Department of Foreign Languages

2003-2004 Profiles

Kaitrin Tara Mahar ('03)

Ms. Mahar was born in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and raised in Smyrna and Manchester, TN. She graduated from Coffee County Central High School.

While at TTU Ms. Mahar spent a year through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) at the Université de Franche-Comté in Besançon, France; while there, she did a good bit of traveling around other places in Europe. She wrote that she would be glad to endorse Tech's ISEP program to anyone who is interested!

Because of her fluency in French she was hired by Fleetguard-Nelson in Cookeville as a French-speaking Customer Assistance Representative, replacing 2001 TTU graduate Robert Stanton (B.A., French, B.S., World Cultures and Business) so he could continue his education at the Master’s degree level.

Ms. Mahar has studied some German and is also interested in Spanish. Her abilities extend far into the field of science as well, since she was also a physics major for several years. Ms. Mahar was the 2001 recipient of the prestigious Liberal Arts Award given annually to one student in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Mahar hopes to attend Graduate School eventually; in the mean time she had been taking classes at Tech part-time “to keep her mind warmed up,” as she put it. She would also like to spend a few years doing something exciting and overseas like Peace Corps or joining the State Department's Foreign Service.

In Spring 2006 Kaitrin was editing technical documents for Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology (EODT) in Knoxville. She has traveled all over the country to take part in Lindy Hop dance festivals.

In August 2003 Ms. Mahar wrote:

I had a wonderful experience working with the Foreign Languages Department; I wandered into French classes because they were required for my original major in physics, kept taking them because they were fun, and that led to traipsing off to France for one of the most memorable academic years of my life! One of the major strengths of Tennessee Tech is the accessibility of its faculty -- I've gotten very spoiled by having the ability to go ask an expert whenever I have a question -- and this is at least as true in foreign languages as it is anywhere else on campus. I never had any difficulty finding someone in the department to sit down with me and talk about a problem, whether it dealt with linguistics or logistics.

Update - May 2012: Ms. Mahar is currently a database manager in Norfolk, Virginia, and is working toward her Ph.D. in Public Administration/Urban Policy at Old Dominion University.

Rubén Murguia, III ('03)

Mr. Murguia was born in Chicago, IL and is a graduate of Smith County High School in Carthage, TN.

René Portocarrero ('03)

Mr. Portocarrero was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and is a graduate of the Academia Los Pinares. He attended Nashville Technical Community College in Summer 2001 and received his B.S. degree in World Cultures and Business (Spanish).

DeLeesa Fletcher Price ('03)

Ms. Price was born and raised in Sparta, Tennessee, and graduated from White County High School. Before coming to TTU she attended Roane State Community College.

Ms. Price's foreign study and travel includes a Summer Program at La Academia de Español Probigua, La Antigua, Guatemala.

While at TTU DeLeesa worked as a Spanish tutor and a small class Spanish instructor.

Her plans at graduation were to teach Spanish and coach soccer, and to travel to a Spanish-speaking country every summer. The first part, at least, was been fulfilled with a position teaching Spanish at Cornerstone Middle School in Baxter, TN. After that she moved within the county to teach Spanish at Cookeville High School. As of August 2006 she is the Spanish teacher at White County High School.

At graduation Ms. Price wrote:

" Most things you want in life are attainable. You just have to focus and work toward your goals. The Foreign Languages Department here at Tennessee Tech, with their unmatched dedication to student achievement, makes the path toward your goals easier to walk."

Bradley Christopher Savage ('03)

Addie Elizabeth Sinclair ('03)

Ms. Sinclair was born and raised in Decherd, Tennessee. After graduating from Franklin County High School in 1998, she attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia as an Anthropology and German major. She left Berry in 2001 and came to Tennessee Tech, where she graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in German and again in 2004 with a B.A. in History. Ms. Sinclair has had many hobbies over the years, such as art, music, and theatre, but her lifelong love is dance. Her academic strengths are writing and language, and she has a particular fondness for linguistics. She was employed as a waitress at the Gasthaus German restaurant in Manchester, Tennessee, until she began a semester-long internship at Walt Disney World in late August 2004. In 2005 she was hired by the Cookeville Department of Leisure Services to offer German courses for adults in the community.

