Eight students from schools across the state, including Purdue University, University of Notre Dame and Ball State University, were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and involvement within the Spanish major. Students were required to meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.7, as well as take part in clubs or travel courses related to the language.
After being nominated by Israel Fernando Herrera, lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and newly appointed president of the AATSP, students were required to submit a résumé and transcript to an AATSP committee for review. Herrera looked for candidates who demonstrated leadership skills and passion for the language. Students who take the initiative to further their language skills inspire other students to do the same, Herrera said.
Below are the four recipients of the Indiana Outstanding Student of Spanish award.
Shannon Lemajeur , ?sophomore
Major(s) Double major in Spanish and political science
Involvement Study abroad in Spain during the 2015-16 school year
Why she chose a Spanish major “After the first Spanish course I took at IU, I realized that I want to study Spanish for as long as I can. Deciding to major in Spanish was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned so much within the past year and a half that I have been at IU and I am excited to see where my studies take me. Understanding another language opens the door to so many opportunities.”
Christine White , senior
Major(s) Triple major in Spanish, economics and political science with a minor in Arabic
Involvement Studied abroad in Spain, Lima and Nicaragua and interned in Central America
Why she chose a Spanish major “Choosing to study Spanish has positively shaped my experience at IU in so many ways. I’ve gained confidence, made new friendships and have been introduced to new communities both in Bloomington and around the world.”
Mary Anne Smart , ?sophomore
Major(s) Triple major in Spanish, mathematics and computer science
Involvement Studied abroad in the Dominican Republic
Why she chose a Spanish major “This award means a lot to me because when I first started at IU, I was not very confident in my Spanish abilities, and I was not planning on majoring in Spanish. But with the help and encouragement of Israel Fernando Herrera and my Spanish professors, I feel that I have made a lot of progress, and I decided to add Spanish as a second major.”
William Northquist , ?sophomore
Major(s) Double major in Spanish and biology
Involvement Founded Spanish club “Group Ñ” and won third place at the Spanish Song Festival
Why he chose a Spanish major “I chose to major in Spanish because I am fascinated by the language itself, the music and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking countries. I also believe that the ability to speak Spanish will be invaluable in a career in the medical field, which I am currently pursuing, and will allow me to connect with people in a way that would not have previously been possible.”