2005-2007 Profiles

Philip Charles Horn ('05)

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Philip was born in Bayshore, NY and raised in Brooklyn and Long Island. He graduated from West Islip High School (Long Island) in1971 and attended the College of Staten Island before transferring to TTU. Philip plans to use his knowledge of the Spanish language to make a living. During college he taught basic Spanish to adults for Cookeville Leisure Services. Before graduation Philip wrote: “I enjoyed my time at TTU and will have fond memories of The Department of

Foreign Languages.

In August 2006 Philip became the Spanish teacher at Cornerstone Middle School in Baxter, TN.

Teri Nicole Howell ('05)

Antioch, TN

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Teri was born in Oklahoma City, OK and raised in Memphis, TN. She graduated in 1999 from Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, TN and attended the University of Memphis for one year before coming to TTU. In Summer 2001 she studied in the Czech Republic where she received certification in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In Spring Semester 2004 Teri studied in Linz, Austria at the Johannes Kepler University for her internship in World Cultures and Business. While attending TTU Teri worked at Outback Steakhouse. In May 2007 Teri earned an MBA degree at Middle Tennessee State University, where she also worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Computer Information Systems.

Teri wrote: "The faculty and staff in the Department of Foreign Languages have always gone above and beyond to help students achieve their goals. I appreciate their hard work and dedication that has helped me along the way to graduation and beyond."

Alexia Dee Jennings ('05)

1049 Glendale Dr.
Dickson, TN 37055

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At graduation Alex wrote:

I was born in Knoxville, TN and raised in Dickson, TN. I graduated from Dickson County High School in 2001. I have been very lucky to have multiple opportunities to travel abroad. I spent the summer of 2003 studying French at the Université de Savoie in Chambéry, France. This experience was very unique. I endured a heat wave with no air conditioning, made friends from around the world, and had the time of my life, all while gaining French credits. Summer programs like this one are even good for gaining elementary credits in a language.

The second program I had the honor of participating in was through Kent State University of Ohio during the spring semester of 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland.

During this program I studied International Business and French. I was exposed to a view on global issues from outside the United States. During the program we visited many of the international organizations located in Geneva. Our program also included a field trip to Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary. We traveled almost every weekend and I was able to see many different parts of Europe.

I was also able to participate in an international experience course taught through the TTU College of Business on the topic of Brazil. We studied the culture, economics, and business of Brazil, then we were able to travel to Brazil over Winter Break of 2004/05. It was very interesting to travel to a lesser developed nation. My favorite part was traveling to the Amazon and seeing how the local people live.

In mentioning my college travels, I have to mention the TTU study abroad scholarship. This scholarship covers airfare and transportation to your study site, making study abroad very affordable for TTU students. I hope that many students will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to see the world. I know I sure did, loving every minute of it.

As for the future with me, only time will tell. I have no specific plans as of now, but I am starting the job hunt."

“Thank you, Dr. Campana, for everything, and I hope that one day I will be able to help the Foreign Language Department at TTU grow and develop.”

“Learn languages and see the world through TTU's Department of Foreign Languages and study abroad.”

Earl Franklin Johnson ('05)

1036 Corolla Road
Sparta, TN 38583

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Cell phone: (931) 510-3138

Earl was born and raised in Sparta, TN and graduated from White County High School (2000).

As his internship he studied in Fribourg, Switzerland for a year in order to learn the French language better as well as make some lifelong friends. He writes that he has been traveling in Europe since the age of 15 and he plans to continue to do so for many years. He works with a orphanage in Porto, Portugal and has done so for the past 4 years.

Earl has been offered a job with UnitedHealthcare and he will be able to travel all over Europe and Austrailia to represent this company in health sales and client relations.

Earl has been in karate for 11 years and has been an instructor at Jack Scott Karate since his first day of college. He writes that this has helped him become more stable in handling business situations. Also, through working with the orphanage in Porto, Portugal, he has developed his diplomatic abilities.

Earl considers his greatest honor at TTU to have been able to serve on the International Student Board.

Earl wrote about the Department of Foreign Languages and the program in World Cultures and Business: "Through this program, I have become the person I wanted to be."

Zachary Scott Martin ('05)

107 Trousdale Avenue
Gallatin, TN 37066

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Before graduation Zach wrote: "I was born in Blytheville, Arkansas, but raised in Gallatin, Tennessee. I graduated from Gallatin High School in 2001. Before transferring to Tennessee Tech, I attended Volunteer State Community College where I obtained my associate's degree in foreign languages with a concentration in Spanish.

