I finally felt I had somehow become an “adult.”… Read More

Carly O’Connell ’15 Senior Profile: Chinese Studies


Studying Chinese in the W&M MLL department gave me confidence. My teachers prepared me well for studying and living abroad in China, and my semester of immersion study in Beijing proved it. Within my first week there, I could navigate the subway, ask for directions when lost, and avoid social faux pas among my Chinese… Read More

Ethan Pearlstein ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


As a pre-medical student at the College with an awareness of the changing landscape of healthcare in the United States and the need for inter-cultural competence, I began taking Hispanic Studies courses. With a passion for helping the underserved, Hispanic Studies allowed me to understand the challenges that many populations face and provided me with… Read More

Margaret Platner ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


My studies in the Modern Languages and Literature department encouraged me to constantly look outside of my own perspective and point of view to see my world and the world as a whole in a more well-rounded way. Studying French, I was encouraged to have an open mind, to question norms, and to appreciate the… Read More

Sarahbeth Rabin ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


I am thrilled to be graduating with a double major in Hispanic Studies and Psychology. Despite my love for Spanish, I came into College convinced I was going to be a Government and Psychology major. Although I liked the Government classes, it was my Hispanic Studies classes that I truly felt passion about. Introduction to… Read More

Megan Rebueno ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


Studying MLL has enhanced my education, broadened my worldview, and influenced my life in countless ways. Having studied French for 16 years, there was no doubt that I would major in French and Francophone Studies; however, it was not until I took classes in college that I began to see the benefits my studies would… Read More

Mariah Savage ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


Most importantly, my studies in MLL have given me so many more excuses to travel. In actuality though, the world is full of different languages and by taking the time to learn a few, there are countless benefits to be had. I feel that I’m more open-minded and accepting of differences in people because I’ve… Read More

Gabby Steinfeld ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


If you had asked me four years ago what I planned on majoring in in college, Hispanic Studies, or anything pertaining to a foreign language for that matter, would have never crossed my mind. It just wasn’t something I was considering, not because I didn’t like Spanish or didn’t see a need in continuing it… Read More

Katie Sullivan ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


When I initially started taking Hispanic Studies classes my freshman year, it was with the simple goal of maintaining the language skills that I had worked on during high school. I had no idea I was entering a department that would challenge me to change the way I think, and would succeed at it. This… Read More

Molly Teague ’15 Senior Profile: French and Francophone Studies


Through the French & Francophone Studies major in the Modern Language Department, I was fortunate enough to have to opportunity to extend my studies to include a semester spent in Montpellier, France.  This experience, coupled with courses at WM on the culture, history and literature of the francophone world, has served to expand my worldview… Read More

Casey Thompson ’15 Senior Profile: Italian Studies


My studies in MLL allowed me to study abroad and discover my interest in foreign languages and embrace new cultures. From my experiences and opportunities I have decided to live abroad and continue my studies in Modern Languages, as well as use my language skills in any future job I may have.

Alexander Tyson ’15 Senior Profile: Italian Studies


My studies in MLL have given me a broader perspective on literature and culture in the world. I’ve had the opportunity to not only learn Italian, but to immerse myself in the culture and have become a better person because of it. My time both here and in Italy has been one of the most… Read More

Sarah VanKirk ’15 Senior Profile: Italian Studies


I began taking Italian my freshman year to fulfill my language requirement and quickly realized that I loved the language, culture, and history of the country. I started to take any class that somehow related to Italy and decided to continue my studies through studying abroad. I spent the summer after my Junior year in… Read More

Olivia Wilkinson ’15 Senior Profile: Russian and Post-Soviet Studies


I’ve always had a knack and a love for learning languages, so the idea that I would study one throughout my three years here at the College was not one that surprised anyone. Yet I remain surprised by what Russian gave me in return for my loyalty to it. In particular, I learnt much about… Read More

Suzy Ziaii ’15 Senior Profile: Hispanic Studies


My time and efforts spent majoring in Hispanic Studies have truly made my academic experience at William & Mary. As a freshman, I was interested in Latin America and wanted to continue my Spanish. I felt a bit lost that first semester, but I found solace in my tiny Hispanic Studies freshman seminar, where I… Read More

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