Department of Spanish and Portuguese

College of Letters & Science
HomeStacy C.

Stacy C.

Major(s) and Certificate(s): 

Spanish, International Relations, Environmental Studies Certificate, Urban Planning (MA) and Transportation Management Certificate

Graduation Year: 
1997 (BA), 2009 (MA)
Current city: 
Current state/province/country (if outside US): 
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?: 

• Volunteered at an orphanage in La Paz, Bolivia
• Sold pianos
• Worked as an Urban/Regional Planner/Transportation Planner in Washington, D.C. (6 years)

Language(s) : 
What motivated you to study this/these languages?: 

Spanish is not only a beautiful language with extraordinary literature, but it's also widely-used in the U.S. Additionally, I was interested in traveling and working in Latin America.

How have these languages enriched your life?: 

• Connecting to people: People's eyes light up when you speak their native language. A door opens and a new relationship is full of more possibilities and connections than before.
• Travel : Speaking Spanish has increased the value of all of my travel experiences by providing more interesting human connections, improving my chances of ordering well from menus, and improving the overall quality of a travel experience. Not to mention, Spanish music is more interesting when you understand the words!
• Improved resume and work opportunities: I use Spanish in working with foreign clients, and in outreach to Spanish speaking populations on local planning projects.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?: 

The classes were smaller. People seemed generally enthused to learn language as a way to launch themselves into new experiences in life.

How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?: 

I read in Spanish, and speak Spanish wherever possible. I've traveled within Latin America and have volunteered at an ophanage in Bolivia (where the children were quick to give language advice)! I did do a study abroad program through Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, before coming to the University of Wisconsin.

What advice do you have for current language students?: 

Become as fluent as possible - spend a year in a Spanish-speaking country and use your language. There is no better way to learn and have the language become a part of you.

What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?: 
Mucha-ma - "Kiss me" in Quechuan. Also the lyrics of "Sin Tu Latido" by S. Rodriguez.