Saul Grullon '15

Saul is a senior major in Spanish and English. He is writing a Spanish thesis under the direction of Professor Ilan Stavans.  This item just appeared on the Amherst College Homepage Headlines:

“The Whole World Just Stopped to Listen”: Amherst Senior Succeeds at Local Story Slam

Katherine Sisk '14

Katherine got the call from a federation representative in Puerto Rico a little while after graduating. For several weeks she trained with her brother, Forest Sisk '17, before heading off to Puerto Rico. When she arrived, she began training with the national team in Bayamón. Two representatives from the team were so generous and welcomed her into their home for the summer. After about a month of training, she was fortunate enough to be selected for the travel roster.  Her teammates speak in Spanish, and all the practices are conducted in Spanish as well. A lot of my teammates that she has met on the under-20 team joke that she has improved a lot. She owes a lot of that improvement to her time studying abroad in Sevilla and to her studies on campus. Though she has to say that Puerto Rican Spanish is really different, and by far her favorite.  She is currently with the team in Trinidad competing in the Caribbean Finals. While the team will not be advancing to the next round of World Cup qualifying, this has been a big step for women's soccer in Puerto Rico and she believes full-heartedly that this process of improvement will continue, and that Puerto Rico will send a team to the World Cup sooner than most people think.

Gina Rodriquez '10

After graduating from Amherst in 2010, Gina expanded on her Spanish and English double major by pursuing work in the literary and publishing industry, with an emphasis on world literature. She interned at PEN American Center and stayed on as a volunteer during the yearly World Voices Festival. She carried this interest into her later work for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, where she was a publicity/editorial intern before taking up the role of a contracts assistant. She truly enjoyed being at a publisher whose extensive backlist included works by paramount Chilean writers Pablo Neruda and Roberto Bolaño, and where she used her skills to read Spanish-language manuscripts and contracts (including the Chilean miners’!).

Gina’s parents are from Santiago, Chile, and her Amherst College thesis was a novel for the English Department that drew on family history, her experience studying abroad in Valparaíso, and her study with Professor Lucía Suárez of the relationship between the arts and historical memory. Inspired by the support she received from both departments, she pursued her writing by attending the NYU MFA program.

At NYU, Gina bridged the gap between fiction and poetry by co-curating the KGB Emerging Writers Reading Series—monthly readings involving NYU writers reading alongside established headliners—and serving as a Poetry Workshop Fellow at Goldwater Hospital—a weekly workshop with hospital residents. She graduated in 2013 and has since been working as an editorial assistant in NYU Law’s Office of Communications.

For the first time in her life, school is no longer on the horizon. After a packed three years, Gina has slowed down so she can have more idle time, which she finds is key to fueling her writing. Today, she is working on short stories, and is in pursuit of a storytelling voice that lives up to the resilience she has seen from writers around the world—an appreciation for historical trauma balanced with humor and gusto for life.

Nicholas (Nick) Schcolnik ’14

Nick has been offered a Fulbright to teach English in Argentina. He majored in law, jurisprudence, and social thought, and Spanish. Nick hopes to engage with peers in Argentina with his interest in sports and work in a law firm or with law students. His future plans include law school and a career helping law clients understand the legal system.

This summer Nick will be a camp counselor for Overland Summers leading a language acquisition and exploration trip throughout Spain. The program will be based in Barcelona. After returning from Spain he will be teaching English at An Giang University in Long Xuyen, Vietnam from August until January. Then in March he will go to Argentina to work as an English Teaching Assistant at an Argentinean college.

Nick says: "Spanish will play an important role in my future not only because I'll be in Spain and Argentina, but also because I hope to continue spending time living and working abroad after my English teaching days have passed. My goal is to eventually speak Spanish as a native speaker, and because of the amount of time I plan to invest in continuing to work on my Spanish I absolutely expect to use my language skills in some capacity when I return to the US. Although I'm not sure exactly what I want to do when I get back from abroad, I have considered the possibility of going to law school. I recognize that there is a strong possibility that my plans will change, but for the moment I'm interested in public interest law both because I believe it would be a meaningful field to which to dedicate my career, and because it would allow me to utilize the Spanish I've spent so much time learning."