Student Projects, Research and Awards

In the Department of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies we understand the importance of student research for a complete liberal arts experience. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has advocated for student research as one of the “high-impact practices” that can transform students’ lives since it can “involve students with actively contested questions, empirical observation, cutting-edge technologies, and the sense of excitement that comes from working to answer important questions” (High Impact).

The majors and minors in the department are encouraged to engage in research throughout their years at MHC by developing specific projects inside as well as outside the classrooms (through CBL or at internships), and by completing an independent research that, in may cases, culminates in a Honor Thesis.

A Student Fellowship Grant is available for current majors or minors in the Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies Department to broaden the student’s experience in the disciplines by attending topical conferences, workshops, lectures or other events off of the 5 College campuses. Funds are limited and requests will be considered on a rolling basis; applications must be submitted 2 weeks before the event. The maximum amount per applicant is $100 (does not include expenses for textbooks, classroom materials, tuition fees, study abroad, job fairs or internships) and a student can apply for the fellowship once per academic year. To apply please contact Cara Lapenas, Department Coordinator. For financial support from a different source at Mount Holyoke College, see: the Division of Student Life at Student Conference Fund and the McCulloch Center at Student Conference Support.

The Department also offers award opportunities for students who show an extraordinary commitment to their majors, through their academic work and their collaboration.

 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.