(Judith) Ann Olson, BA French, 1971 and MA French, 1975
Studying French at TTU has lead to a lifetime of immersion in foreign culture, bringing me immense pleasure both personally and professionally. While friends and colleagues have only dreamed of traveling in their retirement years, traveling abroad has been an important part of my whole life's journey. I studied in Switzerland a semester during my junior year, lived with a family in France, and then traveled with my backpack using a Eurorail pass. After receiving my BA in French, I worked in Switzerland as an au pair; rather than being a nanny, I worked in a service station! The friendships I formed while working there last until this present day- a Swiss family having visited me here in Colorado and I visit them whenever I'm in the region. I returned to TTU to complete my student teaching and then to go on as a teaching assistant while working on my master's in French lit. I attribute the skills I gained in teaching to my outstanding cooperating teacher and then for two years under the caring, competent tutelage of Mrs. Beatrice Alexander, whom I am sure many of you recall so fondly.
In 1975 I chose to make Jefferson County, Colorado, in the western suburbs of Denver, my home. I added Spanish to my teaching credentials, studying in Mexico for a month with the outstanding professors from TTU. What a great experience! I taught French and Spanish in Jeffco Schools, first year through AP courses in both languages. Being from Texas and teaching singular and plural forms of you in both languages was such fun using "you" and "ya'll"! The students loved it! After 20 years of teaching these languages, which included taking student groups to Mexico and France, I decided to enter the world of ESL. I spent 10+ years teaching students from all over the world! Of course, all those years of teaching a foreign language provided skills in helping students learn English.
Who would have thought that a farm girl from a small town in the Panhandle of Texas would have been able to travel the world, going to Europe more times than I can number and count among my life's best friends those who live on a different continent? So many of my wonderful memories involve travel adventures with friends. I want to thank those wonderful professors at TTU who not only taught me but passed on their passion for foreign cultures and people. They were willing to invest themselves personally into my life and have made a total difference in the direction of my journey. Thank you, thank you!
Bendu Coleman, Double BA Spanish & Psychology 2014
I want to let you know how grateful I am for the instruction and help while I was at Tech. Unlike a lot of college graduates I got a job less than a month after graduation. I now work at an HIV/AIDS non-profit in Dallas as a Bilingual Testing Counselor. Thanks to the knowledge I gained while in school and the on the job training I have received, I have been able to use both my Spanish and Psychology degrees. I plan on going back to school by next spring or summer to begin work on a Master's degree in Public Health.