In October 2004 Ms. Sinclair wrote: " First, let me say HELLO from 'the Happiest Place on Earth!' I am working at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and having a once-in -a-lifetime experience. When it ends Nov. 14th, I'll be working at the special holiday events around Epcot, something I'm really looking forward to. I have fallen in love with Florida, but that does not mean that I don't miss Tennessee terribly. I'm looking for graduate schools here, but looking forward to returning home in January (I'll be sure to come and visit you). You'll be happy to know that received my German translator pin, so I am an official German translator for Epcot (now, waiting to actually RECEIVE the pin is a different story -- it's been ordered for a month) which means that there will be a German flag and "Deutsch" under my name. I have also decided since being here that my ultimate career goal is to be a German professor. I just love and miss school too much not to try for this. I hope that your semester is going great, and I promise to keep in touch!"

In September 2005 Ms. Sinclair sent another progress report: " I am now a German GTA in the Foreign Language Department at MTSU. So not only was my tuition free and I get a faculty parking pass, but I get paid a nice stipend for tutoring and doing other things in the department! The department here is small, but everyone is so cool and I have enjoyed every minute of my time so far. Plus, I'm learning a lot, through tutoring, grading papers, and observing other GTA's and professors' classes. I went today to observe high school German classes at my Alma Mater, and right now I'm taking a study break from reviewing a high school textbook for my pedagogy class. So I'm busy, but I still manage to take advantage of life in the 'Boro. I miss Tech, and promise I really will come visit this semester!"

In May 2007 Ms. Sinclair wrote that she will receive the M.A.T. degree in German from MTSU this month. She will be joining the ranks of German teachers in the Fall.

Erin Michelle Smith howard ('03)

Mrs. Howard was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., where she graduated from Cleveland High School. After receiving her B.A. in Spanish from TTU, she completed an M.A. in Hispanic and Latin American Literature at UT Knoxville in 2005.

While at TTU she studied one semester at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Heredia, Costa Rica. She also went on a medical mission to the Dominican Republic, where she worked with children, and served as team interpreter for a trip to Los Mochis, Mexico.

Mrs. Howard has been with Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) since 2005. Since 2010 she has served as Latino Outreach Director; from 2005-2009 she was the Latino Outreach Coordinator. In her current position she oversees the recruitment, retention and student success programming for Latino and immigrant students. Additionally, she teaches Intro to Latin American Studies and leads the college's efforts to improve outreach, success and cultural inclusion of global learners and students of color.

In the summer of 2016 Mrs. Howard taught in Costa Rica for the Kentucky Institute for International Studies. She also frequently teaches an immigration and social justice course at Eastern Kentucky University.

Mrs. Howard has done extensive advocacy work for, and with, undocumented youth: from 2010 to 2013 she served as a board member for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the U.S. In that role she supported the creation and implementation of a national program to improve access to higher education for undocumented and immigrant youth. She is also staff advisor for the Kentucky Dream Coalition (KDC).

From 2011 to 2015 Mrs. Howard was the project director for the Kentucky Latino Education Alliance, a Lumina Foundation grant-funded effort that focused on increasing the number of Latinos with high-quality degrees or credentials in the state of Kentucky. During the project Latino degree attainment increased in the state by nearly 6%.

BCTC Latino Outreach and their Latino Leadership and College Experience Group (LLCEC) were recognized by Excellence in Education as "Examples of Excellence" in 2006 and 2013. LLCEC was also recognized by the White House Institute on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) as a "bright spot for Latino student success" in 2015, which included recognition at the White House celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month that year.

In a 2016 update Mrs. Howard said, "I truly believe my life is so much more adventurous and richer in friends, experiences and opportunities because of the gift of language and culture. The TTU Department of Foreign Languages - through excellent teaching, dedicated faculty, and supportive scholarships - gave me a strong foundation on which I've been able to thrive."

richard duane strader ('03)

Mr. Strader was born in Lake Village, Arkansas, and grew up in Homer, Alaska. He received his high school diploma from Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri. Before coming to TTU he attended Southwest Missouri State University and Long Beach City College in California. Mr. Strader was a Marine Guard for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, Germany and in Managua, Nicaragua, and he used the opportunities to learn German and Spanish. He lived in Central America for one year and in Germany for two years.

After receiving his B.A. in German from Tennessee Tech, Mr. Strader taught German at Cumberland County High School in Crossville, Tenn. In a 2016 update, he said that he has relocated to an area where German is not offered, and is now teaching technology in the CTE program. He is also completing a Master's Degree in History.

