Department of Foreign Languages

1995-1999 Profiles

Nicole Bryant ('95)

Ms. Bryant works in the accounting office of a jewelry wholesale company and also writes the company newsletter.

James A. Andrews III ('95)

Mr. Andrews is a graduate of Cookeville High School. While still at TTU, Mr. Andrews worked in data entry at Porelon, Inc. in Cookeville. He graduated TTU with two B.A. degrees, one in Spanish and one in History. After graduation he spent six months working for the Save the Children Foundation in Mexico.

From 1998 through Spring 2006, Mr. Andrews taught Spanish at Kirby H.S. in Memphis. In August 2006, he returned to Cookeville to teach Spanish at Cookeville High School.

In 1999 Mr. Andrews married his wife, Alicia. They now have two children, Elizabeth and James IV.

In addition to teaching, Jay has a part-time business designing Web sites. Check out Osito Web Solutions at:

Thanks to a few "flu days" that closed the Putnam County School System, Mr. Andrews came by with Elizabeth and James IV for a visit in January 2007.

Angel Hensley ('95)

Ms. Hensley teaches at Coffee County Central High School in Manchester, TN.

Katherine Nelson Perdue ('95)

In a Fall 2016 update, Mrs. Perdue said that she is now vice-president of technology for Progressive Savings Bank & Rains Agency, Inc. She has been with the company since 1995. She is also very active in community service: she is a board member of the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce and the JECD Board of Fentress County, and an advisory board member of Fentress County UCHRA and the Fentress County Tennessee Promise (where she is also a mentor).

Mrs. Perdue was born in Overton County and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana (until age 13). Her family then returned to Jamestown and she received her high school diploma from the Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute in Jamestown.

She and husband, Donald Perdue, live in Fentress County, Tennessee. They have three children: Katie, Erin and Clayton. As of September 2016, Katie is a freshman at TTU!

Mrs. Perdue said that she enjoys spending time with her family and on their farm. She also likes to spend time with friends and in serving the community.

"My foreign languages degree has enabled me to grow my communication and writing skills," she said. "These skills are extremely valuable for managing technology and in leadership roles."

paige smith ridley ('95)

Adra Anne Wallace Mayfield ('95)

Ms. Mayfield is a graduate of Heritage High School (GA). While at TTU she took summer courses at the State University of West Georgia in the summers of 1993 and 1994. At last report she was working as a Therapist.

John Ferguson Apple ('96)

Mr. Apple is a native of Jackson County and a graduate of Jackson County High School in Gainsboro, TN. He completed his B.S. in Secondary Education, magna cum laude, with a concentration in social studies, history and political science. Then he began work on his secondary licensure in Spanish while also taking graduate courses in education at TTU. He completed his licensure in Spanish in May 1998, attended the Eisenhower Summer Workshop for Foreign Language Teachers at TTU in July 1998, and since Fall 1998 has been the Spanish teacher at Upperman High School. In Summer 2000 John traveled to Puerto Rico. In 2000-2001 Mr. Apple taught Basic Spanish at TTU for students with a high-school entrance deficiency. He was married on March 10, 2001 to Wendy Corley Apple, a 1989 graduate of Mt. Juliet High School. John and Wendy live in Livingston.

In November 2001 Mr. Apple wrote: "The Department of Foreign Languages at TTU is one of the most friendly and helpful of all the departments on campus. The faculty and staff are wonderful to work with, and they are very patient, kind, and helpful. I feel it was a privilege to have had their classes and to learn from their expertise. I cherish the friends I made and the education I received. I would strongly recommend their department to any prospective foreign language student. I am happy to consider them friends and to call them my colleagues."

Carla Brown ('96)

While at TTU, Ms. Brown taught Spanish to employees at Aqua Tech. Inc. Since 1997 she has been working for the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and is the state coordinator of the CPA Exam for Missouri and Connecticut. She and her son Aaron Jacob live in Hermitage.

