Senior and Spanish Major Kelsey Early has joined Phi Beta Kappa. Of the selection, she said “to me, being selected for Phi Beta Kappa means I have achieved one of my highest academic goals. I know I’m being invited into a community of hard-workers that offer a networking and support system when needed.”
“Language, but specifically Spanish, is so appealing to me because it means I can communicate to an entire population through their language” said Early. “I believe that speaking another language helps you not only in conversations, but in understanding the culture and decision-making process of the people who speak that language. These lessons are invaluable, especially in a world of increasing globalization.”
Studying Spanish was not a given for Early, but a study abroad trip made her consider it: “I never thought I would be good enough to study Spanish at the university level until I did a study abroad program in Costa Rica and knew I was capable of pursing Spanish.”
In the development of her skill and proficiency in Spanish, Early recognized SPS Senior Lecturer Inma Raneda-Cuartero. Raneda, Early said, “helped me develop a lot of basic grammar skills in the beginning.” Early also cited one of her current professors: “I am currently taking a class with Leigh Mercer and she may be my favorite professor. She is so knowledgeable and the content of her class is relevant and interesting. We are studying the construction of masculinity through film and literature, which helps us understand gender construction today.”
Early, who graduates this year, is already reflecting on how she benefits from her education: “the most important part of my education as a Spanish major will be the cultural background we gained from literature classes. Although it was difficult to get through books like Don Quijote or any of the poetry we read, it really gives you background and understanding of the history of Spain and Latin America. Thus when you speak the language you also understand the culture and meaning behind the words.”
Kelsey Early was one of three Spanish majors invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the United States. She is also majoring in Law, Society and Justice.
By: Casey Colvin