On Friday, May 15, 2015, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese held a reception (jointly with Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies) to honor the Spring 2015 graduates with majors in Spanish, Portuguese, and LACIS. The event was held in the Wisconsin Room of the Red Gym on Langdon Street. All graduates of the program and their families were invited to attend a catered luncheon, followed by messages of congratulation from the departmental chairs, gifts to the graduates present, and awards to outstanding S&P and LACIS majors. At the reception, department chair Luís Madureira honored four outstanding graduates who completed the Spanish major this Spring: Hannah Bluett, Jenna Ciszewski, Holly Erbstoesser, and David Van Den Brandt. See further information below about the honorees.
Jenna graduated from UW-Madison with a 4.0 GPA and a double major in International Studies and Spanish. As an undergraduate, she was actively involved in residence life both as an Intern for the International Learning Community and as a House Fellow. She spent her senior year studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she conducted research with an NGO to study the relationship between HIV/AIDS and sex work in Argentina. Next year, Jenna plans to use her Spanish skills while working as a Patient Navigator through the AmeriCorps program at a health center in Seattle, Washington that specializes in services to Latinos. Jenna plans to eventually attend graduate school to earn her Master's in Public Health.
Holly writes: “I am a recent graduate of UW-Madison, who majored in Spanish, as well as Communicative Sciences and Disorders. During my time at UW I volunteered through organizations such as InterVarsity, UW Wellness Foundation, and NSSLHA (National Student Speech/Language & Hearing Association. These organizations gave me the opportunity to use my Spanish speaking skills, as well as work with people with a range of abilities. My junior year I studied abroad on a winter break trip to Costa Rica, which was one of the best opportunities I experienced in college. I am now pursuing a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology at UW-Madison and hoping to someday work with Spanish-speaking children in either a school or hospital setting.”
David Van Den Brandt
David writes: “First off, many thanks to the Spanish & Portuguese Department for the award! I’ve had a great time getting to know important works of Spanish and Spanish American literature as well as studying some Spanish phonetics and Portuguese during my time at UW-Madison. After pairing these studies with a year of courses at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, I graduate from UW feeling competent and very excited to use my language and writing abilities in the ‘work world.’ My current plan (and hope) is to work as a Spanish – English medical interpreter in the United States, as I could keep speaking Spanish and incorporate my interest in medicine. Once I see what this profession is like, I would like to begin a graduate studies program to continue the learning and studies that I’ve started at UW, but build upon my base in Latin American Studies, with the goal of completing research in Spanish speaking America and/or Brazil.”