"I have gone on various mission trips to México. The two cities I have visited while there were Acuña and Matamoros. I loved learning more about the language and culture during my trips, and I learned that the Mexican people are really caring and loving folks. They surely can cook, too!

"As for future plans, I hope to be married to my darling fiancée, Mandy Ferguson, next April 8, 2006, and we plan to have a big wedding. As for jobs, I plan to work for the state of Tennessee as a certified interpreter. I already am a 'registered' interpreter for the state, meaning that I passed the written exam and when called to duty can make $40 per hour. Once I pass the oral exam in November, I will be certified and can make up to $50 per hour.

"Jobs that I have held that pertained to my major include working voluntarily for Jere Whitson Elementary School. I did receive class credit in the Service Learning Course (which I highly recommend to all students), but I did various translations for the school, including the Student Handbook. I also made phone calls occasionally to Hispanic parents and informed them, in Spanish, about upcoming events like Parent/Teacher Conferences. I also interpreted at the conferences.

As for awards and honors, I was nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities for excellence in the Spanish language. I also became a member and President of Alpha Mu Gamma, the prestigious foreign language honor society in the years 2004-2005. I was also inducted this year into Phi Alpha Theta, the prestigious history honor society. Also, I was secretary of the Spanish Club from 2003 to 2005.

" I am in a loving family of 7. My parents, Scott and Rhonda Martin; my brothers, Alan, John, Christopher; my sister, Allison. While I attended TTU, I lived with my wonderful grandmother, Linda Martin (all the grandkids call her Nana).

"As for the Department of Foreign Languages, I will leave you all with this final quote: '¡Muchas gracias a todos mis profesores! Sin ustedes, no estaría aquí.' Translation: 'Many thanks to all my teachers! Without you all, I would not be here.' And as always, thank you Dr. Campana. When I came to Tech to register, I felt so nervous because it was such a big school compared to Vol State; however, after you showed me the way, I knew I was walking in the right direction. Gracias a Ud."

Camron Rudd ('05)

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Camron was born in Monroe, Michigan and grew up in Bulls Gap, Tennessee. He is a graduate of West Greene H.S. (TN). Camron completed the International Engineering emphasis with a B.A. degree in German and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. Camron is the "father" of the Euro Café and Cinema in the Department of Foreign Languages, and he was the departmental technician for two years.

Camron worked in Vonore, TN with Hörmann Door Co., a German firm that originally planned to make a major expansion in their facility there.

The company was very impressed (as were we) with Camron's interview -- two and a half hours in German, and of course Camron was hired. Then in Spring 2006 the company bought out its major American competitor and moved the Tennessee operation to Chicago, where the facilities of the American company were located. The company really wanted Camron to move with them, and the latest news (Fall 2006) is that Camron is the Chief Engineer at the facility in Chicago.

Camron and his wife, Miranda, also a TTU graduate, have a son, Harrison Paul, and a daughter, Amelia Celeste, born on September 11, 2006.

Sarah Elizabeth Seitzinger ('05)

1732 Heathrow Drive
Cookeville, TN 38506-5553

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At graduation Sarah wrote: “I was born in Youngstown, OH but spent my early childhood years in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus, OH. In 1992, my father, mother, younger brother and sister, and I moved to Cookeville where we currently live. From preschool onward, my siblings and I were home schooled by our parents. Because of this, I graduated with 17 other home school students who were (like me) also registered with Daniel 1 Academy. In addition to my Spanish degree at Tennessee Tech, I also earned a BA in English.

“While I hope to travel abroad in the future, I have mostly stayed close to home, aside from a 10-day mission to Kenya I joined in the summer of 2001, where we ministered to children in an orphanage. I do hope to visit some Spanish-speaking countries in the future.

“After taking the course Germany: The Country and the People I really do feel as though I know more about the country from whence many of my ancestors came. By the way, I found that my mother's ancestors (Wagners) came from Upper Franconia (Bavaria) originally and my father's ancestors came from Baden-Württemberg. The Seitzingers came over to the Americas in the mid-1600s.

“For the next couple of years, I plan to stay at Tennessee Tech to pursue a master’s degree in English. Beyond that, I am unsure of my plans, which could range from doctorate studies in linguistics, to translating, to tutoring, to publishing. The great thing about having my particular degrees is that they give me plenty of options!

