Gina Isabel Rodriguez '10

Congratulations to Spanish Major Alum Gina Isabel Rodriguez '10, who was recently selected as a LitUp Fellow for @ReesesBookClub!  A writer and daughter of Chilean immigrants, Gina will join the fellowship's inaugural class. https://bwnews.pr/3q1G5Eg
 
Gina Isabel Rodriguez '10

2nd Annual Spanish Major Alumni event

On October 21, 2021, the Spanish department hosted the 2nd Annual Spanish Major Alumni event. Current Amherst students studying Spanish and Spanish major alumni met in Zoom breakout rooms organized by specific fields: medicine, law, education, and non-profit. During this event, alumni shared helpful advice with students on how to apply to graduate school, look for a job, travel abroad, and other tips about navigating life after Amherst. 

The event was a huge success - with 27 students and alumni in attendance. It was wonderful to reconnect with alumni.
 
Thank you to all our alumni who helped make this event possible!
 
Adriel Roncal (2021)
Rebecca Davis (2020)
Erika DeAngelis (2019)
Jamie Gracie (2017)
Kim Greenberg (2017)
Ben Greene (2018)
Dana Kulma (2020)
Aly Levinson (2019)
2nd Annual Spanish Major Alumni event

2021 Senior Majors Pinata and Burrito Dinner

First Annual Spanish Major Alumni Networking Meet-up

On April 15, 2021, forty-five current Amherst students studying Spanish and Spanish major alumni met on Zoom for the first virtual networking meeting organized by the Spanish Department. After brief introductions, students joined breakout rooms designated to specific fields: medicine, law, education, travel and work abroad, finance, and non-profit. In these meetings, alumni shared helpful advice with students on how to apply to graduate school, look for a job, travel and work abroad, search for housing, and other tips on navigating life after Amherst.

Muchísimas gracias to all the alums who helped make this event possible: Hugh Ford ’20, Jamie Gracie ’17, Kim Greenberg ’17, Benjamin Greene ’18, Christina Herrero ’13, Constance Holden ’15, Leah Kim ’19, Caroline Magee ‘17E, Flavia Martínez ’18, Molly Pines ’19, Nicholas Schcolnik ’14 and Irma Zamora ’17.

Please keep us updated and stay connected! You can follow us on Instagram at @amherstmamuts.

First Annual Spanish Major Alumni Networking Meet-up
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Matt Randolph '16

Matt is originally from the Baltimore, MND area and graduated from Amherst with a double major in History and Spanish. After graduating from Amherst, Matt spent two years in Oakland, California where he worked for Asylum Access, a human rights organization that helps refugees around the world. In the fall of 2019, Matt will return to the San Francisco Bay Area once again to pursue a PhD in History at Stanford University.

During his junior year at Amherst, Matt studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, where he completed an independent research project. Matt conducted interviews in Spanish with members of Santiago's immigrant community who hailed from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. His research explored the linguistic, social, and racial barriers experienced by these Caribbean migrants as they rebuilt their lives in Chile, a country that has surged as a destination for immigration in the Western hemisphere in recent years. Matt's investigations in Chile have deeply shaped his research interest in graduate school. At Stanford, he hopes to continue exploring questions of race, diaspora, travel and migration through the history of the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean.


Matt continues to practice his Spanish by reading Latin American novels and keeping in touch with the friends he has made during his travels abroad. While he trains as a historian, Matt intends to use his Spanish to explore the archives of Latin American countries rather than rely on translations.

Sasha Savitsky

Sasha Savitsky '20

In the United States, immigrants are not guaranteed a lawyer in immigration courts. This means that everyday, immigrants are sent into court to face highly trained and well-educated government officials without a lawyer by their side. Immigrants, even children and the disabled, are often left with little hope for prevailing in their cases. Immigrant Defense Law Center (ImmDef) is a social justice law firm that positively impacts immigrants' ability to get a fair hearing and win immigration relief by ensuring that immigrants do not have to go into court alone. Immigrants with lawyers are five times more likely to prevail in their cases. This summer I had the unique opportunity to shadow a pro bono attorney and volunteer interpreter doing work for ImmDef in Los Angeles, California. The attorney and interpreter were working with a 15-year old boy from El Salvador named Javier Gonzalez who was petitioning for asylum in the
United States. Javier was petitioning for asylum because he feared being killed by the gangs he had refused to join if he returned to El Salvador. He was specifically targeted by gangs because he was Catholic, regularly attended church, and his family was known for resisting the gangs. Since Javier and his relatives, some of whom still lived in El Salvador, were primarily Spanish speaking, all of their declarations explaining why he needed to leave El Salvador had to be interpreted and translated into English. As a political science and Spanish double major, I found the work that went into building this Javier’s case to be incredibly interesting and meaningful. Organization like ImmDef need young people like us to get involved. They need people to join them and use our abilities and our voices to help them make a difference in the lives of people who have come to the United States seeking a new home and hopes of a better life. Javier’s case is now in order and is waiting to be heard by an immigration court. While he waits for his case to be heard, Javier is able to remain here in the United States where he is living with his father.

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Candy Martinez ’13

Candy Martinez, a doctoral candidate in Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California-Santa Cruz, has received a Fulbright grant to study how indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, define and cope with trauma.  Full article

 

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Richard Park '16

Since graduation, Richard has been busy travelling before starting work at LinkedIn in October. He was in Asia during the month of June, Europe in July, and now spending 6 weeks in Peru (specifically Cusco and Lima). Thanks to all the various events that the Spanish Department hosted, he has learned to speak the language freely and understand different dialects. Richard is currently using exclusively Spanish working on a hacienda in the village of Ttio for 3 weeks before working at an international hostel in the city of Cusco. He speaks Spanish with his mom all the time and plans on practicing it with fellow employees out in San Francisco. 

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Tatiana Hill '16

Since graduation, Tatiana has begun her academic career as a predoctoral VEST Fellow in the Educational Psychology-Applied Developmental Sciences Ph.D. Program at the University Virginia Curry School of Education. Her intended specialization is centered on studying how the unique cognitive development and family interactions within the home of English Language Learners/immigrant students/multilingual students in general (primarily those with Spanish as a first language) contribute to school performance. Ideally, she wants to design programs and educational interventions that celebrate the cultural backgrounds and cognitive advantages of multilingual, multicultural students in order to facilitate learning for ELLs.

During Tatiana’s junior year in college, especially after studying in Barcelona and becoming more cognizant of her own development as a bilingual individual, she realized she wanted to incorporate her studies in Spanish into her vision of pursuing Psychology research. She became very introspective about her own process of acquiring a second language, which led to a desire to promote multilingualism in the United States and ease the transition of English Language Learners, especially first and second generation students, into an English education system.

Tatiana tries to practice Spanish and plans to use Spanish in her research conducting or coding interviews of English Language Learners and their families.

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