Mr. Strader is married to the former Elizabeth Vanalman and they have two children. Elizabeth Strader works as a hospice RN case manager.

Dayna R. Wrobel ('03)

Ms. Wrobel was born in Warren, Michigan and graduated from Marysville High School in Michigan. As part of her degree requirements for the degree in World Cultures and Business she spent Spring 2003 on an International Student Exchange Program(ISEP) studying Spanish.

Jacqueline Barlow ('03)

Ms. Barlow is a native Tennessean and a graduate of Mt. Juliet High School From August 1999 to May 2002 she attended Brescia University in Owensboro, KY and then transferred to TTU. Jackie works at Haley Industries.

Stephanie Dallmann ('03)

Ms. Dallmann was born in Milwaukee, WI and graduated from South Milwaukee H.S. In addition to her B.S. degree in World Cultures and Business - Spanish, Ms. Dallmann will receive in May 2007 an M.A. degree in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) from TTU with K-12 licensure in ESL and a Spanish add-on endorsement in August 2007.

In February 2007 Stephanie wrote: " The opportunities and experiences I have had by learning a second language have changed my life. I would recommend it to anyone. Especially in the business world, knowing a second language makes you that much more marketable for potential employers. The Foreign Language Department at TTU provided me with a foundation by which to achieve my career goals."

Krista Douglas ('03)

Ms. Douglas lived in the Chattanooga area (Hixson and Soddy Daisy) since she was about 5 years old and graduated from Soddy-Daisy H.S. Currently she is working in the accounting department at Phoenix USA in Cookeville. Ms. Douglas has a B.S. in Accounting as well as a B.S. in World Cultures and Business.

In August 2004 she will be moving to Nashville to start a job with Maggart and Associates, a very reputable accounting firm located in downtown Nashville that has a clientele of several Middle Tennessee businesses and banks along with some others throughout the U.S. and in a few in other countries such as Chile, South America, and Aruba. Ms. Douglas is confident that at Maggart she will be able to utilize both of her degrees to the fullest. She writes that she is very excited to start this work and feels that her education has set the strong foundation that she needs to get started and to work her way to the top.

She continues: " My education and experiences at TTU have prepared me for everything that I have faced and have provided me with the tools to make me successful no matter where I might go. What I learned at TTU has made me feel confident about my career decisions and given me the confidence to explore more and see exactly how successful I can become."

Jennifer Garrett Johns ('03)

Ms. Johns was born in Oak Ridge, TN and graduated from Roane Co. HS. She attended Roane State Community College (Summer 1998), McHenry County College (Summer 2000), and Trinity Christian College (Summer 2002) in addition to her work at TTU.

Samantha Kimble ('03)

Ms. Kimble is a native of Rochester Hills, Michigan and a graduate of Lamphere H.S. there.

Sue Ellen Rankin-Lustre ('03)

Ms. Rankin-Lustre is a native of Maquoketa, Iowa. Before coming to TTU she attended Belmont University in Nashville. Sue completed both the B.A. in French and, one semester later, the B.S. degree in World Cultures and Business. In Summer 2003, as part of the requirements for the WCB degree, she attended the Institut Savoisien d'Etudes Françaises pour les Etrangers, ISEFE, in Chambery, France.

James A. Steele ('03)

Mr. Steele was kind enough to provide his biographical summary in his own words:

" Although I was born in Weslaco, TX, I was raised in Livingston, TN. I graduated from Livingston Academy. Between the time that I entered and graduated from Tennessee Tech, I attended two other colleges/universities. I spent one year studying The Bible at Word of Life Bible Institute in NY and FL, and I spent one year at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, after I married my wife, Katie. Currently I am in Jackson, MI, studying at New Tribes Bible Institute.