Francisca Chaudhary ('96)

In Fall 1998 Ms. Chaudhary was enrolled in the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Rebecca Chase Matthews ('96)

LT Gerald C. Lowe ('96)

LT Lowe was born and raised in Knoxville and graduated from Karns High School in Knoxville. In addition to his B.A. in German, LT Lowe has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from TTU. He spent a year in Braunschweig, Germany on the International Student Exchange Program. LT Lowe's first assignment was learning Italian for the U.S. Navy in Monterey, California. From July 1998 through July 2001 he was assigned to northern Italy as project engineer in northern Italy for projects being constructed for the U.S. Air Force. He then worked as facilities officer in San Diego, California till 2003. Next, he attended Florida Atlantic University where he received his Master's in Ocean Engineering. He is now attending U.S. Navy Dive School. His work and studies have taken him to: Italy, Germany, Sweden, England, Ireland, Slovenia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovakia, Japan, Korea, and Poland.

After graduation LT Lowe wrote: "Attending Tennessee Tech gave me opportunities a larger university never would have. I was able to study abroad, participate in the CO-OP Program, have a course prepared entirely for me (Mr. Heina, I'll never forget all of his help), and the encouragement to complete two degrees. With this great foundation I was better prepared for my career as a Naval officer, which continues to build on the foundation formed while at Tennessee Tech. Certainly each individual must have a certain 'hunger' and drive to do well in order to achieve their goals or one never accomplishes much even with help. However, I'll always be grateful to the faculty and to TN Technological Univ. for the beginning of what I see as a (my) great future, which lies ahead of me."

In late December 2004 LT Lowe , his wife Monica, and their two children came by for a visit, and he writes: "It was great to return recently to Tennessee Tech and meet with Dr. Campana. Many fond memories returned as we talked. It was especially exciting to hear and see the many changes in the Foreign Language Department, which are all positive. Of course, Dr. Campana's drive and support of the department has remained steadfast throughout.

My experiences and education made possible by Tennessee Tech have served me well. I would encourage any student interested in other cultures and languages to make the Dept. of Foreign Languages a part of their university experience. The return far outweighs the investment."

Samuel Smith ('96)

Mr. Smith was born and raised in Mountain City, TN and graduated from Johnson County High School. While at TTU he spent almost a month in Costa Rica. Since1998 Sam has been the Spanish teacher at Smith Co. H.S., an ESL teacher in Lebanon, TN and since Fall 2004 is the Spanish at Gordonsville H.S. He was a 1998 participant in the Eisenhower Materials Development Summer Workshop for Foreign Language Teachers, sponsored by Tennessee Tech.

In May 2000 Mr. Smith wrote: "Any student who chooses to be a part of the TTU Foreign Language Department has made a good decision. Professors of the Department are kind and brilliant. There could not be a more helpful group of outstanding professionals."

Mr. Smith last came by for a visit in March 2005.

Marimer Pezzotti Williamson ('96)

Martha Highers ('97)

Ms. Highers was born in the Missouri Ozarks and moved several times with her family. She graduated from Patrick Henry H.S. in Roanoke, Virginia. Her collegiate career took her first to Barnard College of Columbia University and then to Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, where she earned a B.A. in political science. She also has a B.S. in nursing ('94) and a Masters of Arts in English ('90) in addition to her B.A. in Foreign Languages-French, all from TTU. ( Her M.A. thesis title was: "Vanishing: Two Translations of Perec's 'La Disparition,' Chapters 1-4, with Commentary.") She also has a Certificate de Stage, L'Université de Grenoble, France. She has worked as a high school French teacher at Trousdale County H.S. in Hartsville, TN, a nurse at Livingston Hospital, Adjunct Faculty in English at TTU, ESL program director, and used her French skills working for Hutchison, Inc. in Byrdstown, TN. After that she worked as a staff writer for the Herald-Citizen newspaper in Cookeville. Currently she is a Ph.D. fellow teaching creative writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and working on her Ph.D. dissertation in creative writing. She is also a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, attached to the 4206th U.S. Army Hospital in Chattanooga. Her Military Occupation Specialty is Registered Nurse with an additional Skill Identifier in French (after having passed the Defense Language Proficiency Test with maximum score.) Her military experience includes work at Martin Army Hospital (Fort Benning, Georgia), Eisenhower Medical Center (Fort Gordon, Georgia), and Chattanooga Memorial Hospital.

Martha's creative publications include:

  • Poetry in Louisiana Literature, Rattle, Blue Violin, Homespun, Southwestern Review
  • Prose in The Gettysburg Review, Under the Sun Porcupine

On May 24, 1999 Ms. Highers wrote:

"The Department truly cares about the students who major in foreign languages, and the Department works to find placement for them after they graduate. It is a wonderful clearinghouse for information about jobs, since over the years the faculty has made many professional contacts and earned the trust of many individuals in business and education. Businesses and schools from all over Tennessee and other states contact the Department when they are in need of employees.