“Awards and honors given to me are the Charles Denson Daniel Memorial Scholarship, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities 2003, Phi Kappa Phi, Mortar Board, Alpha Mu Gamma, Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Alpha Theta, and Dean’s List, 2000-Present. Other activities I have been involved in are Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), the TTU Spanish Amigos Club, of which I had the honor of serving as president during 2005, and I actively participated in Taekwondo, earning my 2nd dan black.

“My mother is an art instructor and craft artist in Cookeville, and my father is a physician of internal medicine. My brother is studying classical guitar at Tennessee Tech and my sister plans to attend Tech in the fall, studying human ecology. I would like to thank them and also my wonderful extended family members for all their love, prayers, and support over the years. I also want to thank God for it is He who grants talents and abilities, and His strength that sustains me. Soli deo gloria.

I also just want to say how wonderful an experience it has been to be a part of the foreign language department. It really is a microcosm of the bigger cultural world experience! The faculty members were very open and willing to help the students and I loved getting to know my fellow students well. In fact, it was probably the students that made me want to go all the way to earning a Spanish degree when only a minor was required of me under English. I will be forever indebted to the people here and can truly say that some of my fondest college memories are from the Euro Café and South Hall!"

In May 2007 Sarah received her M.A. in English from TTU.

Steven Virost ('05)

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Steven was born and raised in Kingsport, TN and is a graduate of Sullivan Central High School. Because he was working on an International Engineering concentration (with degrees in both mechanical engineering and Spanish) he spent one full year in Pamplona, Spain on a study abroad program. He says that he spent all of his money traveling through France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland. He took all his classes in Spanish, including courses such as Fluid Dynamics & Thermodynamics and Karate. His immediate plans are to attend the University of Utah where he will be working on a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering with a concentration in robotics.

Because of his major in mechanical engineering Steven did summer work performing microchannel two-phase heat transfer research at Cornell University with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (part of the NSF). He also worked for DeVilbiss Air Power Company for a co-op.

At graduation Steven wrote: "The Foreign Language Department is TTU's gateway to the future of globalization."

Stephanie Anne Ward ('05)

533 15th St., Apt. 5
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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Stephanie was born in Etowah, NC, but spent most of her life in Dacula, GA near Atlanta. Her parents now live in Kennesaw, GA (also near Atlanta). She graduated from John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC. Stephanie graduated summa cum laude in cursu honorum with B.A. degrees in both Spanish and English and with secondary education licensure. Among her many awards and honors are the 2005 Derryberry Award, the most prestigious award TTU has to offer, the Harold G. Love Community Involvement Award, OVC Scholar-Athlete, and the Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholar Award, which enabled her to spend a summer (3 months) in Quito, Ecuador, studying Spanish at a language school there (La Academia de Español-Quito). While there, she traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting many of the different regions and cities.

In addition to her very busy class schedule and her community involvement, Stephanie worked as a translator for Acuff and Acuff Law Office in Cookeville.

In June 2005 Stephanie was to attend the Boston Language Institute for a Teaching English as a Second Language certification course. In 2005 she was the Spanish teacher at Cornerstone Middle School in Baxter, TN. Currently (Feb. 2007) she is Event Coordinator for the Women's Fund of Miami-Dade, in Miami, FL, a nonprofit grantmaking organization. She is planning to attend Vanderbilt Law School in Fall 2007.

Just after graduation Stephanie wrote: "I really appreciate the way the department was so supportive and helpful during my time here at TTU. They really went out of their way to help my accomplish my goals and plans."

Matthew Duane Butler ('05)

825 Bray Drive
Cookeville, TN 38501

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Matt was born and raised in Cookeville where he graduated from Cookeville High School. He earned his B.A. in Spanish from TTU in August 2005.

Matt joined the Peace Corps and served in Nicaragua from May 2008 through December 2009. As of January 2012, he is working at the Allen Lund Company in Cookeville, where he is an international coordinator handling their Mexico accounts.

At graduation, Matt wrote: "The Department of Foreign Languages has aided me in several aspects of life on how to use the language and how to meet deadlines, multitask, and work in groups."

Kristy Lee Kimbro ('05)

492 West 9th Street, Apt. 14
Cookeville, TN 38501

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Kristy was born in Dickson, Tennessee and graduated from Dickson County High School. She came to TTU as a music major and was in the TTU Marching Band, playing the clarinet. She continued in various TTU musical groups after she switched to a major in Spanish.

Michael Alan Spears ('05)

845 Betty Lane
Sparta, TN 38583

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Michael was born in Cookeville and graduated from White County High School in Sparta. He came to TTU in Spring 2004 after a year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a semester at Motlow State Community College.

