Danya Firestone, a double major in Spanish and Foreign Language Education with minors in Linguistics and Anthropology ’19, is also the Linguistics Club President, Honors College Sustainability and Social Justice Cohort Senior Mentor, and an Honors College Student Ambassador. In addition, Danya is an active member of the Chucktown Trippintones A Cappella group, Otro Sur (the Latin American Music Ensemble), the Jewish Student Union, and the Honors College Scholar-Citizen Initiative. Despite these numerous activities, she also finds time to collaborate with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Carolina as a bilingual translator and wish granting volunteer.
In Danya’s own words:
My experience as a student in the Hispanic Studies department has served an integral role in giving me an amazing experience at CofC. This department is a tight-knit community bonded by a love for the Spanish language, Latinx culture, and Latinx people. Hispanic studies professors really care about their students’ individual success and interests, and the department offers tons of opportunities to get involved with the Spanish-speaking population of Charleston. Because of the department’s connections, I have become involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a bilingual translator and wish granter for the South Carolina chapter of the organization, and a summer intern for the Mid-Atlantic chapter in Washington, D.C. Because of the Hispanic Studies department’s curriculum and faculty, which emphasize culture and linguistics in addition to literature, I was able to find my passion for Spanish and English linguistics, and I plan to apply to graduate school for that next year, in pursuit of graduate studies that will lead me to one day become a professor. In my final year, I am serving as the Linguistics club president, active in the Spanish club, teaching undergraduate Spanish conversation classes, and bringing a renowned linguist that researches Latinx communities, Dr. Ana Celia Zentella, to campus in October to talk about language discrimination practices. I look forward to what comes after graduation, and know that I have the community of the Hispanic Studies faculty and students supporting me!
Ana Camila Bailey, a double major in Spanish and Communication ’18, is a member of Global Scholars, Delta Gamma Sorority, and she is an Operations Assistant for the tech startup Casa. She has also served the Department of Hispanic Studies as a Spanish conversation peer instructor, and she studied abroad twice: in Lisbon, Portugal in fall 2016, and in Córdoba, Argentina during the summer of 2017. She also worked as a Marketing Intern for Bedkin and Sycer in 2017.
In Camila’s own words:
I attribute so much of my growth as a student to the Hispanic studies department at CofC. The Spanish major is made up of rigorous courses that focus on literature, language, and culture and has shaped my knowledge of the Hispanic world while improving my language and writing skills both in Spanish as well as English. The professors in the department push their students to go beyond merely learning the material, to instead develop a genuine understanding that can be applied to both past and present real world situations. My experience in the Hispanic studies department has re-inspired my love of the language and has given me the drive and confidence to continue this practice in future endeavors.
Le’ah Griggs, a double major in Music Theory/Composition and Spanish ’18, is a member of the College of Charleston’s Concert Choir, the Latin American Ensemble Otro Sur, the Spanish Club, and she serves as Librarian-Student Team Leader for Addlestone Library. She has also served as the Assistant Director of the Children’s Choir at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, and she is a private piano instructor. Le’ah spent her spring 2017 semester studying abroad in the College of Charleston’s program in Trujillo, Spain, with support from the Jean and Tap Johnson Study Abroad Award courtesy of the School of the Arts.
In Le’ah’s own words:
The Spanish language and Hispanic studies department at the College of Charleston is a close-knit, engaging, and welcoming community that I am proud to be a part of. Thanks to the dedicated professors and rigorous course work offered by this department, I have drastically improved my Spanish language skills, broadened my knowledge of Hispanic culture on a global scale, and have grown immensely as a person. The most rewarding experience I have gained as a student of Hispanic studies comes from my time abroad in Trujillo, Spain. So much so in fact, that after graduation this Spring, I will be returning to Spain to pursue a Masters in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language at the University of Alcalá where I have received a full scholarship. I plan to be a music teacher in a Spanish language immersion school in the future.
Katherine Murchison, double-major in Spanish and International Studies and a minor in Business Administration ’18, is a student of the Honors College, a Harry and Reba Huge Scholar, a William Aiken Fellow, and a CofC International Scholar. She is currently a member of the S.C. Student Legislature, and she has also served as Student Ambassador for the Alumni Association and as an Ambassador of the Center for International Education, among other activities. She has also studied abroad in Argentina and India. Currently she works as a Securities Fraud Assistant with Motley Rice LLC in Mt. Pleasant.
In Katherine’s own words:
I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to engage with the Spanish language and Hispanic culture so deeply as a student in the Hispanic Studies Department here at the College. One of my most enlightening experiences was a result of my SPAN 400 Service Learning course where I served as an administrative assistant at the Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services for an entire semester. I loved my work so much that I continued volunteering throughout the summer. This past November, I was offered a fully-funded scholarship to Washington University School of Law where I hope to matriculate and serve as an immigration attorney committed to serving my Hispanic community.
Jolie Hiers, Spanish and Foreign Language Education ’18, is a student of the Honors College, a William Aiken Fellow, a College of Charleston Presidential Scholarship recipient, and a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the College of Charleston’s national-award-winning chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. In addition to her academic achievements at the College, she is currently a peer teacher for the Department of Hispanic Studies, and she served as a tutor for the Center for Student Learning, Co-Coordinator/Liaison for the Honors Engaged program, and College Ambassador, among other activities. She has also studied abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica and Trujillo, Spain.
In Jolie’s own words:
My experience as a Spanish major here at CofC has been amazing. Through this major I was able to study abroad in Spain and Costa Rica, which were both experiences of a lifetime. The professors in the department have been amazing mentors and educators, and I feel well-prepared to for my future career as a Spanish teacher. After graduation, I have applied to teach English in Spain through a Fulbright grant, but I am still waiting on the final notification. The following year, I plan to teach high school Spanish in South Carolina.