Alumni Corner

Department of World Languages & Cultures

Alumni

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Jen Hill Pratt

Jen Hill Pratt

French Teacher, French Major
2015 GCSU Graduate
Testimonial

"My French major has so enriched my life, not only through the tight knit French program, but after as I've made so many international friends and have been to so many incredible places! Worth every minute!" 

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Emily Barkelew

Emily Barkelew

Sommelier, French Major, English Major
2012 GCSU Graduate
Testimonial

"Deciding to major in French was quite possibly the best decision I have made for myself. The doors it has opened and the opportunities that I've been able to take because of my degree, have enriched my life more than I could have imagined!" 

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Alexia Lemaigre

Alexia Lemaigre

SCAD Admissions, French Major, History Major
2015 GCSU Graduate
Testimonial

"My French Major has opened doors for me both here and abroad. I've gone on to teach English to French children and now work at SCAD where I get to travel abroad and recruit European students. Dream jobs do exist and my French major helped me find it." 

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Chloe Carpenter

Chloe Carpenter

DELTA Flight Attendant, French Major
2013 GCSU Graduate
Biography

I graduated in May 2013 with a Bachelor's in French and a minor in International Studies. I also studied Italian at GCSU from the 1001-2002 levels and studied abroad in Siena and Milan, Italy in the summer of 2011 with Professor Tony Alcarria.

I have always loved languages and after studying French from third grade through high school, I was thrilled to find out GCSU also offered Italian courses, a language I had always wanted to learn, as I am of Italian heritage. After studying French for so long, I found it helped me with my Italian (more than it hurt me, as in the case with some), as both are romance languages. After graduating from GCSU I participated in the Disney College Program (I had seen flyers at GCSU for the program during my four years there, but never wanted to miss a full semester of studies and campus life at GCSU, so I waited until after graduation to go to Orlando). I requested to work at Epcot as I wanted an international environment (and to meet native speakers of French and Italian, of course), and my request was honored by Disney. I worked at Liberty Inn Restaurant at the American pavilion at Epcot for almost two years (I stayed at Disney after my college program finished), and after those two years I was offered a position as a Restaurant Manager at Tutto Italia Ristorante at Epcot's Italy pavilion. I was thrilled, this meant I would be using Italian in the workplace (even more than English), as the entirety of the wait staff, bartenders, busers, hostesses, etc. were natives of Italy, and thus native speakers of Italian. It was the closest thing to actually living and working in Italy (my roommate at the time wa a Italian native as well), so I thought it was the best of both worlds - living in the USA while still working and living with Italians!

I left Disney in May 2017 after a total of four years, to teach English on a 3-month teaching assistant program in Turin, Italy (with a company called Greenheart). I would be happy to give students information on this program, since Greenheart also just started a similar teaching assistant program in France. Since returning to the USA, I currently work at the Orlando International Airport (MCO), as a Bilingual Customer Service Ambassador. I work at info booths and roam the airport, helping passengers with directions, manning TSA lines, and translating. Not only do I get to interact with travelers from all over the world on a daily basis, but much like at Epcot, all of my coworkers either come from another country and/or speak at least on language other than English. Moreover, I am the only American-born ambassador at my job who did not learn my second language(s) from my parents at home, but in school and at a university. I credit GCSU for this - for the opportunities it gave me to learn Italian, and of course to further my French!

I am currently in the application process to be a flight attendant with Delta Airlines - I just completed the third step of the interview process today, a 30-minute language assessment in Italian for a language-specific flight attendant position. This would certainly mean flights to Italy would be regularly on my schedule should I get the job!" (UPDATE: As of April 2019 I am a DELTA Flight Attendant - I Got the Job!!)

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Shannon Fitzgerald

Shannon Fitzgerald

Elementary School Teacher, Spanish Major
2017 GCSU Graduate
Biography

"I graduated from Georgia College in the spring of 2017 with a double major in Spanish and Early Childhood Education. This endeavor took me 5 years to complete yet well worth it in serving its purpose!!! During my college experience, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Lima, Peru, and becoming that more fluent in the Spanish language. I am now an elementary school teacher at a highly Hispanic school in Roswell, GA (Atlanta). I use my Spanish every day to communicate with my students and parents and to connect to their cultural backgrounds. I go back and forth between the English and Spanish languages to make sure my students understand key concepts. Student engagement is key, and I would not know how to effectively teach without speaking Spanish!?? Thank you, Georgia College!!"