As of August 2006 Michael is teaching Spanish at Avery Trace Middle School in Cookeville.

Anesa Burkic ('05)

6003 Nautical Street
Smyrna, TN 37167

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Anesa was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Hercegovina and received her diploma from Cookeville High School. In addition to her native Serbo-Croatian and English, Anesa is fluent in German as well as French. In Spring 2005 she spent a semester at the Rennes International School of Business in France on the Magellan Exchange Program as part of her requirements for the degree in World Cultures and Business.

After graduation Anesa took a position at Dell Computers in the Value Added Reseller Division. As of March 2007 she works for Nissan in Franklin, TN as a Consumer Affairs Specialist.

Amel Bouazzi-Alouani ('06)

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Amel Bouazzi-Alouani was born and raised in Kasserine, Tunisia. where she attended El Chebbi High School.

In 1992, she moved to the United States and attended TTU, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in French in 2006.

She is the mother of three children: Sami, Sarah, and Nabil.

Mrs. Alouani has traveled to Europe, Australia and many States in the USA.

Her future plan is to teach French. At graduation she wrote:

The staff and the faculty of the Foreign Languages Department, and especially Dr. Campana, have been extremely helpful and provided me valuable advice and helpful guidance.

Amber Lynn Frazier ('06)

40 Westgate Circle
Cookeville, TN 38506-5432

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Amber is a native of Cookeville and graduated from Cookeville High School. She writes: “It was there that I fell in love with the Spanish language -- all because of an AMAZING Spanish teacher, Señora Aliene Click.

Amber has traveled to Spain and Guatemala and she studied at a Spanish Language School in Guatemala called PROBIGUA for 3 weeks, where she says she was lucky enough to live with a family.

PROBIGUA’s web site is: http://www.probigua.conexion.com/jmpen.htm

While she was a student at TTU, Amber worked as a translator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the 13th Drug Task Force.

Just before graduation Amber wrote:

"I really enjoyed my time spent in the Foreign Language Department. I met so many interesting people with whom I know I will keep in touch for years to come! Also it's nice to be involved with a Department where the teachers actually go out of their way to help you."

In August 2006 Amber became the Spanish teacher at Livingston Academy in Livingston, TN.

Noelle Irene Holt ('06)

7125 Jones Lane
Fairview, TN 37062

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Noelle was born in Johnson City, Tennessee, moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, then back to Tennessee. She graduated from Fairview High School. As part of her World Cultures and Business degree she completed a practicum in Hong Kong, Singapore, Mainland China and Macau.

She plans to apply at Nissan's North American Headquarters in Nashville and for a job abroad. Just before graduation Noelle wrote:

"It has been a cultural awakening experience at Tennessee Tech. The professors are very knowledgeable and helpful. Dr. Kintz and Dr Hays both appreciate what they do, and they try to convert their passion into your being. Tech has a positive learning atmosphere and it is a pleasant setting for many to better themselves."

Christopher Lewis Miller ('06)

1114 Red Road
McMinnville, TN 37110

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Chris was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and raised in Grundy County, TN, where he graduated from Grundy County High School. He attended The University of the South in Sewanee for a year and a half before taking a leave of absence to serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico City. When he returned from Mexico he formally withdrew from Sewanee and began a full-time, second-shift position as an emergency room registrar and Spanish-language interpreter for River Park Hospital. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled at Motlow State Community College and continued to work at the hospital at night while attending classes during the day. He continued this routine until he eventually graduated from Tennessee Tech in May 2006.

Shortly thereafter Chris accepted a teaching position at Warren County High School, 199 Pioneer Lane, McMinnville, TN 37110, filling a position from which a teacher resigned after only two weeks of school. He is teaching Spanish I and loves teaching Spanish. In the future he hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Spanish. His ultimate career goal is to teach Spanish at the collegiate level.

In September 2006 Chris wrote:

"When I first came to Tennessee Tech, my intention was to major in accounting. However, I later recognized that my true passion lies in foreign language. Some of my fondest memories of my time at Tennessee Tech are tied to my involvement with the Spanish Club, Amigos. I enjoyed the privilege of serving as Vice-President and President of the Club.

I am truly grateful to the Foreign Language faculty, especially Dr. Laurila, Dr. Burdette, and Dr. Groundland for all of their help and encouragement."

