University of Mississippi

Graduate Alumni Stories

Amy Sullenberger (Spanish, 2012) writes the following: “After graduating from the program, I spent the summer of 2012 living and working in Costa Rica as a liason for a Denver based study/work abroad company for high school students as well as nurses and doctors. I returned to the states to teach ESL to middle schoolers in Mississippi before relocating to Denver, CO. I am currently living and working in Denver where I teach Spanish at a primary school. I keep up my Spanish skills by being involved with the local Hispanic community. Last semester, I enrolled in an education course that was conducted in Spanish by Hispanic instructors, where I received my early childhood teaching certification. I also participate in exchanges with Spanish speakers regularly to continue practicing the language. I am currently working on my CO teaching license for grades K-12.  I want to continue working in education and being involved with the Hispanic community in Denver. I also enjoy traveling to Spanish speaking countries whenever I have the chance.”

Trey McCain (French, 2012) writes that he has “been contributing from time to time to a few different publications and media outlets about [his] experience and connection with Wales, and out of that [he has] shifted gears and started an organization to promote the Celtic languages and cultures in the U.S.”

No Heart without Language launched just a few weeks ago with the goal of bringing work from artists in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Brittany and Cornwall to communities here in the U.S. Our name echoes expressions in several of the Celtic languages. Welsh: ‘Cenedl heb iaith, cenel heb galon’ (‘A nation without language is a nation without heart’) Irish: ‘Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam’ (‘A nation without language is a nation without soul.’) Breton: ‘Heb Brezhoneg, Breizh ebet. (‘No Brittany without Breton’). We’re now in the process of incorporating as a non-profit here in the U.S. Our primary focus this year is the creation of a mobile gallery that will showcase the work of Celtic-speaking artists at festivals and gatherings throughout the U.S. We see this as an excellent way to show these languages in action by the very people who speak them on a daily basis and wrestle with the different facets of their identity. The individual perspectives of the artists illustrate what it means to live in these communities and their creations convey concepts that are sometimes lost in translation. What’s more, giving the artists a market in the U.S. will help support their work, boost the local economies where they live and encourage Americans to visit the far corners of the Celtic world. So far, we’ve had several artists sign on with us, ranging from photographers in the upper reaches of Scotland and western Ireland to painters in North Wales and the Isle of Man. We’re actively searching for more throughout the Celtic nations, especially in Brittany and Cornwall. We hope to begin fundraising for our gallery in March. In the meantime, we would greatly appreciate any word you’re willing to share with your friends, colleagues and networks about our launch. I’ve included our website, e-mail, our first video and social media links below. I’ll also give you my personal phone number – feel free to give me a call to discuss any aspect of our work. We’re very excited about the coming weeks, and we want to give everyone an opportunity to be a part of this endeavor.”

Mira Radu (Spanish) after graduation was the women’s tennis assistant coach for the University of Iowa (2008-2010) and University of Wisconsin (2011-2013). In 2014, she writes that she is a tennis pro at Score Tennis and Fitness, a private club in the Chicago area working with high performance juniors.

Marvis Kilgore (Spanish) is now working teaching English in Doha, Qatar.  After finishing the Teach for America Program in 2007 in Houston, Marvis came to Ole Miss to study for an MA in Spanish.

Stephanie Hirscher Beam (German, 2011) writes that she was excited to be offered a teaching position at a local high school immediately after graduation. She is now in her second year of teaching four levels of German to grades 9 through 12, and she hopes to be doing this until she retires. She says she has amazing students, who keeps Stephanie on her toes and entertained all day long!

Catherine Couper (Spanish, 2012) tells us that she is a Masters in Public Health candidate at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She is in the Hubert Department of Global Health, focusing on Sexual, Reproductive Health and Population Studies. Completing her M.A. in Spanish  at Ole Miss enables her continued work within the Hispanic population in Georgia. She is currently a research assistant for the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia investigating diabetes and obesity preventions for Latino children and adolescents. Catherine will serve as the vice president of HOLA (Health Organization for Latin America) for the 2013 school year at the Rollins School of Public Health. Catherine will spend the summer of 2013 abroad in Latin America to complete her degree’s practicum requirement.

Missy Green (Spanish, 2011) reports: Since graduation I’ve begun work as the International Liaison for a national restaurant industry publication, PMQ.  With the languages classes I took during my Masters I acquired the skills to communicate with professionals in Spain, Brazil and Italy.  I now live in Paris, a short flight away from various European food shows, always appreciative of the time management and long-term project skills I learned during my Masters.  Most importantly, Ole Miss pushed me to accomplish unthinkable tasks like teaching a class on my own or taking comprehensive exams.  Those daunting experiences showed me that you will never feel ready for the big things in life.  You just have to dive in and learn from your mistakes with grace.

Catherine Lawhorn (Spanish, 2011, nee Millette) says: After graduation, I married and moved to Nashville, TN. My first year was a little crazy, working various part-time jobs! I taught basic Spanish at Volunteer State Community college as an adjunct instructor, worked as a recruiting administrator, did private tutoring, and also a couple of translating projects for Cracker Barrel’s Employee Relations Department. This year I am teaching English, Spanish, and World History at the Learning Lab, a small school and tutoring center. I also provide after-school tutoring in writing, Spanish, and ACT prep. I teach a couple of children and adult classes for the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, an agency that offers ESL and foreign language classes to students of all ages. I am getting lots of experience this year and staying very busy!

Ben Quilter (Spanish, 2010) writes from Linkedin: Regarding my work activities after graduation, I moved to Cologne, Germany, shortly after graduation and spent some time learning German.  Then in the summer of 2011, I started an internship with Learnship Networks GmbH, an online language school focused on corporate language training.  After my internship, I started working full-time for the company as a team leader in a department responsible for trainer coordination. With regards to how Spanish has helped me, I work in a multinational team so being able to speak to my colleagues and our Spanish trainers in their native language is a great help. Additionally, the pedagogical experience I gained from teaching as a graduate assistant is useful for dealing with our language trainers and the issues they face.