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What's that old saying? Hate to see you leave but, love to watch you go... out into the world and kick butt? And that's just what these Spartans have done. Though we miss them dearly, we are insanely proud of all the things we see our Spartans doing after blow EL one last kiss! Check out a couple Alumni updates below!

Ben Walter

Ben Walter.jpgDistrict Management in Student Painters is the sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and mentoring of Branch Managers from all over the state of Michigan. During the months of September to May we mentor the students regarding how to run a small painting business. In May, the businesses open up and the District Management position becomes more hands-on. My responsibilities were mentoring and leading a group of students. I would hold weekly Google Hangouts, send out weekly advice and weekend results through email, and coaching my managers through problems. I would also go to my managers' specific territories (usually their home towns) on weekends and help them learn the ropes of the Branch Manager position.

Taylor Vanderhyde

TVanderhyde.jpgThere are few things that I am more grateful for than my experience at Michigan State University. I declared my Spanish major late in the game, but the second I did, I knew it was the right choice. That decision opened the door for me to discover and follow a passion that, for a while, I didn’t know I had inside of me. 

The love I have for Spanish has provided me with the drive to find and explore various avenues within the fascinating world that is language. After spending my last semester of college abroad in Chile, I decided to take a TEFL certification course. Once again, my eyes were opened to a whole new set of possibilities, and I couldn’t wait to put my newfound knowledge to use; which I was able to do upon my return to the United States.

 I’m currently serving as an AmeriCorps member in Seattle, WA. I teach ESL at an incredible organization called “Literacy Source”, dedicated to providing free adult literacy classes and support to people in our community. The students that I have the privilege of serving come from extraordinarily diverse ethnic and educational backgrounds, and I feel like I am doing much more learning than I am teaching. Time spent in class is easily the highlight of my weeks, and this experience has inspired me to actively pursue a career in education. 

Despite the love I feel for my current city and current job, I am itching to be surrounded by and immersed in Spanish once again. After my AmeriCorps term, I’m headed back down to South America, but this time in search of a teaching position. As I copy and scan my Michigan State University degree in preparation, I think back on all of the decisions and experiences that allowed me to uncover a passion that has thus far been so fulfilling. I am so thankful for everything.

Tonal Simmons

girl.JPGSpanish Major Tonal Simmons ’13 was awarded the Fulbright ETS Grant for Brazil for March-November of 2017.

Higher education professional whose mantra is to engage, retain and graduate. If we engage students, we retain them and if we continue to do both of those effectively we can graduate them at outstanding rates. 

Interests include academic and general advising, student transitions, bridge programs, initiatives/programs that support minority retention, as well as study abroad, experiential learning, orientation and transfer programs.