Ivania Virginia Perez ('06)

279 Vaden Avenue
Monterey, TN 38574

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Ivania was born in Mesaya, Nicaragua, lived in Texas, and graduated from Abilene High School. Her family then moved to Monterey, Tennessee and Ivania joined our department at TTU. From August 2006 Ivania is a Spanish teacher at Avery Trace Middle School in Cookeville.

Barbara Grazyna Tomaczek ('06)

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Barbara was born in Siemianowice, Poland and has been a resident of the Federal Republic of Germany for much of her life. She completed the Realschule (business and commerce secondary school) in Verden, Germany and graduated from Chickasha High School in Oklahoma. Before coming to TTU she attended King College. She was a member of the TTU varsity soccer team during her years here.

John Arnold Traugott ('06)

6929 Sunderland Circle
Nashville, TN 37221

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John was born in Nashville, Tennessee and graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School. Before coming to TTU he attended Jacksonville University, Lipscomb University, Schiller International University, and Middle Tennessee State University, as well as summer courses at Tennessee State University. During his time at TTU he took summer courses at Volunteer State Community College and also spent a semester on the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) at the Universität Bielefeld, Germany, as part of his requirements for his degree in World Cultures and Business.

Salvador Ramos ('06)

Lindsay Short ('06)

Great Falls, Virginia

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Lindsay was born in Oak Ridge, TN and graduated from Cookeville High School. In the summer of 2006 she studied on the Magellan Exchange Program at the HEC Ecole de Gestion.In 2007 she is working for The Bretton Woods Committee, 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036.The Bretton Woods Committee is a non-governmental agency (NGO) which "seeks to increase understanding of the World Bank, IMF, WTO and the regional development banks and their efforts to spur economic growth, alleviate poverty and improve financial stability."

Adam Crosslin ('06)

501 Winding River Lane
Sparta, TN 38583-2400

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Adam is a native of Sparta, TN and graduated from White County High School.

Jan Ellen Grissom ('06)

Cookeville, TN

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Jan was born in Mesa, Arizona and was raised in the military, so she lived everywhere. She graduated from Buena High School. Jan lived for a year and a half as a missionary in Central America, and her other travels took her to England and Paris for two weeks.After graduation she returned to TTU for education courses toward teacher licensure.

Upon graduation she commented about the Department of Foreign Languages: "Great teachers. Good program."

Stephanie Hall ('06)

209 Cook Street, Apt. 7C
Cookeville, TN 38501

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Stephanie completed a B.S. degree in Marketing as well as her B.S. degree in World Cultures and Business-Spanish. She was born in Murfreesboro, TN and graduated from DeKalb Co. High School. In Spring 2005 she studied on the Magellan Exchange Program at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia.

Vaishali Natha ('06)

2543 East First Street
Crossville, TN 38555

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Vaishali was born in Surat, a major port city in western India in the State of Gujarat. She graduated from Cumberland County High School. In the summer of 2006 she studied at the Language School of Guadalajara, México.

Philip Wesley Routon ('06)

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Wes was born in Union City, TN and is a graduate of Henry Co. High School. He completed two degreed at TTU: a B.S. in World Cultures and Business, with a concentration in French, and a B.S. in Economics. He studied one summer at Murray State University and spent Fall 2005 on the Magellan Exchange Program at the HEC École de Gestion.

Amber Rutledge ('06)

367 Beaver Road
Bluff City, TN 37518

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Amber was born in Ft. Stewart, GA and graduated from Sullivan East High School in East Tennessee. She attended East Tennessee State University before transferring to TTU. In Spring 2005 she attended the Rennes International Business School, France, on the Magellan Exchange Program.

Delayne Sebastian ('06)

4447 Twin Creeks Drive
Cookeville, TN 38506

Delayne is a native of Anderson, Indiana and graduated from Pendleton Heights High School in Pendelton, Indiana. She has done mission work in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México; Manila, Philippines; Caracas, Venezuela; and in northern Romania. She has also studied Spanish in Guadalajara and Guanajuato, México.

At graduation she wrote: "I am looking for a job that has the possibility of using medicine and Spanish."

Amy Byrne ('07)

Cookeville, TN

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Amy was born in Anchorage, Alaska and raised in Cookeville, where she graduated from Cookeville High School. In Summer 2006 she studied French for a month in Paris at the Sorbonne. 

Update - 02/13/12: Amy will be graduating this May from West Virginia University with an MFA in Acting.

Katheryn Cagle ('07)

Hilham, TN

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Kat was born in Knoxville, Tennessee and graduated from Livingston Academy in Livingston, TN. She has been a member of ABUSUA, the West African dance and drum ensemble at TTU and has performed with the group many times.