After I graduated from Tennessee Tech, the Department contacted me about three job opportunities. I applied at one, a French company in Tennessee that needed a translator, and was hired. I worked for the company for seven months, but then took another job that was closer to home. However, my stay at the company was successful and the work was interesting, and I am indebted to the Department for passing on to me the information about the job. Many other foreign language majors at Tennessee Tech have told me that the Department has been as helpful to them in pointing them in good direction as well. I once told the chairman how refreshing this was, and he replied. 'I want people to have jobs!' The Department truly does, and for this reason alone I would suggest to anyone who is undecided about a major to consider a foreign language major at Tennessee Tech.

I feel that the Tennessee Tech Foreign Language Department has been quite helpful to me, especially Dr. Claire Saint-Léon (who has since retired) and the chairman."

Update in Fall 2001:

"I am presently completing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Lafayette is the center of Acadiana, the chief French-speaking region socially as well as academically.

This past summer I also had a chance to use the Spanish I learned at Tennessee Tech when I went on a medical mission to the Guatemalan highlands. In that mission we were seeking to strengthen and empower people's bodies, but I had it brought home to me again there that people are also strengthened and empowered through language. Approximately 100,000 people were tortured and assassinated in Guatemala over the last 20 years, and the Catholic Church has been conducting a project in which people go around and simply record what happened to people's family members and write down who died. This year an American nun, who was working in that project, was assassinated. In fact, 'every single person who has ever worked in that project was assassinated,' Highland Support Project leader Ben Blevins said when I asked him about this. This showed me that giving people language can be more empowering and dangerous than attending to their physical needs -- and at least as necessary."

Raj Kumar ('97)

Mr. Kumar was born in Nashville, grew up in Cookeville and is a graduate of Cookeville High School. Along with his degree in French he had a minor in computer science.

On 3 November 1998 Mr. Kumar wrote: "Presently, I am working at Fleetguard, Inc. doing catalog database work. Although I am not using foreign language skills in my work, the company has been steadily growing in the global market and has sister plants all over the world, including one in Quimper, France. Also, I had the chance to live and study in Tours, France for a few months after graduation and found the city to be filled with students, cafes, nightlife, the arts, gothic architecture, and mushrooms. If you have taken France: The Country and the People, you might recall that the region of Tours has the reputation of being where the "purest" French is spoken. Perhaps out in the countryside this is true, but certainly with the influx of foreign students I felt like I was exposed to a cornucopia of accents. I don't know how long I will stay with Fleetguard, however, I intend to pursue opportunities in computer fields. Also, I would like to continue to use and learn foreign language skills even if not related to work."

Mr. Kumar left Fleetguard-Nelson to pursue graduate studies in computer science at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. He now works at the Social Security Administration office in Cookeville.

Mr. Kumar wrote: "My experience with the Department of Foreign Languages at Tennessee Tech helped broaden my interests and further engendered an appreciation for culture, history, and diversity. In the job market today, it is increasingly useful to have an understanding of other cultures, and the ability to speak foreign languages can be beneficial to employment in nearly all areas of industry. Dr. Campana, as well as Dr. Kintz and Dr. Hays, the professors I had the majority of classes with, were among the most effective in using teaching methods and in instilling interest in the subject. In addition, they were extremely helpful in advising the best course to follow towards graduation and were enthusiastic in support of finding a study abroad program. For anyone interested in teaching foreign languages, I would definitely recommend following a major in the department. For any other prospective student [in another major], I would strongly recommend either getting a second degree or at least a minor in the Department of Foreign Languages."

Jennifer L. McDonald ('97)

Misty Porter Packard ('97)

Kimberly Whittenburg ('97)

Ms. Whittenburg is a graduate of Cookeville High School. In Spring Semester 1996, while a history major at TTU, Ms. Whittenburg studied in Spain on a program sponsored by Trinity Christian College. After receiving her B.S. in history that summer, she decided to earn a B.A. in Spanish. The study abroad experience was the deciding factor in that decision. In 1997, Ms. Whittenberg was working at S.A. Maxwell Company in Northfield, IL. After that she was a salesperson for Graham's Lighting in Nashville.

