We love to keep in touch with our alumni and find out what's happened in the years since graduation. In addition to this website, we invite all of our alumni, as well as our current Spanish majors and minors, to join our Facebook group:
Below, some of our graduates share their professional and academic experiences with you:
Laura Michaels Renard '08
I graduated in 2008 and have been a member of the Spanish department at the Hyde School, a private boarding school in Woodstock, CT, for the past 5 years. I became the Foreign Language Dept. Chair in 2011 and this year I am beginning a new role as the Dean of Academics. I love teaching Spanish, as it has given me opportunities to both be creative with my teaching as well as to share my interest in Spanish and Hispanic art/culture with my students. This year I’ll be teaching the AP Literature course and I’m really excited to work through the readings with the kids! Additionally, I am working on my Master’s degree in Spanish at Middlebury College in VT and have just finished my second summer there. I chose to pursue this degree as I wanted to start a master’s program and felt that this was the subject area that I was most interested in and that would help me the most as I move forward in my career. I do hope to pursue doctoral studies in the future in Spanish culture and literature, but not until I at least finish my degree at Middlebury!
Andrew Martin '08
When I arrived at F&M the fall of my freshman year, I didn't know a word of Spanish. Four years later, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Spanish thanks to the wonderful faculty and staff who helped guide me along the way. After college, I became certified as a medical interpreter and began working at the Chester County Hospital in West Chester, PA. As one of nine interpreters on staff, I have the privilege of seeing patients from all across Latin America. On any given day, I could be assisting with a C-section, facilitating a cardiac catheterization, or working on a translation in the office. Every day is different, and every day I learn something new. The critical thinking skills I honed at F&M have served me well over the years because interpreting requires you to analyze things like language, meaning, and culture, all within a matter of seconds. Sometimes it's stressful, and sometimes my brain gets fried, but it's always worth it in the end. Getting to play a role in helping people get better is truly a pleasure.
Lilah Thompson '11
Lilah is an F&M graduate with a double major in English and Spanish and minor International Studies with a focus in Latin America. She just finished two years serving as the post-graduate fellow for Human Rights and Social Justice at The Ware Institute for Civic Engagement at Franklin & Marshall College. During this time, Lilah was active in working with refugees and immigrants through awareness efforts, volunteer coordination and fundraising in the Lancaster Community and through the Lancaster County Refugee Coalition. She also leads the Ghana Alternative Winter Break Program, and co-facilitated the F&M Works in Lancaster Internship program at F&M. She created the Refugee Simulation “Between Borders,” which seeks to raise awareness and shift perception of the refugee experience and is presented throughout Pennsylvania. Lilah is currently working as a consultant with the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership Fair Housing Office, and recently moved to Philadelphia where she is planning to go to law school in Fall 2014 to be an immigration lawyer.
R. Alex Woodend '10
I graduated in 2010 with honors in Government. While at Franklin & Marshall, I took Spanish every semester and studied abroad with IES in Madrid, Spain during the fall of my junior year. My favorite classes were in literature and film where Professor Sofia Ruiz-Alfaro provided invaluable inspiration and guidance. Spanish allowed me to engage in the creative arts throughout college, beautifully complementing my social science course load. After F&M, I worked as a correspondent for Lancaster Newspapers and as a congressional intern and NGO director in Washington, DC. Over the years I have spent three summers in China and recently completed a master's degree at Columbia University in Asian Studies with a focus on Chinese history. My thesis examined the relationship between literature and politics in early post-Mao China. Pursing a career as a writer and editor, I still read and translate Spanish in addition to Chinese.
Matthew De Ronde ’10
Matthew is curently a second-year graduate student at Teachers College-Columbia University where he is completing a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language. He is also the recipient of the 2012-2013 Cosby Scholarship, which is a scholarship that was generously given by Mr. William Cosby to aid Franklin and Marshall Alumni who continue on to complete graduate work at Teachers College-Columbia University. Matthew discovered his passion for teaching English to speakers of other languages while serving as an English teaching assistant in a public high school in Béjar, Spain. He feels strongly that his study of Spanish, Italian, and French at Franklin & Marshall, paired with his experiences abroad in Italy and Spain, prepared him to think critically and creatively about linguistics, culture, pedagogy, and language acquisition. Matthew strives to incorporate many of the creative and interdisciplinary techniques that his professors employed at Franklin & Marshall in his own teaching. He is eager to grow as a student, researcher, and educator during his second year at Columbia as he begins his student teaching and embarks on the journey of writing his Masters thesis.