Meredith Womac Cook ('07)

Lexington, KY

Meredith was born and raised in Madisonville, Tennessee, surrounded by what she calls "one of America's richest cultures at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains." She attended Sequoyah High School before continuing her education at Tennessee Tech, her parents' alma mater, where through her German and French courses she developed a great love for learning languages. She graduated with a B.A. in German in 2007, with minors in both history and general humanities.

After graduation Meredith worked as a legal assistant in Lexington, Kentucky for three years before returning to school at the University of Kentucky as a teaching assistant while earning her master's degree in German. Through the unique TA training and mentoring program at UK she developed a passion for teaching languages, and her incredible experiences as a primary instructor for German 101 and 102 courses have solidified her intention to continue teaching languages in the future. Her current focuses of study are Kunstmärchen der Romantik as well as Second Language Pedagogy (specifically teaching beginning language through the medium of culture). She plans to receive her M.A. in German in May 2012, and in the future hopes to continue to teach German and/or English as a Second Language to adult learners.

Hannah Grace Holland ('07)

Red Boiling Springs, TN

Hannah was raised in Lafayette, TN and graduated from Macon County High School in Lafayette. She did mission work in Trinidad and Jamaica in her first years of college, and she traveled to Rome in Fall 2006 with the History of Rome course offered through TTU. Hannah has had valuable experience as Editor of the Women's Center Newsletter, ATTUNE.

In addition to her B.A. in Spanish, Hannah has earned a B.A. in History (May 2006) from TTU.

Hannah plans to work for a few years after graduation, and then attend graduate school to study the History of Spain.

At graduation Hannah wrote:
The Department of Foreign Languages is the gateway to the world. No matter what field a person plans to enter, the knowledge of other languages and cultures will give that person an advantage over everyone else in the job market. Learning additional languages and their accompanying cultures is one of the best ways a person can ready himself/herself for reality outside of the University. The only way that one can truly understand his/her own culture is to learn about other cultures.

Brandon Trent Hudson ('07)

Ooltewah, TN

Trent was born in Chattanooga, TN, and raised in Ooltewah, TN. He attended and graduated from Ooltewah High School.

Trent has traveled to Germany three times. He wrote: “My first visit to Germany was in the summer of 2003 for 9 days with some of my classmates from Ooltewah High School, and my German teacher from high school, Mr. Cates. During those 9 days, we visited parts of Berlin, Saxony, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and some of the Rhineland region. In February 2006, I started my study abroad semester at Fachhochschule Aachen (University of Applied Sciences Aachen) on the Magellan Exchange Program. While studying at the Fachhochschule, I took a couple of business classes, two classes for German as a foreign language, and a beginning Italian language class, which I really enjoyed. During my study abroad, I visited not only the many regions of Germany, but also England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Later, during Spring Break of 2007, I traveled to Berlin along with my other classmates in the Berlin Seminar and Dr. Weidner.

In Fall 2007 Trent began the M.A. program in Germanic Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University, where he has a teaching assistantship. He hopes eventually to obtain a doctorate in the area of German Studies, and afterwards teach German at the collegiate level. For the 2008-2009 academic he will be studying in Berlin, Germany as part of his Ohio State University program.

At graduation Trent added: “W.B. Yeats once wrote, ‘Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.’ I wholeheartedly believe in that statement, and the fact that the Foreign Language Department at Tech is the spark to that fire. My love and curiosity for all languages, but especially German, has grown since I’ve been at Tech. Furthermore, I would especially like to thank Dr. Campana, Dr. Evans, and Dr. Weidner for all their encouragement and support.

Leila Norrell ('07)

4738 Calumet Drive
Knoxville, TN 37919

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Leila was born in Birmingham, AL and grew up in Tuscaloosa, AL. She moved to Knoxville, TN the summer before her freshman year of high school, and she now considers Knoxville to be home. She graduated from West High School there.

She has traveled extensively through Europe and has done mission trips in Mexico that she says really sparked her interest in learning Spanish. She continues: “However, my study abroad experience in Valencia, Spain from September 2006-March 2007, really gave me a love for the language as I was able to see myself improving daily. I still have so much to learn about the language, especially grammatically, but I also soaked up so much Spanish while I was there. I have to go back!!

At graduation Leila wrote that she was in Knoxville looking for a job for the upcoming year. Her major is World Cultures and Business, but she is really interested in jobs pertaining to marketing, advertising, real estate, and large scale event planning. Leila would like to return to Spain in the future.

