Assistant Professor of Spanish
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
In Their Own Words
Class of 2006
Majors: Spanish and Marine Science
I chose to study Spanish at Eckerd because I was always fascinated by the language and the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Also, I was interested in studying tropical marine ecology and I knew that being able to speak Spanish would facilitate my travels and opportunities for collaboration and research throughout the Caribbean and Central America. I began taking some introductory Spanish grammar courses at Eckerd without the intention of majoring in Spanish, but as I became better acquainted with the Spanish program and high quality faculty, I did not want to stop! I decided to major in Spanish in addition to Marine Science so I could continue to build my Spanish language skills and keep on studying within the department.
The introductory and advanced grammar courses taught by Profesora Lezcano were fundamental in providing me with a strong foundation in the language. Profesora Molina-Gavilan’s Oral Expression class was instrumental in moving me towards oral fluency. Furthermore, literature classes taught by Profesora Lezcano and Profesor DiSalvo were excellent opportunities to learn more about cultures of the Spanish-speaking world in addition to exposing me to classic works by world-renowned authors. In fact, Angeles Mastretta, who I read in Profesora Lezcano’s class, is now my favorite author in any language.
The strong Spanish language skills I learned during my studies at Eckerd proved to be extremely beneficial to my career. For my undergraduate thesis, I had to the opportunity to study reef fish ecology in Costa Rica and I would not have been able to communicate with habitat managers or the local community where I conducted my research without a firm grasp of the language. After my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate to be awarded a Fulbright grant to study nursery habitat use by reef fishes in the Mexican Caribbean working out of CIVESTAV del I.P.N. in Mérida, Yucatán. Oral and written competency in Spanish was necessary for admittance and successful completion of this prestigious program. In these ways, applying the language skills I learned at Eckerd has been essential to my chosen career path. I am sure I will have many more opportunities to apply my skills as I continue to work throughout the region.