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38C43593-E868-49ED-8BA4-217BA25D53F2Danielle Ojeda San Antonio- Dr. Maribel Larraga, the Chair for the department of humanities and social sciences at Our lady of the Lake University, encourages undergraduates to develop their bilingual skills by enrolling in the Spanish program. The benefits of beginning your career path, speaking both English and Spanish will increase employment opportunities for a wide range of fields. Dr. Larraga explains how the United States is a “fountain of opportunities”, and the “committed” professors working in this department are determined to help set students at advantageous positions. According to Dr. Larraga the quality of this program has a “history of innovation”. Since “1997 when the program put together a minor and major in Mexican American studies” the foundation of the Spanish program has been “solid and strong” states Dr. Larraga. Two important aspects of this organization are the Undergraduate Biliterate Certificate Program and the “reinvigorated curriculum” added courses. The Biliterate Certificate Program allows students to earn a dual-language certification also “help professionalize their Spanish”. Professor Nina Patrizio-Quinonez has stood as director for this program and Dr. Larraga serve as needed. The second aspect came from the professors revisiting the program and revitalizing requirements. Newer added classes such as “professional oral and written communication in Spanish” are included in the 27 advanced hours students need in order to graduate with a degree in Spanish, stated Dr. Larraga. Along with the courses and certificate program, students who choose to major or minor in Spanish are given the opportunity to work with professors who have “exceptional credentials” including heritage from Cuba, Argentina, and Mexico. In addition to the wonderful professors that make this program so special from other universities, are the students at Our Lady of the Lake. “It starts with the students” said Dr. Larraga. Miguel Sanchez, a junior at Our Lady of the Lake University, plans to graduate with a major in kinesiology and a minor in education. Sanchez explained Spanish is spoken frequently at his house and during soccer practice. “I had never given a lot of thought in joining the Spanish program here, because the language is already a big part of my life” stated Sanchez. However, pursing Spanish can be more practical when the student has grown up learning and speaking it already explained Dr. Larraga. Therefore Dr. Larraga speaks passionately about “taking advantage of this resource” and promoting this program. “you do not need a lot…to inspire students” said Dr. Larraga, and from the Spanish department’s commitment and passion they will only lead students to success. For more information on the Spanish program contact: Maribel Lárraga, Ph.D. Chair, Humanities & Social Sciences Department Jefa del Departamento de Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales Professor and Head of Spanish Questions/Preguntas:
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