Professor of Spanish
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
In Their Own Words
Charles Henry Gilbert
Class of 2010
International Relations and Global Affairs
I came to Eckerd knowing that Spanish was my strongest area of study and that Eckerd offered many opportunities for students to study abroad individually or with Eckerd professors. I spent time studying in a language intensive Winter Term in Salamanca, Spain, a Winter Term and Semester abroad in Puebla, Mexico and a Spring Break Service trip in Lima, Peru. I really did my best to take advantage of all the different opportunities. I wanted to make the most of my education, have some fun, travel, and I'm proud to say my efforts resulted in earning the Ken Keaton Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement. The award is given to a senior who embodies the college's commitment to intercultural understanding and respect for human diversity in a global society. I just enjoy Spanish and things like this are just the byproduct of maximizing my Eckerd experience.
The coursework at Eckerd allowed me to enroll in a variety of classes. My education went beyond simply learning the language. I enjoyed literature and politically-based classes that focused on Latin America, Spain and the U.S. I worked with the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture, a humanitarian organization that assists refugees, asylum seekers and asylees who have relocated to the Tampa Bay area after fleeing political torture in their countries of origin. In addition, I was able to tutor and mentor students in Elementary Spanish I and II during my last year and a half. This valuable teaching practice and work experience really had an impact on my career interests. I was also a member of the Spanish Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, and was selected Phi Beta Kappa, which provided the opportunity to interact with an engaging group of Eckerd scholars.
All of these experiences have really changed my life. I left Eckerd speaking the language with much more fluency and with a strong will to guarantee that the basic human, economic and social rights of immigrants are protected. From my first class, Coming to America, until my last semester volunteering with a Cuban Refugee program, my Spanish and International Relations coursework has developed my passion for ensuring these rights for immigrants. My Eckerd experience has inspired me to look for a job with either a non-profit or NGO that works with recently arrived immigrants and their families before eventually pursuing a Masters in Latin American Studies. The Eckerd Spanish program has without question given me a strong foundation for this pursuit.
Charles was chosen by his peers to give the final address to his graduating class at Commencement. Click here to read his comments.