Alumni Spotlight

Derrick VanLeer '09

"The decision to major in Spanish at Lynchburg College, in addition to Graphic Design, was one of the best that I've made in my life and career! The Spanish faculty were supportive in the classroom and encouraged off-campus activity-such as a department outing to see a play in Spanish at UVA, and the opportunity to interpret for a local news program in Lynchburg.

I also found a lot of support at LC for my two experiences studying abroad in Spain, and my semester in Madrid during my senior year was invaluable to my mastering of the language and to my development as a person; I even got to conduct some on-site research there for my final thesis on the artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes! 

In my current job as an international graphic designer, I daily find opportunities to use my knowledge of Spanish in label designs and promotional materials for products my company sells in Latin America, and my personal life continues to be enriched by the casual encounters and lasting friendships facilitated by my knowledge of the Spanish language."


Kevin McCloskey '10

"After bouncing around a few different majors as a freshman, it was a relief to decide on Spanish. It seemed a logical choice as our country's dynamic is so rapidly changing and offered the chance to vastly broaden my scope of the world around me. Now a graduate of the major, I am proud of the language and communication skills I have developed and fully support the LC language department.

Kevin poses with his class in ChileThe most influential semester was without a doubt my time abroad.  As a first semester junior I studied Spanish language and culture in Mexico. The LC study abroad office was very helpful and guided me through the process with a supportive and friendly attitude.

Upon my return I was certain about my field of study, excited to continue language and culture sharing and genuinely felt accomplished.

Led by the example of former alums and guidance from the Study Abroad Office, I taught in Chile following my graduation.

Teaching English proved to be an incredible and fulfilling experience as did studying abroad, but in different ways. Now I was a role model for large classes of students along with the means of affirming or changing preexisting stereotypes about Americans... I think I did a little of each!"