Meredith Carpenter

"I currently work with at-risk high school students in downtown Dallas, Texas.  Being bilingual has been useful to talk with students who do not yet speak English, as well as communicating with some of our students' parents who are not as comfortable with English.  I even use Spanish in day-to-day life if I see someone struggling with English. It is a gift to make people feel more at ease in a country that is full of the unknown for them.  Being bilingual is a continual gift in an ever-connecting world!" - Meredith Carpenter; Spanish Major; Class of 2007

Stacy Troutt

"I have a minor in Spanish. I was able to do study abroad in Spain. I have also visited the Dominican Republican and Mexico.  I have found that while traveling, any attempt using Spanish has been greeted warmly and enthusiastically (no matter how bad my grammar or pronunciation is).  I work with several Spanish speaking families as a mental health counselor.  While I still need an interpreter for major conversations, just having a basic understanding of Spanish allows me to communicate with the parents of clients and build rapport with the entire family.  A new language opens doors for all sorts of new experiences and new friends.  It teaches you to be open to those new experiences and to step out of your comfort zone of your first language. I've me so many people and done so many tings that I would not have done if I didn't have Spanish as my second language." - Stacy Troutt, LPC; Spanish Minor; Class of 2010

William Hutchinson

"In my experience it has been my minor in Spanish (which I regretted not double majoring) that has benefited me more than my major in history.  I have always had a love for the language and the culture, and it has helped me many times in my career.  I work for a fire department and ambulance service in one of the suburbs around Atlanta with a large Hispanic community. Many times the patients we run calls on do not speak English or if they do it is very little.  Having the ability to communicate in an emergency setting not only has benefited me by allowing me to provide proper treatment and care, but also provides the patient with as calm as an environment as possible being able to speak in their native language. I don't know if professor Alcarria is still at GCSU, but the time I spent studying in Spain with my class and under his guide was the most valuable experience I gained during my time at GCSU." -William Hutchinson; Spanish Minor; Class of 2011

Helen Bridier

"We live in a nation that is a melting pot.  Our nation is a variation of many cultures. I graduated with a minor in Spanish and since then have closed many business deals in my career in mobility. Many of my coworkers have me representing them in business deals because they lack second language experience. This not only has brought in revenue for the business but has improved customer satisfaction with my company, AT&T. Another benefit with knowing a second language (Spanish) is that people consider you for promotions, you get paid more, and you are more flexible for the company making you marketable. Just do it!"-Helen Bridier; Spanish Minor; Class of 2010

Emilee Hart

"Learning another language has benefited me greatly in my career field. I am in the field of Physical Therapy and during several of my rotations I was able to reach so many more people and connect with them on a more respected, deeper level due to knowing the same language."-Emilee Hart; Spanish Minor; Class of 2015

Amy Theobald

"My name is Amy Theobald and I graduated from GCSU in May 2012 with a major in English and a French minor. I think being bilingual has taught me to not only to step outside of my comfort zone and try to communicate with others, but it has taught me to appreciate people from different countries. It's hard to try to get around and talk to someone who may not understand you because of a language barrier and because I have experienced it myself, I can relate to people who may be struggling with the same problem. Having a French minor allowed me to travel to Rome, Italy after I graduated to be an Au Pair and speak not only French, bt to learn Italian. Knowing a different language is special and sets you apart from other  people. I am now finishing my masters degree to be a physician assistant and I can honestly say that because of my French background learning new terms has been easy for me - I also think it has allowed me to look for jobs where being bilingual is requested.

Also, the faculty at GCSU is remarkable. Dr. Peggy Elliott is, and always will be, one of my favorite people of all time. She is compassionate about teaching and lighting a spark in her students. I am thankful for her support during my college days and for her making me fall in love with the French language over and over again; There is no one quite like her.

I love French so much and would want anyone to learn a foreign language, because in the end, you are better for it."-Amy Theobald; French Minor; Class of 2012

Melissa Thomas

"Hi my name is Melissa Thomas. I graduated from GCSU in 2013. My senior year I chose to do my Senior Capstone for my Bachelor of Science in Biology as a study abroad trip to Guatemala City where I worked as a volunteer in a pediatric dental clinic. I was able to use everything I had learned in my Spanish classes to help me there. Incorporating study abroad with your foreign language classes is the greatest piece of advice I could give to college students. I went on to study dental hygiene at Athens Technical College. Now I am a Registered Dental Hygienist in Gainesville, GA, where I speak Spanish on a daily basis. I'm certain that being bilingual helped me tremendously while I was looking for full-time employment. Not only did it help me land the job, but I have an enriched experience being able to communicate with my Spanish-speaking patients without the need of a translator."-Melissa Thomas RDH, BS; Spanish Minor; Class of 2013

Rachel Bull

"After graduating, I taught for two years at a bilingual school. I was able to make a huge impact on my students and their families because I could communicate with them in the language in which they felt confident. Now I am an ESOL teacher at a school with dual language immersion program. It is so rewarding to be able to speak to my Spanish speaking students and their families. I am so proud to be bilingual and so happy that I get to use both of my languages every day."- Rachel Bull