Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies Alumnae Stories

Facility with the Spanish language and Latina/o cultures around the world has been an important component of career success for many Mount Holyoke graduates in fields including government, law, business, international affairs, education, journalism, medicine, and the performing arts.

Mount Holyoke students and alumnae can conduct informational interviews with alumnae working in the field through the Alumnae Association Career Directory. Search alumnae by major or career field. In addition, some alumnae are participating in the Alumnae Stay Program which is a network of Alumnae who have offered to temporarily host students or alumnae traveling for academic or professional growth.

Zilin Cui '11
Zilin Cui '11: I learned how to engage with Spanish speakers on a cultural, intellectual and professional level, and became a true world citizen.
Ye Li '11, Graduate Student
Ye Li '11: one of my proudest achievements during my undergraduate journey is my thesis in Spanish.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Obdulia Valle '15: I want to teach students about the Spanish language, cultures and people that encompass this language in Latin America and the US.
Natascha Martens (Nen) '05: through speaking multiple languages I started my professional career in academia and quickly moved to other fields.
Michelle Bernardino '15
Michelle Bernardino '15: my study-abroad experience encouraged me to do more sexual and reproductive work within and for the Latina/o community.
 Emily McGranachan '12 at the Marcha de la Diversidad Sexual, Santiago, Chile, 2011.
Emily McGranachan '12: I frequently think about my experience traveling and living internationally when talking about LGBTQ rights and the global movement
Haley Robinson '17
Haley Robinson '17: my passion for Spanish language will continue to inspire me to learn and grow both in and outside of the classroom.
Rapa Nui
Kelsey Briggs '15: as an important actor for effective cultural preservation, I became more critical of "non-invasive" anthropological methods.
Melanie Rojas Silva FP’17
“Today I embody ‘never fear change.’ I've received the love and support of my professors, advisors and the amazing community of Frances Perkins Scholars.”
logo for The Lynk
Emily McClintock '14: I would not be where I am nor would I be as effective a teacher as I am without the department, professors and courses.
Emma Walters '15
Emma Walters '15: when I decided to pursue a Spanish minor - and then major - I had no idea it would change my professional and personal goals.
Amainaris "Amy" Sanchez '17
Amy Sanchez '17: Mentoring youth and working alongside parents and the community, I redefined what Latin American studies and Education meant to me.
Sara Redeghieri ’16 discusses her study abroad experience and how it shaped her life.
Rita Kerbaj '14
Rita Kerbaj ’14: My Spanish minor gave me access to opportunities in emerging markets and the confidence to pursue them as a leader at a top startup.
Arielle Seriah Derival ’17
“I am proud that we have changed the conversation around immigration and undocumented individuals into a positive and purposeful one.”
Samantha Neally ’19
Samantha Neally ’19: I learned not only about plants, but also about how indigenous communities are impacted by globalism, tourism and other issues.
Photo of Maria Correa and Spanish Language Floor residents
Maria Correa FP '16 shares her responsibilities and challenges as the Community Advisor of a Language Living Learning program.
Arielle Derival ’17 in Lima, Peru, working to promote and defend the rights of women domestic workers.
Arielle Derival ’17: working to promote and defend the rights of women domestic workers in Lima Peru
Kristin C. Johnson '15
Kristin Johnson '15: My thesis fills an important gap in Mexican-American history and more accurately represents their role in post WWII labor movements.
 Emily McGranachan  '12 at the Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Emily McGranachan '12: The Spanish department fostered my passion for social movements in Latin America in a way that only language acquisition can.
Aviva Elzufon
Aviva Elzufon '10: through my Spanish major I developed the ability for critical, concise, well-written work throughout my post-graduate career.
Julia Godinez
Julia Godinez 17: he friendships and bonds I made this summer exposed me to an entirely new culture, which accepted me despite all our differences.
New Spanish Corps
Gwen Coiley '13 connects Spanish-speaking MHC students with Holyoke schools, who need translation and interpretation services to reach kids and parents.
Mika Weissbuch, Podcasts for Peace
Mika Kie Weissbuch '11: while researching privatization in and around Managua’s municipal dump, we got the idea to start a children’s community center.
Image courtesy of Diying Wu ’11
Diying Wu ’11: My independent study project contributed to my M.A. thesis on China-Latin American Free Trade Agreements at the University of Chicago.
As a Mount Holyoke student, Sara R. Haviland ’03 interviewed life-long civil rights activists for her thesis — leading to a doctorate and her first book.
Jody Phelps
Jody Phelps ’18: Spanish has been a huge part of my career here at Mount Holyoke and in my other ventures, like my internship and studying abroad.
Margaret Murdock
Margaret Murdock ' 18 :One of the most critical parts of research is being able to communicate what you learn and discover.
Jessie Babcock '03 with Secretary of Defense
Jessie Babcock ’03: When I decided to double-major in English & Spanish literature, I never could have guessed where my studies would lead.
Maria José Correa FP '16
Maria Correa FP '16: the best way for me to learn is by working with and learning from Spanish speaking students and educators in their own voices.