‘Modern Languages, Literature, and Cultures’ Category

Nikita Sandstrom ’23

“The language classes are a well-balanced mix of academic and modern terms so while you can understand the base, there are modern terms mixed in so a student such as I can hold conversations and navigate a modern Eastern Europe.” As someone who is half Ukrainian and grew up speaking Russian and Ukrainian, Nikita decided […]

Andrea Cruz Bracamontez ’24

“I’ve been motivated by many professors in the Modern Languages Department to pursue leadership opportunities both on-campus and off-campus.” Having parents who are immigrants from Puebla, Mexico,  Andrea chose to major in Spanish to “get a better understanding of the cultural and linguistic components of the Spanish language.” Her Spanish and LALACS courses, as well […]

Michaela Woodward ’23

“From study abroad, to internships, to on-campus opportunities, the professors in the MLLC department are always supportive of their students and have their best interests in mind.” Michaela is a senior Spanish, LALACS, and Film Studies major and Russian & Eastern European Studies minor from Greenville, Wisconsin. Her curiosity for the Spanish language initially began […]

Jorge Koenen ’25

“The professors’ aim is to make the learning environment safe and welcoming to facilitate an environment that is optimal for learning.” Jorge was drawn to the Spanish major at Gustavus as someone who grew up speaking Spanish. Being born in Guatemala, he says, “I enjoy learning about the diverse cultures of Spanish-speaking countries.” Jorge is […]

Mel Pardock ’25

“The department works hard to ensure that students are learning in a way that leaves a lasting impact and the community is full of kind, intelligent, encouraging  people that want to ensure that you are experiencing the language and culture you are studying fully.” Mel was initially drawn to Gustavus with intentions of pursuing a […]

Sara Baxter ’23

“Studying abroad gave me opportunities to dive deeper into subjects on Japanese culture.” Sara, a senior from Wisconsin, was interested in studying languages even before coming to Gustavus, learning Italian as a hobby when she was a child. She started taking Japanese language courses in high school and really enjoyed it, and she knew that […]

Claire Schoonmaker ’25

“The department is super welcoming! It is small enough that I’ve shared French courses with the same classmates multiple times and the professors all know me.” Claire’s interest in the French language began in middle school when she started taking French courses. She continued throughout high school and didn’t want to stop when she got […]

Caroline Southworth ’24

“Language learning helps me specialize in my studies of international relations and prepares me to live abroad.” Caroline was drawn to a Russian and Eastern European Studies major due to a strong interest in international relations and security studies. This major, along with her other individualized major in International Political Economics and Diplomacy, compliment each […]

Elizabeth Tribbett ’23

“I love the connections you can make with people by speaking a second language.” Elizabeth chose to major in Spanish, in addition to Biology, in preparation for a future health care profession, saying, “I have found Spanish useful in everyday life and I hope to be able to speak Spanish with patients in the future.” […]

Carlos Mejia Suarez, PhD

“In my courses I provide opportunities for students to establish connections between class experience and community engagement.“ What are your areas of research and teaching expertise? Latin American literature: Twentieth century and contemporary, its intersection with gender, sexuality, armed conflict, and peace. What is your teaching style? My classroom is an open space for structured […]