Jeanna Navas ('97)

Megan Marsh Cole ('97)

Ms. Cole was born in Virginia, raised in California, and graduated from Oakmont High School in Roseville, California. Ms. Cole has taken several trips to Spain and a two-week trip to Costa Rica. In Fall 1998 she began as a Spanish teacher at Powdersville Middle School and Wren H.S. in South Carolina. As of Fall 2001 she is a 7th grade math teacher at Pickens Middle School in South Carolina (A National Blue Ribbon School), and she anticipates that she will be teaching Spanish next year.

In May 2000 she wrote: "The foreign Language field is an excellent one to go into and Tenn. Tech. provides a small class atmosphere that allows for more one-on-one help."

On March 17th, 2001 (St. Patrick's Day) Ms. Cole and her husband celebrated the birth of their daughter, Victoria Samantha Cole. (Megan writes: Note the Spanish name!). Victoria's birth was just two weeks shy of her parents' first anniversary.

Brian Miesch ('98)

Double Major - French and Spanish

Update - April 2012: In 2011 Mr. Miesch received his Master of Arts in Teaching Languages - Spanish from the University of Southern Mississippi. He continues to teach both French and Spanish at Cookeville High School, where he is also the Department Head.

In September 2000 Mr. Miesch wrote: "I would say the single most important factor that made Tech an excellent choice for foreign language study was the closeness you develop with your major professors. It's a small department, so they get to know you and you get to know them personally. The upper division class sizes are small, so one-on-one interaction with the professor as well as classmates gives you a lot of opportunities to practice your skills, too!"

Mindy Reynolds Sakushima ('98)

At age 17 Ms. Sakushima was the second youngest graduate ever from TTU. She is a native of Cookeville and received her high school diploma from Cookeville H.S. one week after being awarded her B.A. in Spanish from TTU. While at TTU she worked as a Spanish interpreter in the criminal court. From September to December 1998 she worked at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute in Nashville as an interpreter/translator and the director of the court interpreter program for the state. She lives just south of San Francisco, California, and completed Law School at New College in 2002. Mindy, who is fluent in Japanese as well as Spanish and Portuguese, has also studied German, French, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and Korean. She spent one summer in Japan on an exchange student scholarship awarded by Komatsu Corporation. She has also traveled in Mexico and French Polynesia. For two years, in addition to her law studies, she had her own translation company, Immigration Translation Services (ITS). ITS provided international language assistance to businesses, courts, doctors, immigration lawyers and other legal firms, international travelers, and students and teachers. Languages available: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish. Ms. Sakushima currently works as an attorney in private practice in immigration law. Ms. Sakushima's goal is to learn 10 languages fluently in her lifetime. She traveled to Japan yearly for several years.

In May 2000 Ms. Sakushima wrote: "One of the biggest advantages of Tech's foreign language department as compared to other university programs is the personal help and attention given by the faculty and staff."

Heath Suiter ('98)

A native of Cookeville, Mr. Suiter is a graduate of Cookeville High School. He studied for two months at the Foreign Language Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In March 1999 he went to live in Puebla and Cuernavaca, Mexico and travel throughout the country working with young people. Mr. Suiter married Lisa Erwin in October of 2001. They both earned an MA in Intercultural Studies in May of 2004. As of July 2004 Mr. Suiter was working on his TESL certification and looking forward to employment overseas. While a student at TTU, Mr. Suiter wrote about the Department of Foreign Languages: "The Language Lab here is incredible. It can help you excel in your foreign language. You can study tapes that go hand in hand with your lessons in class, or you can just sit and watch international channels on the two TVs. Also, one of the two study rooms set aside for the majors has a TV with international channels. The majors who hang out here all seem to help each other and get along great. This is a good place to make friends in the same filed of study as yourself. That can be helpful whether you study or learn something new or whether you just want another friend at college. The Department of Foreign Languages at TTU may not be incredibly huge, but the professors really know what they're doing, and the atmosphere is good."

