Texas Tech University

Alumni Connect


Nick Acosta, MA Languages & Cultures-Applied Linguistics (2018), MA & BA Economics (2016, 2012)

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It is sometimes very difficult for someone to relocate to another country for work or school. In my case, I had some difficulty getting used to my surroundings due to problems with technology and just the general not knowing anything about the country I would be visiting. However, thanks to the generous people of Fulbright, in addition to my colleagues at the university where I currently work, the transition is going much more smoothly. I am currently working in Ulyanovsk State Technical University as a teacher of English Language. I currently teach all levels of English to Russian students and to foreign students. Like in America, it is a wonderful opportunity to help those who are interested in foreign languages. In addition, the students are very interested in learning about American culture, which makes this job more worthwhile if my students decide that they want to go to the United States. In addition to teaching, I lead the English club for anyone in the city that is interested in furthering their knowledge of the English language through games and other communicative activities as well as learning about American culture, traditions and media. Other than teaching and the leading English club, I tend to spend time in the center of Ulyanovsk, where everyone gathers for various reasons, from eating to seeing the beautiful decorations. I often go with a couple of my friends either to the cafes or to restaurants. I have also been on an excursion or two at a couple of the museums, where I learned a little about Russian culture through art. My friends and I have also started walking around the city together, either at the center or near our dormitories. Walking just helps clear one's mind, which in turn makes things so much easier when it is time to get back to work.

My knowledge of Russian language has prepared me greatly for this position at Ulyanovsk State Technical University. Most of the time I have to communicate with my colleagues and my bosses in Russian. There are benefits to this because I am able to practice my second language skills and become a better speaker of my second language. In addition, I owe it all to CMLL and the professors there for teaching me this amazing language. I must also say that teaching the language has helped make the transition much easier, especially when teaching students of a different culture. Nevertheless, there are some challenges to this unfortunately. Since this is my first time in Russia, native speakers have a tendency to use many colloquialisms and slang that we are not able to get in the second language classroom. However, with continued intensive study of the Russian language, I am starting to catch on a little bit better. However, this does not mean that English is not important in my line of work at the university. It is very important that English remain a priority since I am teaching students English language every day of the week. I will continue to explore this city as well as the rest of Russia when there is time. Overall, I am very grateful for the opportunity to be here in this amazing country with these amazing people. It is truly the chance of a lifetime.

Jesús David Ramírez, PhD

GREETINGS FROM THE EAST COAST (pictured front row, left)

As the fall semester closes, It is with great pleasure to write you to let you know how everything is going in my current position as Instructor in Spanish.

I arrived in August 2019 to a small town called Lakeville, in the state of Connecticut, to join to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages of a prestigious boarding school known as "The Hotchkiss School".

Since the beginning, I have learned a lot about the work culture on the east coast of the United States, and about the kind of activities that this kind of institution is doing to prepare their students for pursing academic careers at Ivy League universities. This academic year, I am teaching four courses of accelerated Spanish to brilliant students from around the world. This cohort of students are especially talented in the arts and who have the opportunity to develop their skills in different classes and workshops organized by the school.


Beyond my duties as professor and advisor for some of the students, I have the opportunity to coach the women's soccer team, an extracurricular activity that I am enjoying a lot. As a team, we travel to other schools in the New England area, to play games against competitive teams.

I am still adapting to this new place, their pace, and educative culture, that is completely different from the university environment.

Olga Pahom


I graduated from CMLL in 2011 with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics, after which I earned a Ph.D. in English (Linguistics concentration, Applied Linguistics minor) from TTU in 2015. For the past three years, I taught graduate applied linguistics and ESL courses in CMLL, including the adding popular new classes such as "Bilingualism, Gender, and Interaction" and "Theses and Dissertations." In the Fall 2019, I will be Associate Dean of the Honors College and Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Lubbock Christian University. I will be teaching linguistics and Greek courses, coordinating the linguistics minor, serving as Honors thesis program director, and participating in strategic planning for the Honors College. I will miss my students and colleagues in CMLL, but I am also thrilled about this new opportunity.

In Memoriam

M. Fräncille Bergquist, Professor of Spanish, emerita and retired College of Arts & Sciences Administration, Vanderbilt College

Photo credit: John Russell/Vanderbilt

M. Fräncille Berquist was born on November 24, 1944, in Shreveport, Louisiana. During her first year of college at Louisiana State University, she developed a passion for the study of languages and then moved to Italy with her family where she attended the University of Barcelona in Spain. Upon returning to the States, she enrolled at Texas Tech University and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor's of Art degree in Spanish in 1968. She was awarded a doctorate in Spanish linguistics from Texas Tech in 1977. That same year, Bergquist joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

In 1983, Bergquist was appointed associate dean of academic affairs where she focused on freshmen orientation and organized the faculty pre-major advising program for first-year Arts & Science students. Beguist helped establish the My Tyeire International House (Vanderbilt University) and served as an adviser on the Spanish Hall for many years as a strong proponent of creating a residential college system on campus.

During her tenure at Vanderbilt University, she received numerous faculty honors, was active in many professional organizations. She became professor of Spanish, emerita, in 2013 and recently endowed the Fräncille Bergquist Scholarship as part of Opportunity Vanderbilt.

Bergquist is survived by her sister-in-law, GaeNell Bergquist Trommald; cousins Grant Bergquist, Roger Evans, Carol Harrington and Kim Harrington. A service was held at St. Henry Catholic Church on November 26, 2019.

Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

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