Travels
Since high school I have had the pleasure of traveling to several South and Central American countries. I spent the semester immediately following high school living and working in Bolivia, mostly in the jungle. It was because of that experience that I chose to study Spanish. In the summer of 2001 I spent four weeks studying at a language school (through LanguagesAbroad.com, whom I recommend) in Cuzco, Peru, and two weeks at a sister school in Quito, Ecuador. These trips abroad were some of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Experience at Tennessee Tech
My experience with the Foreign Language department (and TTU in general) was excellent. Tech’s Foreign Language department is smaller than those of many larger universities (i.e. UTK). While some may see that as a disadvantage, I consistently found that the classes and professors at TTU upheld a higher academic standard than what I experienced at UT, and the administration was always more helpful and able to provide each student with individual attention. Not only does Tech foster a more academic climate, I have yet to see a friendlier campus.
"

In January 2007 Mr. Steele provided this update: He has been at the Wake Forest University School of Law from Fall 2003 to Spring 2007, and received his law degree in Spring 2007. During his time in law school he worked for a local bilingual law firm in Winston-Salem as an intern in immigration law and general practice. He wrote: " Both the education and the experience I got at Tech were excellent."

Kelly Wentworth Ismail ('03)

Mrs. Ismail is a native of Jasper, Georgia and a graduate of Pickens H.S. in Jasper. She attended Mercer University in Macon, Georgia in 1996-97 and also Kennesaw State University, Georgia in Summer 1999. Mrs. Ismail completed a B.S. in electrical engineering in addition to a B.A. in French. (February 2007 update): Ms. Ismail works for Faith Technologies, Inc. in business development and she is working on an M.B.A. through the University of Phoenix, with graduation scheduled for Febuary 2009.

Mrs. Ismail's travels have taken her to Sana'a, Yemen (the home of her husband, Maeen), Egypt, Germany, and London. She also plans to " get a job as an engineer, find all the adventures I can, never stop learning." While in Sana'a, Yemen she served as Instructor of English as a Foreign Language.

In December 2003 Mrs. Ismail wrote: " I like the Foreign Language Department because they really care about you both academically and personally. They always encouraged me as a double major and really worked with me so I could graduate with both degrees at the same time."

In October 2004 Mrs. Ismail provided this update:

" My husband, Maeen, and I made it to Yemen. I think he's experienced as much of a cultural shock as I did since he was away from home for five years. I'm adjusting slowly to life here. It's very different, but also quite similar to the place where I grew up in Georgia. There are lots of cultural customs I'm expected to follow just by virtue of the fact that I'm married to a Yemeni. It's the social things I have the most trouble with and not the people themselves. Most Yemenis are very laid back...Yemen is a developing country, so most people don't care what others do as long as they make some money. I feel pretty safe here. Luckily, both the Yemeni and American governments are paranoid about what's happening in the region, so they make sure people don't bother us much. Right now, I have a very nice job working for the U.S. Embassy as an English as a Foreign Language Instructor at the Yemen-American Language Institute that the Embassy runs. It's quite fun, although I didn't picture that I'd be a teacher my first year out of school. I got the job because of my French degree. They said that since I went through learning a foreign language, then I was able to understand how to teach English as one. I'll probably be here for a year until Maeen's paperwork processes. I'm visiting the U.S. in December to see my family, then returning again in January. I haven't been to some of the places I mentioned earlier, but I have seen the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and Frankfurt (for about four hours because of an unscheduled layover). Yemen is a very beautiful country with lots of history. We're talking thousands of years, not just hundreds like at home. The things I miss the most are libraries and pianos. They pretty much have most other modern conveniences here, but washing clothes and bathrooms have to be the most interesting experiences. I'm working on learning Arabic, but it's slow-going at the moment. I hope to take a class when I return in January. I do get to speak French some, though, because most of the people I know speak either French or English as their second language. It's great that I have French to bridge the gap when someone can't speak English. I hope to have more opportunities, though, to improve my French in the future. There is a cultural center run by the French government that offers French language courses, so I may try that. Who knows? I think Dr. Kintz worried a bit about my French abilities, but I know I'll make him proud! When I get back to the U.S. next year, I am planning on working again in engineering. Teaching is nice, but I sure do miss playing with the technical stuff. I hope my international experience will just woo potential employers even more. Anyway, I hope everything is well with you. I think of you often, especially when I pass by the German Embassy on my way home. I'll try to keep you updated from time to time.

Ma'asalaama (Go in Peace)"

Bettina K. Chaffin ('04)

Ms. Chaffin was born and raised in Gainesboro, Tennessee and graduated from Jackson County High School. While at TTU she completed an intensive language course in Eichstätt, Germany through the University of Memphis and also participated in the Magellan Exchange Program in Aachen, Germany for one semester in fulfillment of her requirements for the B.S. degree in World Cultures and Business. She works as a Branch Sales Trainer and Advertising and Event Coordinator with Ferguson Enterprises.

