Thursday, April 26, 2018

Modern Language Award Ceremony 2018


The Department of Modern Languages held its annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 25th in Bello Grand Hall.

The Department of Modern Languages Commencement Award winner was announced. Kevin Ludemann is a Spanish and Human Resource Management double major, and President of Bryant´s chapter of the Phi Sigma Iota international foreign language honor society. Read more about Kevin´s accomplishments in this blog post.


The Department also recognized student achievement in the following categories:
  • Academic Achievement
  • Intellectual Entrepreneur
  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Language Mastery
  • Cultural Ambassador

We would like to congratulate the award winners in Spanish: Kevin Ludemann, Claire Gracia, Kevyn Madrigal, Jenna Lamb, Michael Dalton, and Gabriel Barrett. You can read what Profesoras Gomez and Moon had to say about each recipient below. 

Profe Moon, Kevin, Claire, Kevyn, Gabby, Miguelito, Jenna, and Profe Gomez
Photo by James Imrie '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 and Human Resources Double Major who has taken nearly every advanced level Spanish courses that we offer, in a wide variety of subject areas including film, literature, culture, linguistics, business, conversation and more. He traveled to SIE Latin America his sophomore year with professor Gomez and was able to experience Latin American culture first hand. As we heard a few minutes ago, he is currently piloting a directed study with Professor Gomez in the area of medical Spanish in which he shadows members of the Bryant PA program in clinical settings in Providence, interpreting for Spanish-language patients. And he is the first student to complete his senior Honors Capstone in the Department of Modern Languages. His research presentation entitled the “Role of Drag Art in Modern Day Spain.” In his four years of Spanish studied he has earned a perfect 4.0, and is a member, and President, of the Phi Sigma Iota honor society and also served as BUSCO president. Kevin Ludemann has impressed us year after year during his 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.

A member of the Phi Sigma Iota honor society, this young woman has successfully combined her Global Studies major with a major in Spanish, and the two majors have often connected. For example, in the 400 level literature and film course that took with me last spring, her final research project explored the portrayal of immigrants, in particular female and child migrants, in film and how this portrayal has contributed to our national perceptions of immigration.

Another example includes the directed study she has just completed. Building upon her coursework in Global Anthropology she worked with a classmate to completed ethnographic research in Miami in January, which they used as a foundation for a semester-long research project on the various Latin American cultural influences on the city. They presented their research, which was nominated for Best Student Research Paper, at REDay last week.

This young woman studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain, where she also worked in an elementary school teaching English and U.S. culture. She said of these experiences: “I returned from my time abroad with a different idea of travel. I no longer wanted to just visit other countries; I wanted to fully interact with them.” And indeed she will be doing just that. Claire Gracia will soon be off to Peru where she will work as a Youth Development Facilitator with the Peace Corps. Please join me in congratulating in her.


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

This student is an International Business major with dual concentrations in Accounting and Spanish. He studied in Salamanca, Spain where he interned as an Assistant Project Coordinator and used his Spanish to help translate business proposals and investigated potential business opportunities in Latin America and Europe. Here at Bryant he has served on campus in a variety of organizations; ALPHA (Assoc. of Latino Professionals for America) as co-president last year and serves as President of ISO (International Student Organization) this current academic year. He has also also served as a member of MSU (Multicultural Student Union). He has been a great liaison in many campus wide events throughout his four years at Bryant. I have had the privilege of collaborating with him on events during September and October to highlight Hispanic Heritage month, primarily PLAFF (Providence Latin American Film Festival), Noche Latina in April and the I am an Immigrant campaign that has taken place two years in a row in the late Fall. He is a student that has involved himself in the Bryant community to highlight International and Multicultural events. It is with great pride that I congratulate Kevyn Madrigal to accept this award.

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

This International Business major began his study in Spanish in SP105, our introductory course. He is finishing his career at Bryant with dual concentrations in Spanish and Accounting he has a great control of the language as a non-native speaker. I can speak of that first hand as I have had him for a total of 6 courses from beginner to intermediate and advanced courses. I still remember the first beginner class that he took with me and I could see the desire he had to speak Spanish and he often questioned/wondered if he would actually ever get there. He traveled with me to SIE Latin America to Argentina and Chile where he become immersed fully into the culture while in both countries his sophomore year. This is where he fully engaged and I could see him wanting even more from the language as he was determined to speak with the locals. It was as if this was that first taste of Latin American culture that had him ready for his study abroad experience in Bilbao, Spain.

His junior year In Spain he completed internships with multiple companies, not by choice but rather because one of them closed part way through his semester. This year he worked with a classmate to on a directed study that researched 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, which they presented at REDay last week, this directed study was lead by Professor Moon. Along the way, this young man has shown enthusiasm for the Spanish language, and a desire to continually improve his skills. As one of his language professors that was given the pleasure of having him from his first year, second, third and fourth year, it is exciting and rewarding to see the complete growth of this student and stand back in awe of how much he has grown in the language and where he has taken those skills. It was my privilege having him as a student and there is no doubt that he will carry on using his language skills after graduation.

