Alumni News: Where are they now? More Spanish Graduates Report
By Dr. Jon Aske, Department of Foreign Languages
Our first round of enquiries about our graduates’ lives after Salem State in the previous issue of Lingua Franca was very well received, so we asked again for updates in the Spanish alumni mailing list and eight more graduates wrote this time to tell us about their lives. We will let them speak in their own words. Let me just say that we at Salem State are terribly proud of them and their accomplishments.
Wow, the last five years really flew by! It is now that I can really tell that my education is something priceless. Thanks to my Spanish education I was able to get into a bilingual serial coordinator position at EBSCO Publishing in Ipswich. I was responsible for calling coordinating with Latin American publishers and making sure the publications arrived to EBSCO for databases used in libraries for research. I was quickly promoted after eight short months to a Corporate Manager for EBSCO Publishing and now I am selling the databases to fortune 1000 corporations in Canada. This July will be my third year at EBSCO. The territory that I have is very diverse and I am really considering coming back to SSU for my Masters in Business and Minor in French. Being tri-lingual would be an excellent advantage for me since I have Montreal in my territory. I am becoming more exposed to the French language and can actually understand it. The best part is that EBSCO will cover 75% of all costs if I come back to school. Even in Canada I have been able to use my Spanish to obtain profitable accounts for my company. Someday I would like to work in the Latin American market for EBSCO.
Ana M. Chadbourne
I had been working full time as a Clerk and Spanish Interpreter at City Hall in Lynn, while pursuing my degree at Salem State in the evening. Just as I graduated this past May, I was let go from that position because of the economy. However, a few months later and while taking the University of Massachusetts Medical School Medical Interpreter Training program I landed a position at North Shore Medical Center as a Spanish Medical Interpreter. This was a great and challenging position but not the right fit for me. So once again I found myself job searching. Thanks to a wonderful friend who I met during my 4 years at Salem State and had the honor of graduating with, I now have a position in the Lynn School Department. I have stayed on as a per diem interpreter at the hospital, but now work full time for the Special Education Department as the Spanish Interpreter/Translator. I have to say I love my job. There is not one day that I do not learn something new, either in English or Spanish. I am still a Justice of the Peace and often officiate weddings for the Hispanic speaking community, and of course I am also a full time mom! Life is good.
Kathryn Cortave (Stallard)
After Graduating from Salem State in 2009, I got married to my sweetheart of four years, and had a baby girl named Eva Mariana. Since then I have been a stay-at-home mom, but I’m actively looking for a full time position in which I can use my language skills. Let me know if you know of any available positions! Here’s a picture of Eva in her Halloween costume as a lobster!
Since I graduated in 2009 with a double major in Fitness/Wellness and Spanish, I have had an interesting journey in my professional life. Right after I graduated, I started looking for different job opportunities and I worked for a few different health clubs in the area teaching mostly classes and doing some personal training. I now work as a Group Fitness Director at Healthworks Chestnut Hill and Brookline. I still practice my Spanish with members and co-workers as well as I try to read books and watch Spanish movies. I one day hope to be able to use Spanish more in my professional life.
Catherine (Gallivan) Frost
I graduated with a BA in Spanish in 2002 and an MAT in Spanish in 2008. I’m still living in Beverly and teaching in Hamilton Wenham at the middle school. I adore teaching at the middle school level because we are responsible for not just our content, but also with personal, social and educational objectives. One of my greatest passions since I began teaching has been learning about students with disabilities. I was truly inspired not only by the wonderful foreign language faculty at SSC/SSU, but by the educational faculty as well. I have been given the opportunity to participate in a certification program within our district. I’m almost done with the requirements for a professional teaching license in Moderate Special Needs. Maybe when my two boys are older, I’ll be brave enough to start a new course of study? Speaking of my boys, and on a personal note now, my children are six and two now. They are beginning to talk to each other and I enjoy watching their “twinese,” which I really see as an acute attention to nonverbal cues, not necessarily a language. It’s wonderful to see the differences between them- their gender, their development, and their personalities. I also survived my first season as a “soccer mom” and I’ve been trying to volunteer at my Madeleine’s school when I can. While I did get a rash the first time I realized I now drive a 7-passanger SUV full of organic snacks, red-dye free juice boxes and mini soccer balls I can’t say it’s all that bad!
Since soon after my graduation in 2006 I have worked as an Employment Coordinator in Salem starting, which is a case management position. I utilize my Spanish skills to communicate with clients and interpret for them. I enjoy the flexibility of the job and I constantly use Spanish because I have many non-English-speaking clients.
In 2007 I married a Nicaraguan with limited English and he’s actually helped me improve my Spanish speaking skills. This year we had a son and I’m still adjusting to motherhood. I am going to Nicaragua this month to see what it is like and God willing maybe I will move there.
I would love to go back to school and now that my life has more direction, I may very well just do that. Of course, now that I am a mother, my life and my priorities have shifted its focus somewhat, at least for the time being.
Like I said, I am currently using my Spanish and I achieved my goal of learning to read, write, and communicate in the language with my education at Salem State, as well as the help of my husband. Therefore I am living life until I know for sure what my next steps are.
I live in Philadelphia, PA. My current activities include animal rights activism and school. I am a PhD student of Sociology at Temple University, specializing in gender, theories of identity, and animal studies. In May, I earned a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Latin American Studies at Tulane University. My MA thesis, based on funded research in El Salvador, was entitled “A More Resistant Margin: Gender and Development in Rural El Salvador.” Since my undergraduate experience at Salem, I have employed my Spanish skills in academic research and in teaching. I have also employed my Spanish skills in establishing rewarding relationships with Spanish-speaking people both in the United States and in Latin American countries through which I have traveled. I am indebted to all of my professors at Salem, particularly Avi Chomsky, Rod Kessler, Jon Aske, Kristine Doll, Ana Echevarría-Morales, Fátima Serra, and Nicole Sherf. These professors inspired me to learn more than just Spanish. They pushed me to acquire critical thinking skills, to recognize my place in the world, and to seize opportunities that continue to enrich my life.
After I graduated in 2008 I went to Chile as a volunteer English teacher. It was an incredible and incredibly challenging experience, but I got to practice my Spanish and travel around South America! When I got back I went back to graduate school for my Master of Public Health. I will finish in May and can’t wait! I have a fellowship working for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in substance abuse prevention, which is really interesting, and nothing I ever thought I would be doing! Speaking Spanish is a huge help so we can target more of our work to Spanish-speaking populations.