In Spring 2004 she wrote:

" The Department of Foreign Languages has always been more like a family atmosphere. Everyone is very helpful and truly cares about your future and education. I have always enjoyed all of my foreign language courses and the teachers who taught them."

Courtney Ann Hamilton Elliott ('04)

Ms. Elliott is a native of Nashville and a graduate of Franklin Classical High School. Before coming to TTU she attended Nashville State Technical Community College.

Heidi Lynn Gilday ('04)

Ms. Gilday was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming and lived there for the most part until she was fifteen. Since then she has moved often to various parts of the US. She has lived in Middle Tennessee for about ten years.

Before coming to TTU Ms. Gilday attended Snow College in Ephraim, Utah for one semester in 1994 and also attended Southern Virginia University for two years, for the 1997-98 and 1999-2000 school years.

Ms. Gilday has studied French since the seventh grade and was able to travel to Chambery, France for a six-week study abroad program in Summer 2003. She considered her summer in France to be very rewarding and an experience she will never forget.

Ms. Gilday earned both a B.A., French and a B.A., English and will be back at TTU in the Fall 2004 to pursue her M.A. in English. After that she hopes to go on to earn a doctorate in English Composition and Rhetoric.

In Spring 2004 Heide wrote: " No matter what other plans you have for your life, learning a foreign language is always an asset. Learning French has been one of the hardest things I have done in my life, but it has also been one of the most rewarding. Dr. Hays especially forced me to work harder for my grades in her classes than in any other classes I have taken on this campus. As a result I have learned a great deal of French from her."

Cary Loren Hitchcock ('04)

Ms. Hitchcock was born and raised in Cookeville and graduated from Cookeville High School. She attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1998 after high school, then transferred to Tennessee Tech in 1999.

While in high school she was a Rotary exchange student to France 1995-1996 and also traveled to Spain, Switzerland, and Belgium at that time. In college she studied abroad at the Universidad de Costa Rica at San Jose in Summer 2003.

In addition to her two degrees in French and Spanish, Ms. Hitchcock has also completed almost a complete third B.A. in German.

In Spring and Summer 2004 she worked as a Spanish translator for the Tennessee's Early Intervention System and has volunteered at several local church clinics for Hispanics. She has also been a tutor for the last two years of her college studies in French, Spanish, and German.

In Summer 2004 she is going to Africa for a month-long cultural study abroad with the West African drum and dance group, Abusua.

In Spring 2008 she will begin a Master’s degree in teaching foreign languages at Middle Tennessee State University. Then while working on her Master's degree she will be teaching at the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute in Nashville (TFLI) where she also completed a certification course in Teaching English as a Second Language. That caused her to realized how much she loves teaching. She joined the Peace Corps with the assignment to train ESL teachers in El Salvador in a semi-urban area teaching at junior and senior high schools.

Amy Rohling Mortimer ('04)

Ms. Mortimer was born in Chattanooga and is a graduate of Notre Dame H.S. She attended Chattanooga State Technical Community College in Fall Semester 1999 before coming to TTU.

Ms. Mortimer works for an attorney in the Chattanooga area.

Stacy Moss ('04)

Ms. Moss was born in Bowling Green, Ohio but she has lived all over the U.S.

She attended Volunteer State Community College before coming to TTU and she also went to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California while she was on active duty status in the Tennessee National Guard.

In May 2004 she wrote: “ As of now I haven't done any foreign travel but hope to in the near future. I did translate for a local company here in town. I went to the Welfare Dept. and a couple of courthouses to translate for non-English-speaking Hispanics. I've also spent the last two years of my college experience as an ROTC cadet and as a member of the National Guard, which is where I made the bulk of my income. My immediate plans for the future are to complete the Leaders Development Courses at Ft. Lewis, Washington and receive a commission as an officer in the United States Army. I then plan to come back to Tech for two more semesters to earn a B.S. degree in general business management.

My experiences with the TTU Foreign Languages Department have been excellent. The faculty members have always gone above and beyond the call of duty and I will most certainly recommend TTU as a positive and professional school.

