Department of Languages

Language Alumni

Jasmine Dillard, Spanish Major, '13, Meharry Medical College, 2nd year Medical Student

Personally, my language major allowed me to have experiences such as studying abroad and working with victims of domestic violence that I would not have been able to experience otherwise. Professionally, it allows me to interact with patients from different demographic backgrounds and ultimately provide a higher quality of care.

Alexis Ellis, Spanish Major, '13, Medical Office Administrator and Spanish Tutor

The versatility I have from my Spanish degree and B.S. in Biology allow me to interact with patients and students who speak or study Spanish while working in healthcare. I have plans to obtain a Master's degree in Creative Writing, certify in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, attend medical school and ultimately want to practice medicine in a Spanish-speaking country. As a language student, my speaking, writing and interpersonal passions were nurtured and I feel more prepared for the diverse world we live in.

Patrick Jackson, Spanish Major, '12, Marketing and PR Assistant at First NBC Bank and Real Estate Agent, Innovative Realty LLC

Having the ability to speak Spanish, opens up the work place and the world, as barriers that others may have do not exist for myself. Traveling to the Americas is not limited by language. Speaking two languages also has benefits on a cultural level, as one becomes more open to foreign foods, behaviors, history, culture and tradition.

Benjamin Moore, MA, Spanish Major and Physics Major, '10, PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of South Carolina, Columbia, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures - Spanish

Thanks to the excellent Spanish education I received at Xavier University of Louisiana, I was quite adequately prepared for my graduate school experiences, including studying, living, and doing research abroad. As a Spanish and Physics double major at Xavier, I participated in both astronomical research in La Serena, Chile, as well as historical and sociological research with Dr. Elizabeth Manley in the Dominican Republic. I continued my studies in Spanish at Middlebury College in Vermont, earning my Master's degree, and I am currently pursuing a PhD in Spanish at the University of South Carolina Columbia. I am preparing to write my dissertation on Spanish language short fiction literature and am teaching a new generation of college students to speak Spanish.

Victoria Kyerematen, Spanish Major, '10, Research Program Coordinator at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

As a Spanish, psychology, and pre-medical major, I strengthened my language skills and cultivated a greater appreciation for different cultures. My training in Spanish at Xavier University of Louisiana allowed me to travel to Spain in college and work in Spanish communities locally and abroad after graduation. I was fortunate enough to work in Peru and locally in Durham, North Carolina. Thanks in part to the exposure I received while in undergrad and the opportunities that followed, I solidified my desire to work in under-served communities locally and abroad and I went on to pursue a Master of Science in Global Health at Duke University.

Ashley King, MPH, Spanish Major, '09, Patient Navigator at NO/AIDS Task Force, a division of CrescentCare Health

Majoring in Spanish was one of the best decisions of my college career. Mastering a foreign language not only makes me a more competitive applicant, but more dynamic one as well. It has allowed me works towards a career in international health and use my international experiences gained abroad, domestically. As the linkage to care coordinator for a specialty clinic, my language skills allow me to communicate more effectively with monolingual clients.

Tresa Northington, Spanish Major, '08, Spanish Immersion Lead Teacher (Kindergarten)

Selecting Spanish as my major was one of the best decisions that I made while at Xavier. Spanish as a major to me meant that I was taking a big step toward completing a life-long study of the Spanish language and beginning my professional career in the language. As a language major I was able to study, learn, and gain experiences with professors and fellow foreign language majors that have been extremely beneficial to my life. Now as I look back as a Spanish immersion teacher, I know that I could not be where I am today without the aid of the foreign language department and Xavier University of Louisiana.

Leah Brock-White, French Minor, '06, Candidate for Master's in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MAOM)

I'll be graduating in April 2015 with a master's degree in acupuncture and oriental medicine (MAOM). My minor has opened many doors in my professional career, including potential opportunities with the federal government (state department), flexibility in travel/living situations, and being more sensitive to cultural differences. Also, it's always nice to hear that my French pronunciation is impeccable.

Binta Edwards Kindle, Spanish major, '05, Vice President, Commercial Banking Client Manager at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Professionally, majoring in Spanish increased my marketability, as bilingual employees are at a premium in the business community. Knowing another language increases my ability to market and network with a broader business community. Personally, my language skills enable me to relate to different cultural groups in a more personal manor. Speaking to someone in his or her own language helps break down barriers and allows everyone to feel more comfortable and confident.

Andita P. Newton, Spanish Major '05, Associate Scientist at Abbvie Bioresearch Center Inc., Worcester, MA

As a dual major in Spanish and Biology at Xavier University of Louisiana, I was afforded the opportunity to conduct Public Health field research in a Spanish immersion environment. Investigation into HIV transmission and prevalence in the Dominican Republic allowed me to hone my research skills and at the same time evolve into a more confident and competent communicator through interaction with health care professionals, study participants and the general public. The mental agility and cultural sensitivity gained in my Spanish Language and cultural studies resonate in my professional and personal spheres. My professional endeavors often involve collaborations with international researchers who hail from diverse backgrounds. In this regard, my penchant for languages facilitates easier discussions and general communications.

Akira Atkins, French Major and Spanish Minor, '04, Middle School Spanish Teacher

At the close of my time at Xavier I applied for a post -graduate assistantship in La Rochelle, France where I taught English to elementary school children and spent my free time traveling to Spain and to various cities in the south of France. Upon my return home, I was offered a Spanish teaching position at one of the local middle schools. A couple of years later I returned to school and earned my Master's in Education. Currently, I am still in the classroom and regaling my students with tales of time spent at Xavier in the languages department.

Dodie Arnold, PhD MSPH, Spanish Major, '03, Evaluation Manager, Louisiana Public Health Institute Global Health Consultant- Arnold Consulting & Research,

Earning a BA in Spanish from Xavier was one of the best investments I made in my career. Studying Spanish exposed me to new cultures, increased myself confidence, and pushed me to think about language and expression in new and interesting ways. It instilled a belief that I could travel anywhere and connect with others and cemented my passion for learning new languages. And that's exactly what I did- I went on to travel and learn Portuguese and Amharic. My language abilities come up at every job interview and it has been a clear competitive advantage in my field.

Joi DeFrantz, Spanish Major, '01, Administrative Manager for Virtual Compliance Management

Equipped with my Spanish degree from Xavier University, I have traveled to Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Haiti to experience the culture of Latin America, provide missionary services and help offer medical assistance to medically needy families. At home, I was certified as a bilingual hospital registrar at a Level One Trauma Center and have volunteered and translated at various area hospitals. Studying abroad in Spain and an independent study in Cuba while at Xavier have helped me not only develop language skills but cultural understanding. Speaking Spanish has blessed and enriched my life by granting me unique opportunities to serve at home and abroad.

Erica Townsend-Bell, Spanish Major, '01, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Oklahoma State University

My Spanish major has been central to my personal and professional development. What began as another required course turned into a real passion for learning and using Spanish thanks to the languages faculty. I used the skills learned in my major to go on to graduate school, and now as a professor of Latin American Politics. In work and travel with friends and family I use my language training constantly.