Monday, April 23, 2018

REDay 2018 Presentation

REDay 2018

On Wednesday, April 18th, four seniors completing majors or concentrations in Spanish presented their research from two separate directed study projects. Both groups completed their research entirely in Spanish, and presented their findings in Spanish as well.

Alison and Michael
The first project, presented by Michael Dalton and Alison Feehan explored modern music from Spain and Hispanic America including the Spanish rock group Jarabe de Palo, the origins of Reggaeton in Panama and Puerto Rico, and more. Listen to their playlist here

Claire and Danny
The second project, by Claire Gracia and Daniel Giacomuzzi, built upon ethnographic observations they conducted in Miami and explored the various Hispanic cultural influences on the city of Miami, Florida. Visit the website they created using this link

Students from all levels of our Spanish language program attended the presentations.

Learn more about REDay here

Monday, April 9, 2018

Student Profile: Kevin Ludemann

Kevin Ludemann
Class of 2018

Kevin Ludemann, a Spanish major, will present his Senior Honors Capstone on Friday, April 20th at 1:30pm. His presentation, entitled the “Role of Drag Queens in Modern Day Spain,” is the culmination of a year´s worth of research and writing. 


This capstone serves the purpose of better educating the public and debunking some common
stereotype about Drag Queens. Written completely in Spanish, the piece examines how the
modern day Spanish Drag Queen has come to be, and the role that they play in society. The piece starts by looking at the role that cross dresser played in “Comedias”, or plays, that mimicked Spanish society during the 16th century. By examining these performances, the audience can establish a baseline of what the role of Drag Queens was. Flash forward nearly 400 years, and the role of the Drag Queen changed drastically when Francisco Franco, the Dictator from Spain between 1939-1975, came to power. He put into place legislation that limited gender and sexuality expression in society and drastically threatened Drag Art. Serving as a major transition, this piece examines this legislation and the time period after it fell, La Movida Madrileña, as they have both helped construct the modern day Drag Queen. More specifically, the capstone examines two films, “Ocaña” and “La Mala Educación” that both have Queens as protagonists and demonstrate the transition away from Franco’s strict laws that sought to prevent individual expression. Finally, the capstone reveals insights gained after interviewing Drag Queens who live and perform in Spain. These interviews, the analysis of them, and the history that helped form them all work together so society can finally answer the question, “What role do Drag Queens play in modern day Spanish society?”

Kevin is the first Spanish major to complete his capstone for Spanish credit. He is writing his capstone in Spanish, but his presentation on April 20th will be in English.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Student Profile: Emily Katz

Emily Katz
Class of 2020

Bryant University is often known for being one of the three “B’s” of the business schools in New England. I mean, that is why I decided to come to Bryant. However, I had no idea what Bryant would offer me in the world of Modern Languages. Throughout high school, I had always loved learning Spanish and I was lucky enough to have an amazing language program at my high school. Having such an amazing experience with Spanish in high school influenced my decision to enter Bryant as an International Business major. I have always dreamed of studying abroad in a Spanish speaking country, and by majoring in International Business, I now have the opportunity to do so, as I touch upon down below.

One of the requirements of an International Business degree is to minor in a modern language. Sure, I could have only minored in Spanish, but I decided to fill my open credits with Spanish classes and bumped my minor up to a major. Even further than that, I have the opportunity to earn a dual degree; a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. This is pretty rare, and only a few students in Bryant’s history have majored in a modern language. I feel blessed to have the credits from high school to be able to earn a second degree and to experience the number of Spanish classes I have been able to take.

Another requirement of an International Business degree is a study abroad experience. I have chosen to study abroad in Chile during the fall semester of my Junior year. I had the choice to study in either Spain or Chile, but having already been to Europe and knowing the level of English spoken in both countries, Chile became the obvious choice for me. I personally feel that study abroad is the best chance to increase my proficiency in Spanish and I want to take full advantage of the opportunity to do so. I know that my fluency will increase dramatically after living with a host family and studying at the University in Chile.

While I am in Chile, I plan to start to collect research for my Honors Capstone project. I will be working with Professor Heather Moon to craft my topic and determine the best methods of research collection. No matter what topic I choose, I know that my study abroad experience will give me the first-hand knowledge and observations that I need to present an interesting and informative capstone project. Not only will observing and communicating with the Chilean natives help my language skills, but it will also teach me the norms of Spanish communication styles that I will use in my future career.

With these increased language skills, I will be better prepared for my career in the future. I do not know exactly what I want to do for my career yet, but I know that I definitely want to work for a company where I can frequently use my Spanish skills. In addition to double majoring in International Business and Spanish, I am double concentrating in Global Supply Chain Management and Applied Analytics. With this combination of studies, I set myself up for a career that is international by definition. I imagine myself traveling often and not staying in the same place for too long.