Barbara Moreira Smith ('04)

Ms. Smith was born and raised in Fortaleza, Brazil and graduated from the Colegio Sete de Setembro. Before coming to TTU she attended the UECE Ceara State University in Fortaleza, Brazil; Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, KY and Volunteer State Community College in Livingston, TN.

In Spring 2004 she wrote: “ I was always interested in languages, and when the opportunity arose to come to the United States, I was very excited. I first came in 1997 as an exchange student to Campbellsville University in Kentucky and immediately fell in love with the American college experience. At Tech I was very fortunate to find the two-degree option: B.S. in World Cultures and Business and B.A. in Spanish. This gave me an opportunity to acquire knowledge in two fields that interested so much. At the end it was very rewarding for me to receive two degrees and realize that the extra mile was worth every credit.

For five years I have worked at Hutchinson FTS, a French company which manufactures rubber components and engine cooling systems, so the atmosphere of a multinational company has complemented my college education in World Cultures and Business as well as in Spanish. This Spring I was able to spend four weeks working at Hutchison’s subsidiary in Mexico doing technical translation of quality manuals and conducting quality system audits. I can affirm that those weeks came as a finishing touch to my last semester of college, where I could put to use my language skills and could observe first-hand the carrying out of business across cultures. Besides learning a lot during those weeks, the concepts learned in the classroom came to life and I acquired an even deeper appreciation for the Spanish Language. Another great experience I had this last semester was teaching Portuguese to the Tech students going to Brazil this Summer. I had a lot of fun and even tried to apply some of Dr. Burdette's techniques on the board! I will continue with the company working on quality systems and providing support to the Tennessee and Mexico plants. I also aspire to someday continue my education, possibly in the field of foreign languages or linguistics.

My best memories of Tech will be of the history classes with Dr. Fernández, the Spanish classes with Dr. Burdette and the literature classes with Dr. Viera and Dr. Laurila. They were the best courses I had all these years and they'll always inspire me.

Crystal Leighanne Wynne ('04)

Ms. Wynne was born and raised in Nashville TN and graduated from Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School there. She spent a year on the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) at Johannes Kepler Universität in Linz, Austria and, during that year, also traveled throughout Europe (Paris, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Croatia). While working on her two degrees: B.A., German, and B.S., World Cultures and Business (German) Ms. Wynne was a German language tutor.

Update - 02/02/12: Ms. Wynne received her Master's in Liberal Arts and Science from Vanderbilt University in May 2010. She currently works at Vanderbilt's Peabody College as the Department Administrator for Psychology and Human Development."

In May 2004 she wrote: “ Dr. C. told me an awesome quote that has stuck with my throughout my college experience: “Immer wenn du denkst, es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein Lichtlein her.” This quote has a lot of relevance in my outlook on the future and helped me get through many things here and in Austria.

The faculty and staff here in the foreign language department really genuinely care about students. Having obtained both WCB and German degrees, I can really tell a difference in the dedication and sincerity from my German professors. They are not just available in classes, but make a point to get to know you outside of class. You are not just another college student to them. Thanks for everything!"

Kevin Wayne Terry ('04)

Mr. Terry was born in Olney, Maryland and is a graduate of Cumberland Co. (TN) High School. Before coming to TTU he attended Roane State Community College from 1999 to 2001.

Jason Blackston ('04)

Mr. Blackston was born in Thomaston, GA, but he has lived all over the southeast, including Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. He graduated from Morristown-Hamblen High School West. Mr. Blackston spent the summer of 2004 in San José, Costa Rica studying Spanish. Both he and his wife, Debbie, graduated in December 2004. At graduation Jason was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army, and will be stationed in Ft. Lewis, WA.

After graduation he wrote: " The Tennessee Tech Foreign Language Department has helped me tremendously, and the professors are willing to do anything they can to help."

Sabrina Maillet ('04)

Ms. Maillet was born in Nouméa, the capital of New Caledonia, (Fr. Nouvelle Calédonie), an overseas territory of France in the South Pacific about 700 miles east of Australia. She graduated from Harpeth High School in Kingston Springs (Cheatham County), Tennessee. Ms. Maillet is a graduate assistant in the M.A.T. program at Middle Tennessee State University.

Ruth Guadeloupe Guerrero Reasor ('04)

Ms. Reasor was born in Panama City, Panama. She is currently employed at the Social Security Administration office in Cookeville.