Russell Droke ('98)

Mr. Droke writes:

Hi! My name is Russell Droke. I was 24 yrs old in the summer of 1995 when I began my bachelor's degree program in foreign languages, and I finished in the Spring of 1998. I received my B.A. degree in Spanish in the Fall of 1998 and went on to pursue an MBA with an emphasis in Management Information Systems here at TTU. I was able financially to get through school by working, by receiving Pell Grants, student loans, TSSA, a Gehman scholarship (from the Department of Foreign Languages), and also with a little help from my parents (they could only do so much).

I started out trying to get teacher licensure but changed my mind to a minor in business. Dr. Campana was my advisor and always encouraged me to pursue my interests with full support from him. When I started in the summer of '95 I went to Dr. Campana and told him of my intentions to finish school as quickly as possible. He said that he would do his best to help me finish in 2.5 yrs if I heeded his advice. I had to do my part, of course, but in the end I could not have done it without Dr. Campana as an advisor, or without help from friends and family, and my wife. Dr. Campana, Dr. Viera, Dr. Kintz, and Ms. Kathy Kroeger also kept me informed on the direction and influence of their respective languages in the world, and that helped me better to decide what I wanted to do. I'm also indebted to the FL Dept. for all the leads to translating and interpreting jobs that they provided me which gave me invaluable experience, helped me plant seeds for future prospects, and gain new acquaintances.

There are those at the FL Dept that I regret not having the time (or making the time) to get to know better such as Dr. Hays, Mr. Heina, Dr. Jones, and Mrs. Hunley. Those that I did have a chance to know I would like to thank individually:

  • Dr. Viera for always dropping whatever he was doing to help me better word a translation I was working on, for his books with which he trusted me, for the many other books he gave me, and for his extensive knowledge on other European languages that helped me piece together the picture and history of Romance languages.
  • Dr. Kintz and Mrs. Kintz for their encouragement and friendship while working for them. I am also deeply grateful for how they humbly taught me of the role and importance that Catholicism has had in language, history, and its impact on my life which gave me a greater appreciation and respect for the church.
  • Ms. Kroeger for being a friend and always taking time, no matter how rushed she was, to listen to me slaughter Russian grammar and patiently help me improve.
  • Dr. Evans for his knowledge of linguistics in general that excited me and his helpful hints for teaching ESL that really worked and helped.
  • Ms. Shettlesworth for teaching me how to read and love literature, which changed my entire way of reading whenever I now read just for pleasure.
  • Dr. Fernández for showing me things outside of class that made me want to study history on my own.

These and other individuals also impressed me with the time they put in to serving the community, such as Dr. Campana with the Boy Scouts, Dr. Viera with translations for Hispanics in town, and many others. I would not have been able to have the honor of serving as Vice President in Alpha Mu Gamma, the honor of being chosen for Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, or the honor of being the recipient of the David Lloyd and Shirley Mae Gehman Scholarship funded by departmental alumna Diana Moller) without the support of the FL Dept., for which I am thankful.

In closing, I would like to include the words I chose for my exit form from TTU:

"I'd like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all in the FL Dept for making so much possible. They all went above and beyond the call of duty. They taught me more than just academics. Their time, patience, kindness, and concern taught me not only what to learn but how to learn, how to reason and think, to look beyond the surface of the subject matter and to learn how to love it. Neither I, nor anyone else, was ever treated as just another student known only by a SS# - I was treated as an equal - as a friend. I never felt intimidated by any in the FL Dept or that I could not go to any one of them about something. I always felt welcomed. I'm thankful for how their example taught me how to better interact with others. I'm satisfied with the education I received and especially for what I learned by the quality example of the FL Dept."

For those already at Tech, I would highly recommend at least a minor in a foreign language or at least the Country and People courses offered. They will prove invaluable with the wide spectrum of topics covered which require no language experience. If you are considering a major in a foreign language and have not yet decided on a school, please look seriously at TTU and especially at the World Cultures and Business program offered here. The minor in business in FL or especially the WCB prepares you well for the GMAT and includes the prerequisites needed for the MBA. The interdisciplinary path being bridged by the College of Business Administration and the FL Dept is impressive.

If there's any one quote that could sum up my education and experience at TTU it is: "by study and also by faith" D&C 88:118

Scott Kent ('98)

Mr. Kent is a graduate of the Defense Language Institute's Spanish program in Monterey, California. He has completed his secondary education licensure along with his B.A. in Spanish. In Spring 1999 he took over as a Spanish teacher at Stratford Comprehensive H.S. Mr. Kent has attended a meeting of the Rural Educators Alliance for Languages at TTU since graduation. In 2005 he took a position as Scoring Director - Educational Assessment (development, scoring, reporting) with Measurement, Inc. in Nashville (company home office in Durham, NC).

