Quick Contact

Yolanda Molina-Gavilán
Professor of Spanish

Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

molinay@eckerd.edu

toll-free: (800) 456-9009

Spanish

Spanish

In Their Own Words

Caleb Steindam

Class of 2002

Caleb SteindamThere were so many good reasons to choose Spanish as my major at Eckerd College. It was an opportunity to achieve full mastery of a language I knew I would use throughout my life. The Spanish professors were outstanding, able to push students to higher levels of achievement while always offering the necessary support and encouragement. I enjoyed all my Spanish studies – there was great satisfaction in improving my language skills while being intellectually challenged through courses that required me to discuss and write critically about Spanish and Latin American history, culture, literature and film. And of course, there were the incredible prospects for studying abroad. But as excited as I was by the idea of traveling to faraway places, I never imagined how much the rest of my life was to be influenced by these experiences.

The opportunities for Eckerd students to study internationally are wonderfully varied and adaptable to each student’s goals and interests. For my first extended period of time outside the U.S., I took a winter term language course in beautiful Salamanca, Spain. The following year I spent a full semester in Montevideo, Uruguay, taking courses in sociology (one of my minors) and Uruguayan history and literature at the Universidad Católica. I returned to Uruguay for winter term of my senior year for an independent study in sociology. All of this language immersion allowed me to reach full fluency in speaking, reading, writing and thinking in Spanish. Perhaps even more importantly, these experiences acquainted me with aspects of the world and of myself that I had never known. The world has seemed a much smaller place to me ever since.

After graduating from Eckerd I chose a career in education. I earned a masters degree in Spanish Education from Lehman College in New York, while teaching in the public school system there. I am pleased to say that my education at Eckerd prepared me for even the most challenging graduate-level Spanish work I encountered. My work was heavily influenced by my Eckerd experience as I created a curriculum with the intention of not only teaching my students the language, but getting them to experience and use the language in meaningful contexts. I have taught both Spanish and elementary education in various locations throughout the world. Currently, I am the 5th grade teacher and primary coordinator at the American International School of Freetown in Sierra Leone, West Africa. For my next move I plan to return to the U.S. to further my studies at the doctoral level.

Eckerd’s Spanish program truly opened up the world to me, and my life has never been the same.

Study Abroad - Spain

Spanish Languange & Culture in Madrid

Video by Sophia Faiella

Check out the Madrid 2014 blog for more photos, videos and trip highlights.