About the Department of Foreign Languages she wrote: “I learned from the department that learning another language(Spanish) can be more than just another class. Learning another language is the best ‘real world’ preparation of any class you can take in college.

Alejandro Ramos ('06)

153 W. Jefferson Avenue
Carthage, TN 37030

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Alex was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Chicago and in Carthage, TN, where he graduated from Smith County High School. As part of a course called "world experience" Alex traveled to Hong Kong and Singapore. After graduation he plans to spend a few months in Mexico and then get a job as an international manager.

At graduation Alex wrote about TTU: "Great experience in the major with wonderful professors always willing to help."

Melissa Gale Turley ('07)

Cookeville, TN

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Gale was born in Crossville, raised in Sparta, Tennessee and is a graduate of White County High School in Sparta.

After graduation she intends to work for a little while at a job not yet decided upon. She plans to seek her Master’s degree in foreign language in the future and she would like to be an interpreter.

At graduation she wrote: “The foreign language program at TTU is extremely valuable not only in teaching the language of other cultures, but also in teaching the CULTURE of other cultures.

Jacob Aaron Waggoner ('07)

El Paso, TX

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Aaron was born in Knoxville, TN and graduated from Powell High School there. In Summer 2006 he studied Spanish at both the Zador Language Centre and the Enforex Spanish Language Schools in Madrid and Barcelona. Previously he had traveled to France and Italy (2001), Spain and France (2003) and Canada (2006). In addition to the B.A. in Spanish, Aaron also has earned a B.S. in Secondary Education-Spanish.

Update - 01/24/12: Aaron writes, "I'm finishing my Master's in history this semester, and I'm hoping to start the Ph.D. program in history at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP - formerly Texas Western) in the fall. Though my graduate work isn't explicitly in foreign languages or literature, I am definitely benefiting from my time at TTU. I do archival and oral history research in Spanish, and I teach pat-time in bilingual environments: the Tec de Monterrey, Campus Juarez (Mexico) and UTEP. I am currently researching cultural and gendered notions of religious conversion, mostly in Northern Mexico, and I'd like to write my dissertation about 20th-century Protestant growth in Mexico. The program's major field is Borderlands History, my second field will be Latin America, and my minor field will be Gender & Religion.

"I highly recommend TTU's foreign language program to anyone that is interested in teaching or doing graduate work, not only in foreign languages, but in history, humanities or cultural studies. I'm proud to be a graduate of TTU's Department of Foreign Languages. I am especially indebted to Dra. Laurila for her mentorship and excellent instruction."   

Richard Benjamin Widener ('07)

Sparta, TN

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Ben was born and raised in Dickson, TN and graduated from Dekalb County High School in Smithville, TN.

He has toured Europe twice, and apent the first three months of 2007 studying at the Horizonte Institut für Sprachen Regensburg, Germany where he was enhancing his German language skills. While at TTU Ben helped manage a pizza place restaurant, good experience for a World Cultures and Business major, especially in the areas of management and accounting.

Just before graduation Ben wrote: "My immediate plans after graduation are to have a big celebration, use the next day to recover from the massive celebration, and the day thereafter immediately begin searching for a job. I have already received several possibilities through Monster.com." He continued: “Learning foreign languages is relatively easy IF it is something that you absolutely want to do.

Joshua Bradley Kimes ('07)

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Josh is a native of Cookeville and graduated from Cookeville High School. He also studied at Volunteer State Community College and spent Spring 2007 on the Magellan Exchange Program studying at the University of Liège, Belgium.

Erin D. Brunger (Spanish, '07)

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Update - September 2012: Erin earned her Master's of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University and is currently working as a Family Nurse-Practitioner at Gateway Medical Weight Loss in Murfreesboro. Prior to this position, she worked as a Care Partner for the Burn Unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and as a bilingual nursing assistant at Mercy Children's Clinic.

Erin encourages students interested in a foreign language to consider a double major, and also strongly believes in the value of traveling and studying abroad. She has been to Peru four times (for a total of about 30 weeks), spent seven weeks in Hong Kong and mainland China, and has traveled to Canada and Mexico.

At the time of receiving her undergraduate degree from TTU, Erin wrote: "I believe the professors in this department [Foreign Languages] really care about their students. They are willing to put in extra time to foster learning of the language and cultures. It is a relatively smaller-feeling department, where the staff is very approachable. It provides great resources that I recommend using to the highest degree -- from clubs to movies to the software in the Language Learning Center."