Reflecting back on my almost two years here at Bryant, I could not ask for a better experience. Bryant has given me an amazing education that has been the perfect combination of business and the arts. For those interested in pursuing an education at Bryant in a modern language, I could not recommend it more. I can only speak for the Spanish program here, but increasing your language skills even just a little bit will set you apart from the competition when applying for internships and jobs. Do not be afraid of foreign languages, embrace them!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Language Learners as Ethnographers

Read about the ethnography directed study offered to study abroad students in Italian and Spanish, created by Lecturers Elisabetta Misuraca (Italian) and Heather M. Moon (Spanish).  Bryant Stories

And take a look at one of the student ethnography projects:  Catalan Nationalism and the Soccer Culture of FC Barcelona by Gabby Barrett '18.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spanish Student Award Winners at the 2017 Modern Language Award Ceremony

Congratulations to Michelle Meneades, Amelia Eppard, Vivian Tejada, Kayla Nikosey and Kevin Ludemann.

Heather Moon and Patricia Gomez (Lecturers), Amelia Eppard, Vivian Tejada, Kevin Ludemann, Kayla Nikosey, and Tony Houston (Associate Professor)  Photo by James Imrie (Class of ´18)

The Academic Achievement Award recognizes learners who can communicate effectively in the target language on academic subjects such as business, culture, film, history, linguistics, and literature.
Our award winner is a Spanish major who has taken advanced level Spanish courses in a wide variety of subject areas including film, literature, business, conversation and more. She has researched the films of Isabel Coixet, la movida madrilena cultural post-Franco cultural movement in Spain, and in Spanish for Business her group’s business plan researched Bolivian soccer leagues and invented "Sol Futbol Academy", a not-for-profit raising money to set up leagues for children in Bolivia. She also studied in Bilbao, Spain her junior year where she interned, for credits in Spanish, at CIMAS Innovación y Medio Ambiente. In her four years of Spanish studied she has earned a very nearly perfect 3.9, and is a member of the Phi Sigma Iota honor society. Michelle Meneades has impressed us year after year during her time at Bryant. Congratulations.

The Intellectual Entrepreneur Award recognizes a student who has the curiosity and imagination to make connections across disciplines and who who actively seeks out opportunities to learn.

This student successfully completed her minor in Spanish by the end of her junior year, and then spent the summer in Salamanca, Spain where two things happened: she completed coursework to earn a concentration in Spanish and, more significantly, her view of the world shifted. Her time abroad gave her confidence in her language abilities, and a taste of Spanish culture that has already had significant influence on her goals and plans. Upon her return to Bryant for her senior year she sought out an opportunity to continue to use her language skills in the community, volunteering in an after school program in an elementary school in Central Falls all year. The special bonds she has formed with her students, many of whom are Spanish language dominant, inspired a short essay in Spanish for publication in Phi Sigma Iota literary magazine, which is also published on our departmental blog. The next phase of her learning will take Amelia Eppard back to Spain to teach English in Madrid during the upcoming academic year. Please join me in congratulating in her.

The Social Entrepreneur Award recognizes learners who demonstrate personal and intellectual growth through community engagement.

This student, minoring in Spanish has taken courses in film, heritage learning and Spanish and Conversation. She also took SIE Latin America course with me in our first trip to Argentina and Chile in 2015….and additionally was our first Bryant to study abroad in Cuba. She is currently completing a directed study on Mental Health in the LatinX community, which she presented at REDay one week ago. She has also very recently been accepted to the Coro Fellowship in Public Policy in Los Angeles for the upcoming year which I was honored to write a letter of recommendation for her. One of her biggest leadership roles was seen here on campus this past November when I saw her fully take charge of the I am an immigrant campaign. I was happy to support her and have been privileged to watch her grow immensely in her four years here at Bryant. She will be missed. Congratulations to Vivian Tejada.

The Language Mastery Award recognizes learners who have acquired communicative and intercultural competence through formal study and application.