In his exit interview, he was succinct in his evaluation of TTU: "Education superior!" Enough said!

Summer Maberry reed ('98)

Mrs. Reed is a native of Franklin, TN and graduated from Page High School there. She went on two mission trips to Guatemala (one of them a month-long study-travel experience) where she served a a translator for a medical team. While at TTU she worked with English as a Second Language (ESL) for two years.

Her first job after graduation from TTU was at Golpak/Perdue Corporation (formerly FFM) in Monterey, Tenn., where she began as a human resources clerk and was then promoted to employment manager, which involved her in the hiring process and in the orientation of new employees, particularly those who speak Spanish. She also worked at Genesco in Nashville as an administrative assistant and was able to use her language skills because the company did construction in Puerto Rico. In 2000 she completed a program at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute (TFLI) that prepares individuals to teach English as a Second or Foreign Language to adults.

Mrs. Reed also worked in human resources for Perdue Farms in Monterey, TN; as a business and industry Spanish instructor for TTCN in Nashville; and as a Spanish teacher at Mt. View Elementary School and in Nashville. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mother of three children. In Fall 2016 she wrote: "I am using my experience in learning a foreign language to teach my family. It has given me so many opportunities, and I hope that I can hand that down to my children."

About TTU and the DFL she writes: "Tech is a great school full of opportunities. The Foreign Languages Department, specifically, enabled me to pursue my area of study and make many good friends."

Robert Summers ('98)

Robert Summers completed the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching (French) at MTSU in December 2001. In 2008 he completed his Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology at The University of South Florida.

Dr. Summers currently serves as the Assistant Dean for International and Exchange Programs at SUNY Buffalo State. As such, he holds primary responsibility for all incoming international students, outgoing exchange students and study abroad programs.

In 2014 Dr. Summers wrote: "I sincerely hope that the TTU Department of Foreign Languages is doing well and that your students have ample opportunities to study abroad. I appreciate the encouragement I received to study in France. It was the best professional decision I ever made."

Ania Barciak ('99)

Ms. Barciak was born in Wroclaw, Poland and came to TTU from Switzerland by way of Red Boiling Springs H.S. (TN). She is fluent in Polish, German, Swiss German, French, and Spanish (her major) as well as English, and she also knows some Italian. At TTU she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Alpha Mu Gamma. From December 1998 to April 1999 she worked in the first internship to be part of the new program in World Cultures and Business, at Tutco, Inc. (Cookeville). As of February 2000 she was working at the Equinox Group in Cambridge, MA. Subsequently she was hired by Harvard University to serve as an interpreter and assistant for a Harvard Professor of Medicine who had a multi-year grant to work with Peru. In a message in February 2000 Ania wrote:

"My title at Equinox Group is interviewer. That means I mostly interview physicians from Europe about studies that we are conducting. I interview doctors in Germany, France, Spain, and of course the United States. Equinox Group is a pharmaceutical consulting firm. Our clients are all major pharmaceutical companies. Before they put a new drug on the market they want a study done on the drug, regarding its marketability. A case study could be done on Parkinson's disease, for example. Once I know how many doctors in each country I have to interview I try to find them, contact them, and of course conduct the interview. After the interview I have to translate their responses into our English language database. So that means that I get to use my language skills every day, and when I am not speaking or writing in a different language I usually surf the Web and research new doctors in the foreign countries that we cover."

2005 update: Ms. Barciak's work at Equinox Group led to a new position as Assistant to Jaime Bayona, in the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Loretta Hensley Benjamin ('99)

Ms. Benjamin was born in Wichita, Kansas and is a graduate of White County H.S. She has traveled in Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and France. Among her honors are an Alpha Delta Kappa Scholarship, a White County Education Association Scholarship, and a Dean's Scholarship. Along with her B.A. degree in Spanish Ms. Benjamin has secondary school licensure in Spanish. Since Fall 1999 she is the Spanish teacher at Jackson County H.S., and, as she reported in Fall 2001: "I am loving it!"

Ms. Benjamin is the proud mother of a daughter, Tessa, born in June 1999.

