The fall semester is upon us, once again, and with it comes another installment of Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus.
Featured this September of 2021 is Ms. Emma Burton (’22)—a double major in Spanish and International Studies (with a concentration in Latin America and the Caribbean), a minor in Marketing and, last but not least, a Senior in CofC’s prestigious Honors Program.
Outside of her chosen fields of study, Ms. Burton has distinguished herself with varied and impressive activities, ranging from studying abroad in Havana, Cuba (spring 2020), to volunteering with Student Action with Farmworkers in conjunction with the Wake Forest School of Medicine (June – August 2020) and with Amigos International, Ministerio de Salud in Panonomé, Panamá (May- July 2019), to serving in leadership roles as a Peer Facilitator within both the Department of Hispanic Studies and the Honors College (2019), to engaging in market research by way of an internship with Platino Educa (summer 2021), a locally-based Spanish language film streaming service start-up.
Of course, the challenge in summarizing the experiences and accomplishments of HISP’s Student Focus features is adequately conveying just how much they have been involved with during their time at the College. Having failed, yet again, with my own words, I will give the last ones of this Student Focus to Emma herself:
I love learning Spanish with the Hispanic Studies department. My Spanish has improved more than I could have imagined as a first year, but I have gained so much more than Spanish language skills through the department.
In my classes, I can pursue my passion for literature and writing while developing my Spanish. I believe that my communication skills in both English and Spanish have improved as a result of my education in the Hispanic Studies department. I was also given the opportunity to live in La Casa Hispana, where I made many great friends and practiced Spanish frequently in my day-to-day life. Studying abroad in Havana was especially meaningful because I could speak with my host family and people I met in the neighborhood.
Learning Spanish has opened so many doors for me in my time at the college. I feel more connected to the Charleston community because I can communicate with more of its members. Every internship or opportunity I have had during college has been tied to the Spanish skills I have learned from my professors at CofC. Professors in the Hispanic Studies department are invested in my learning and are always willing to go the extra mile to help a student succeed.
This upcoming year, I will be completing a Bachelor’s Essay about cinema under dictatorship in Spain and Latin America, with Dra. Divine as my advisor. She was the professor who inspired me to declare my Spanish major, so I couldn’t be happier to finish my studies by working on this project with her! I am so grateful to every professor I have had in the Hispanic Studies department, who have all helped make me a better student of Spanish and citizen of the world.