This Spanish major placed into the intermediate level as a freshman, and has worked her way through our program course by course, honing her language skills and expanding her intercultural competence in each successive course - often taking multiple Spanish courses in the same semester. She first was exposed to Argentina/Chile SIE in 2015 and she then studied abroad in Costa Rica in the summer between sophomore and junior years, an experience that she then expanded upon in a semester-long research project that she completed as part of her Cultures course as a junior. Her application of her skills have been wide and varied: in her literature course, she played multiple parts, including a lion tamer, in her group's theatrical production of the short story Juan Darien, and she is currently analyzing the film Te doy mis ojos by Iciar Bollain, as well as completing a Directed Study in ethnography based on her experiences at Progreso Latino in Providence. Her interest in language and culture even influenced her Honors Capstone in Finance, as she studied the stock markets in Spain, Mexico, and Chile. Finally, she has served as the Secretary/Treasurer of Bryant’s chapter of Phi Sigma Iota honor society this year. Congratulations to Kayla Nikosey.

The Cultural Ambassador Award recognizes learners who apply a cosmopolitan outlook to global citizenship.
This Spanish major is the student representative and public face of the Spanish program in a number of organizations on campus, including (but certainly not limited to) the My Path program, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council, and as President of BUSCO (Stop by Latin Night tonight in the Roto!). His enthusiasm for Bryant’s Spanish program is seemingly boundless, and he represents our program exceptionally well in all of his interactions on campus. His perspective on the importance of learning language and culture, as he so eloquently expressed a few minutes ago, demonstrate his understanding of how cultural understanding helps all of us respond and adapt to the communicative and social needs of culturally different others. As he is only a junior, We look forward to Kevin Ludemann’s continued advocacy and accomplishments next year. Congratulations.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Amelia Eppard is a senior majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Spanish. She is also a member of the Phi Sigma Iota honor society.  After graduation, she is planning to take a gap year to teach English in Spain, where she will be able to immerse herself in the culture and learn valuable skills (plus enjoy their delectable desserts and coffees).

Amelia wrote this piece about her experiences learning Spanish, and a very young teacher she met while volunteering in a local school.

Gracias, Luis
Por Amelia Eppard

El proceso de aprender un idioma puede ser frustrante, y había veces cuando quería rendirme. Aprender un idioma requiere mucha paciencia, muchas horas de leer, y muchas actividades de verbos. Pero, la satisfacción no está en las clases de español o francés, o italiano. La está en los momentos simples, pequeños, y bonitos en la vida. Para mí, este momento ocurrió con un niño de 6 años. 

Ahora, soy una voluntaria en una escuela de Rhode Island. Muchas de los estudiantes necesitan ayudan con su inglés o su español porque ellos son de familias hispanohablantes. En la clase de primero grado, hay un niño pequeño se llama Luis. Luis no puede hablar inglés y por eso, él es muy tímido y no tiene mucha confianza. Sin embargo, Luis se convirtió en un amigo mío. Cada martes y jueves, cuando yo voy a la escuela, Luis tiene una voz un poco más alta. Cada vez, Luis está más emocionado y quiere mi ayuda. Le he enseñado las matemáticas y le he dicho que “Repita estas palabras en inglés.” Me importa mucha nuestra amistad y antes de esta experiencia, no sabía que un niño de 6 años puede ensenarme en una manera tan especial e imprescindible. 

Luis es mi razón para continuar este viaje a fluidez. El proceso de aprender es gratificante solo si puede usar el conocimiento en una manera impactante. Espero que cada estudiante de un idioma pueda encontrar su propio Luis. Doy muchas gracias a mi maestro pequeño. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Nellie Gorbea, RI Secretary of State, visited Bryant on Wednesday September 21st

Thank you to the the PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Intercultural Center for sponsoring the visit by Nellie Gorbea, RI Secretary of State, to Bryant. Many Bryant students, including Katie Nugent, attended the event. Katie's observations are below.

This past Wednesday, Nellie Gorbea, Rhode Island’s Secretary of State, came to Bryant to speak about her experiences in politics as a Latina. She spoke about her transition into her political role and why she decided she wanted to represent the state of Rhode Island. She discussed the small percentage of latino politicians in American society today and how she was the first Latina to win a state office position in New England. She stressed the importance of millennials taking part in the upcoming election and encouraged students to get involved in whatever field they desire or somehow give back to their community. Gorbea emphasized her willingness to listen to everyone’s perspective in order to improve everyone’s well being in Rhode Island.

During her term in office, Gorbea has pushed the implementation of new technology in the voting systems. At this event, her passion and work ethic was apparent as she spoke about why she thought it is important to improve our current system. Overall, this was a very positive learning experience and influenced me to have more of a presence in my community and to also take advantage of my vote in this upcoming election.

Katie Nugent is a sophomore who is business undecided with a minor in Spanish. She is a member of the women’s soccer team and has recently joined a public speaking club on campus to get involved in the Bryant community. This winter, Katie will be traveling to Argentina and Chile on the Sophomore International Experience trip and is looking forward to take advantage of this great learning opportunity.