Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus, February 2023: Ms. Elisa Peñaloza
Ms. Elisa Peñaloza is Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus for February 2023.
As any smart, forward-thinking individual inclined towards business can tell you, in our increasingly diversifying society, cultural and linguistic fluency represents the difference between a sale made and an opportunity lost.
Of course, you needn’t tell this to Elisa Peñaloza, who is already acutely aware of the fact, having paired her B.S. in Marketing with a Minor in Spanish for Business—a combination which, as she notes, will enable her to “use proficiency in the Spanish language to advertise and market to a Spanish-speaking consumer base.”
Besides her enrollment in the popular Spanish for Business Minor, Ms. Peñaloza is also active in the life of Hispanic Studies Department, being a member of the Spanish Club, the Hispanic Latino Club and a participant in the Spanish as a Heritage Language Distinction initiative—a program which recognizes Hispanic/Latino students at the College of Charleston with a unique and valuable connection to Spanish as a heritage language and to the varied cultures of the Hispanic world.
If the adage that the whole is only as good as the sum of its parts is true, then Hispanic Studies has good reason to be thankful that Ms. Elisa Peñaloza has chosen to join the department as one of its students.
In her own words…
“The moment I arrived at the College of Charleston, I knew I wanted to be involved with the Hispanic community on campus as much as possible. I grew up in a Mexican household in an area where there weren’t many Hispanics, so unfortunately, I never got the delight of being surrounded by peers who could relate to me. I was introduced to the Spanish as a Heritage Language Distinction program shortly after starting the semester, and I quickly fell in love with the program and everyone involved. Dra. Rodriguez-Sabater, my first Spanish teacher on campus, has demonstrated to me that regardless of your current level of Spanish proficiency, no matter how high you may think it is, you can always learn something new. It was because of her Spanish Heritage course that I read and finished my first Spanish book -ever- and am now able to proudly say that I know where to place the accents in my writing. Through this program and the Hispanic-Latino and Spanish clubs on campus, I’ve made many friends who understand the Hispanic experience and the importance of embracing our heritage. The Hispanic Studies department has proven to be a place of comfort for me, with passionate professors willing to go the extra mile to help me advance. I’m thankful to have found a place where I belong and am always welcomed with open arms. My time at the College of Charleston has only begun, and I still have much more to accomplish and learn during my time here. I hope to see the Spanish Heritage Distinction program expand and the growth of students who value the importance of the Spanish language and decide to continue with it.”