Hispanic Studies Student Focus, February 2024: Ms. Sophie Faughnan

By | February 11, 2024

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, February 2024: Ms. Sophie Faughnan

HISP’s Student Focus for February 2024 is Ms. Sophie Faughnan.

A double major in Spanish and Psychology with a minor in Education, Ms. Faughnan is yet another shining example of the impressive sorts of students that Hispanic Studies attracts; well-rounded individuals who enthusiastically seek to expand their horizons and whose intellectual and experiential curiosity leads them to actively engage with and to enrich the wider world.

Just one illustration of such engagement is Sophie’s period of study abroad, which she chose to spend in Seville, Spain during spring of 2023. While there, besides living and studying in the culture, Ms. Faughnan interned as an English Teaching Assistant at Colegio Cristo Rey in nearby Triana, Spain—an experience which would seem to have been a positive one, considering the fact that she subsequently applied and was a semifinalist for a 2024-2025 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Spain.

Besides her impactful experience studying abroad, Sophie has also distinguished herself as a scholar, both within Hispanic Studies and beyond–an excellent example of this being her present Honors Bachelor’s Essay research into “Perspectives of instructors of Spanish in K-12 and higher education concerning the integration of profanity, euphemisms, and taboos into the teaching of Spanish as a second language (L2) in US classrooms,” which she is conducting with HISP faculty member, Dr. Silvia Rodríguez Sabater.

Finally, with respect to her extra-curricular activities, Ms. Faughnan has kept quite busy, serving both as the Online Media Manager of Kappa Alpha Theta’s Zeta Lambda chapter (of which she is a member), as well as Musical Director and member of The Acabelles, the College of Charleston’s all-female identifying acapella group.

In her own words…

“I was extremely fortunate to have been thrown into the world of Spanish language learning as an infant when my parents enrolled me in my hometown’s Foreign Language Immersion Childcare Center (FLICC). It took most of my childhood and adolescence to realize how valuable having this innate ear for a second language was, and it was the College of Charleston’s Hispanic Studies Department whose engaging coursework inspired me to change what was initially a Spanish minor to a major.

In my studies at the College, my Spanish language skills evolved from a party-trick-taken-for-granted to a core component of my identity. After my study abroad experience in Sevilla, where I tested the waters of English teaching to Spanish natives, I discovered a newfound fascination for language learning as a tool for enhancing cross-cultural exchange and engaging in empathetic human connection.

Friendships I made with Sevilla locals inspired me to steer my bachelor’s thesis in the direction of Applied Spanish Sociolinguistics, and continued communication with these friends draws me back to the Iberian Peninsula for further cultural exchange after graduation. I am thrilled to have been selected as a Semi-Finalist for Fulbright’s English Teaching Assistantship Award in Spain, and I owe my linguistic successes and their influence on my future professional endeavors to the Department of Hispanic Studies. ¡Tengo ganas de ver lo que me depara el futuro!”

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