Jessica Killian Scarbrough ('99)

Ms. Scarbrough was kind enough to write: "Of all the departments on campus the Department of Foreign Languages was the one that was by far the most helpful. The people went out of their way to see that I was provided with what I needed to be successful."

David Puncochar ('99)

Mr. Puncochar spent some time after graduation in Europe as a representative of an American company. Currently he is an ESL teacher at Brentwood Academy.

Erin Quinn Anderson ('99)

Ms. Anderson was born in Athens, TN and is a graduate of Polk County H.S. In the Fall of 1994 she studied one semester in France, and in Summer 1998 she visited Morocco. Among her honors at TTU are a Foreign Languages Faculty Scholarship, a David Lloyd and Shirley Mae Gehman Scholarship, a University Academic Scholarship, membership in Mortar Board, and selection for Who's Who Among American University and College Students. Erin completed her B.A. in Foreign Languages-French summa cum laude!

Her work experience includes doing translation work for International Specialty Supply in Cookeville. Her plans for the future include doing literacy work in Northern Africa.

Ms. Anderson pursued graduate work in theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. She is married to Keith Anderson (wedding in May 2000).

At graduation Ms. Anderson wrote: "I didn't know much about the Foreign Languages Department before coming to Tech, but I am very satisfied with the challenging classes and concerned faculty."

A year later from graduate school she adds: "As the 'real world' becomes more and more familiar, I have yet to meet a native French- or Spanish-speaker with whom I am unable to communicate and be understood. Of course I make mistakes, as always, but language is such a personal part of culture that this ability has enabled me to establish relationships that would never have been possible without having made an effort to learn another tongue. I owe an insatiable debt to the patient and diligent professors at Tech who challenged me to fine-tune my grammar and pronunciation in French and Spanish -- invaluable skills in this 'real world' I am discovering."

In January 2007 Ms. Anderson wrote that she is currently a full-time wife and mother.

Shelley Woods ('99)

Ms. Woods was born in Clarksville, TN and is a graduate of Cookeville H.S. She lived in Costa Rica for 7 months where she taught English as a Second Language and studied at the Instituto de Lengua Española. She is a member of Alpha Mu Gamma, Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa, Order of Omega, and Alpha Lambda Delta. She also served as Executive Assistant to the Student Government President and was on the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Executive Council. Her B.A. in Foreign Languages-Spanish was awarded cum laude in cursu honorum. She has worked at Imaging Technologies, Inc. in Cookeville as a marketing intern, customer service representative and interpreter for Latin American distributors. Ms. Woods was also an Industrial Sales Assistant for Still-Man Heating Products of Cookeville. She taught at Knoxville Catholic HS, and in 2008-9 she received a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach middle school ESL at a private Catholic school in Lima, Peru. She has created a site for a blog about her experiences:

Ms. Woods wrote: "The Spanish professors are enthusiastic about what they do and are very helpful. My academic advisor is excellent."

Heather Atkins ('99)

In April, 2000 Ms. Atkins wrote: "Languages are living entities. They change with the people who speak them. Landscape, time, fashion, politics, technology— all shape the way we see the world— the way we express ourselves.

Tennessee Tech's Foreign Language Department does a wonderful job presenting the many facets of a given language, giving voice to its people and cultures as well. Fundamental speech and grammar classes, a course in geography and culture, plus business, literature and history courses provide essential tools for good communication and encourage travel abroad.

Class sizes are appropriate and often small in upper division courses, allowing more individual attention. The instructors make time outside of class to help students with any problems they may have; If needed, they can also recommend tutors. In addition, students have full access to a language lab where they can reinforce what they've learned in class using audio and visual tools.

Many students belong to Alpha Mu Gamma, the national foreign language honor society as well as an on-campus language group like the German, Spanish, or French club. These groups often participate in university cultural fairs and have contact with native foreign language speakers within the community. The list goes on… In short, it's an awesome program and opens doors to the world at large."

Sheina Kay Norman Hall ('99)

Ms. Hall is a 1993 graduate of Bartlett High School in Memphis. She spent a semester after graduation pursuing further study in interior design at TTU. Her plans after graduation were to attend a Goethe Institute intensive summer German language program and then attend graduate school in German studies.

Since graduation Ms. Hall has worked in graphic design in Nashville, and in Web design and tech support in Tallahassee.