Professor of Spanish
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
In Their Own Words
Class of 2006
When I was first presented with the opportunity to study Spanish abroad -- as a rising high school senior in the summer of 2001 -- I wasn't sure if I even wanted to take advantage of the opportunity. Three years earlier, sitting in a guidance counselor's office with a choice of studying French, German or Spanish, I chose Spanish only because I had seen it on an ATM machine and supposed that it might prove to be useful in the future. I had no idea how this small decision would influence the path my life would take.
In the end, I decided to take that study abroad opportunity and spent seven weeks studying Spanish (and falling in love with) in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Upon my return to the U.S. and the realities of my college search, I now knew that I was not only looking for an institution with a quality marine science program; I was looking for one that placed a strong emphasis on study abroad, as well. It wasn't hard to find Eckerd College and decide that it was, without a doubt, the place that I wanted to be.
One might say that it was my aversion to mathematics that led me away from marine science. Surely that was a factor, but when I sat down to chart out the remainder of my years at Eckerd and realized that there would be years in which I would be unable to continue my Spanish studies, I knew I needed a change. I found a home, instead, in the Comparative Cultures Collegium, deciding on an International Studies major that proved to be a perfect fit. For three full years I was surrounded by supportive, intelligent and one-of-a-kind professors who not only challenged me academically, but personally, as well.
Today, I work with the Student/Farmworker Alliance, a national organization of students and youth organizing in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve wages and working conditions for Florida's farmworkers. The majority of workers in my community are immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, and Spanish is an integral part of my life. You'll find it on my lips as I communicate with my friends and co-workers, in musical form on my iPod, and in my heart. I am where I am today thanks to the study of Spanish, and my time spent studying the language at Eckerd was an invaluable piece of my journey.