Megan T. Edwards ('07)

Cookeville, TN

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Megan was born in Chapel Hill, NC. Her family moved around a lot until she was 12 and finally settled in Cookeville. She is a graduate of Cookeville High School.

In her senior year of high school she was an exchange student to France with the local Cookeville Rotary Club (2000/2001). During the academic year of 2003/2004 she spent another year in France, but this was not school related.

She has traveled to most of the countries surrounding France as well as to Ireland and Cambodia. Last summer she did an internship with an international company in the Chicago area. Her immediate plans are still unclear although she is looking for opportunities to start a career in international business.

Jason Gillespie ('07)

Information not available

Brandon J. Martin ('07)

2104 Grenada Boulevard
Knoxville, TN 37922

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Brandon is a native of Ft. Stewart, Georgia and graduated from The Webb School in Knoxville, TN. He spent a semester at Pellissippi State Technical Community College and Spring 2006 at the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia.

Dylan Lee Martin ('07)

184 Central Ave,
Crossville, TN 38555

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Dylan was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA, but spent a lot of his life in Crossville, TN and graduated from Cumberland County High School there.He also attended MTSU and spent a semester on the ISEP study abroad program at the Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt in Eichstätt, Bavaria. During his time there he was also able to visit various places in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. In Fall 2008 he begins a program of graduate studies at Bowling Green State University (Ohio), and he will spend his first year of graduate school studying in Salzburg, Austria.

At graduation Dylan wrote: "'Was man mühelos erreicht, ist gewöhnlich aber nicht der Mühe wert.' I have never experienced a more friendly, helpful faculty as I have at TTU. The language classes are the perfect size to develop language skills and I never felt as if I was just another face lost in the crowd or a name on a clip board. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time learning German, making friends in the German field and other language students, and relaxing in the €uro Café."

Elizabeth Yeldell Morgan ('07)

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Michael Oettinger ('07)

Rock Island, TN

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Photo of Michael OettingerMichael was born and raised in McMinnville TN and graduated from Warren County High School there.

In the summer of 2003 he spent two months in Romania as a missionary.Although his major is Spanish, he feels that the time he was in Romania helped him really develop a love for foreign languages. He writes that he was able to learn a decent amount of Romanian for the short period he was there, and everyone over there commented on his learning ability. Soon after that he decided to pursue a degree in foreign languages.

He continues: “That Christmas I returned to Romania and literally the next day off the plane from the trip I started Spanish 1020-- and accidentally answered my professor in Romanian! A little language interference...

In the summer of 2005 I took a one week trip to San Luis Potosi in Mexico, another short mission trip, working with an orphanage. Instead of staying with the rest of my team I chose to stay with a couple of Mexicans my age and that was great practice, although at that point we still spoke a lot of English.

In the summer of 2006 I studied for two months in Guadalajara, Mexico, which was amazing and invaluable to my Spanish learning experience. The opportunity to live with and be around only native speakers and speak purely Spanish for two months was the best learning experience I had. I also got credit to transfer back, and made some great friends that I still talk to through e-mail-- they were my first friends that didn't involve any English!

In October of 2006 and January of 2007 I spent a couple of week to week and a half long trips in Managua, Nicaragua, working with some children that live in La Chureca, a large landfill. Having learned a great deal of Mexican Spanish, the first trip was a bit of a learning curve, but it wasn't so bad. The second trip I spent trying to talk the slang of Managua and had a great time. I served as a translator for our team both trips was always the go-to guy... "Michael, how do you say...." or "Miguel, como se dice....

Michael has had the opportunity to do some translation for the State of Tennessee. He also had experience for a few months with a church here in Cookeville called La Conexion, The Connection. He writes: “You may have seen the sign on Spring Street for ‘Multicultural Worship.’ The cool thing about that church was that I was able to listen to native speakers give sermons and made a lot of native-speaking friends there. I got so much practice speaking Spanish there that I would recommend to other students to get involved in a Hispanic church if they have the time. I was mainly involved because I played bass for them. I also met my friend Ernesto there, with whom I lived while studying in Guadalajara.

Michael and his wife will eventually be pursuing careers as missionaries.

Michael wrote at graduation: “I had a great experience learning Spanish through TTU Foreign Languages. I especially enjoyed my linguistics class and my service learning project. All the professors were great, and the FL majors tend to become a small group of friends which is nice. The Euro Café is a good place to meet people, study, and see media in your target language. Also, every foreign language student should take advantage of the study abroad scholarships available to everyone. There is no better way to learn a foreign language.”

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