Professor Moon has asked me to share a excerpt of one of his weekly journals while he was abroad in Spain, because it exemplifies all that he has accomplished. It was written in Spanish so I’ll translate.

“I have traveled to Catalunya, Cantabria, Andalucia, Pais Vasco and more, have seen the different regional cultures of Spain, and I have talked with people in each of the regions. I am happy that, in general, people can understand what I say, and I have had many conversations in Spanish with people from different parts of the world. At the end of the day, this is my primary reason for learning Spanish, to be able to speak with more people and have diverse experiences.” This student will be missed immensely.

Congratulations to Miguel Dalton.

The Cultural Ambassador Award recognizes learners who apply a cosmopolitan outlook to global citizenship. We have two recipients for this award today, one whose work to promote culture on the Bryant campus and one whose time and research abroad….

Our first recipient is an International Business Major with a Concentration in Marketing and a minor in Spanish. She will be inducted into the Phi Sigma Iota honor society this afternoon. This student studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain her Sophomore year where she interned as a Marketing assistant and was able to use her Spanish skills there. I have had this student in the classroom and outside, as she has been a part of BUSCO, the Spanish Club on campus for a total of 2 1/2 years, she was abroad that other half year. In her time working as the Secretary I can honestly say she is an extremely organized person and kept the BUSCO in line and each year came up with better ideas year after year. This year for Noche Latina or Latin Night, we raised a total of $500 to donate to San Miguel School here locally in Providence, a school for boys between 5-8th grade who come from underprivileged areas of Providence. I am sure that she can attest that I am the professor at Bryant that she has received the most texts, en español, from to check locations of meetings and planning of events. She will be missed. Please join me on congratulating Jenna Lamb.

Our second recipient, also a Phi Sigma Iota honor society member, studied abroad in Barcelona her junior year. As can sometimes happen, the coursework abroad did not work well with this student’s credit needs. So, I offered to have her work with me to pilot a new directed study option on ethnography. She may have accepted this offer out of necessity, but what she did with this project was amazing. After some background work on the theory and practice of ethnography, she chose to study Catalan nationalism as viewed through FC Barcelona soccer culture during her semester abroad. Completing background research, cultural observations in multiple cities, and numerous interviews with native speakers, she produced a website with her research findings. This student’s work did not stop when she returned to Bryant’s campus. She presented her work at REDay 2017, and to a gathering of the Modern Language faculty and an invited guest speaker from Dartmouth, whose work with ethnography and language learners inspired this pilot project, which has gone on to become a regular course offering to our students while they are abroad. But were it not for the enthusiasm and dedication that Gabby Barrett showed for this project, it may have never come into existence. Please join me in expressing my gratitude and my congratulations to Gabby.

Department of Modern Languages Commencement Award Winner



It is our pleasure to announce that the 2018 Department of Modern Languages Commencement Award is awarded to Kevin Ludemann. Kevin is a Spanish and Human Resources Management Double Major. 
Kevin with Profesoras Moon and Gomez

Kevin Ludemann’s contributions to the academic and co-curricular life at Bryant are numerous, and extend far beyond his contributions specific to the Department of Modern Languages. However, his dedication to academic excellence, and his extensive involvement in the co-curricular offerings within Modern Languages make him the obvious choice for the 2018 Department of Modern Languages Commencement Award winner.

Kevin has been 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 (2 years), the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Council (2 years), and as President of the student cultural organization, BUSCO (1 year), a member of Phi Sigma Iota foreign language honor society since 2016, and President of the Bryant chapter during 2107-18. He also traveled abroad to Argentina and Chile for the Sophomore International Experience. 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 acquiring language and understanding culture demonstrate his awareness of how intercultural competence helps all of us respond and adapt to the communicative and social needs of culturally different others. This perspective earned Kevin the Cultural Ambassador Award from the Department of Modern Languages in April 2017.

As a Spanish major, Kevin has also excelled academically, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA in his Spanish major courses.

Kevin is currently piloting a directed study in the area of medical Spanish in which he shadows members of the Bryant PA program in clinical settings in Providence, interpreting for Spanish-language patients.

Kevin is also the first student to complete his senior Honors Capstone in the Department of Modern Languages. Written completely in Spanish, his capstone explored how the modern day Spanish Drag Queen has come to be, and the role that they play in society.

By looking at the role that cross dresser played in “Comedias”, or plays, that mimicked
Spanish society during the 16th century, the repression of sexual identity under the Franco dictatorship in the 20th century, and the post dictatorship period, known as La Movida Madrileña, through 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 included a look at various modern day drag performances and interviews with Drag Queens who live and perform in Spain.

This project was truly a culmination of the entirety of Kevin´s Spanish coursework here at Bryant.

Kevin is also the recipient of The NEHRA Management Department Commencement Award for Excellence in Human Resources Management, The Bryant University Good Citizenship Award, and The Student Senate Service Award. 

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. 

Abstract:

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.