Hispanic Studies

On campus, you will find a diverse curriculum that includes Spanish language and Latin American, Spanish and U.S. Latino literature and culture. In Madrid, during the Academic Year In Spain program, you will have the total immersion in Spanish life and language no classroom can duplicate.

Jeremiah Lowe ’15 (right) and Alicja Zak ‘15 in Mallorca, during his study abroad in Spain.

A student’s goal: speaking Spanish, practicing medicine

When Jeremiah Lowe ’15 toured Hamilton, the fall foliage was blazing, the science center was new and the curriculum was open – and he learned about a study program in Madrid in which he could live with a family and speak nothing but Spanish. Lowe had found his college. He is now a Hispanic studies major and biology minor who plans to go to med school.

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The open discussions and critical thinking he found in "Exploring Hispanic Texts" with Professor Edna Rodriguez-Plate were a great change of pace from his science courses, and he was set on Madrid. A Hispanic studies major made sense. In Madrid, Lowe’s Spanish improved and he learned how to embrace and adapt to a different culture.

“After Hamilton I am planning to take a year off to apply and prepare for medical school, where I hope to pursue a career in pediatrics.  I certainly consider my experience and ability in Spanish to be fundamental in my career down the road.  Ideally, I would like to practice medicine in an under-served community in the U.S. or elsewhere with a substantial Hispanic population, and I would also consider working in Latin America through Doctors Without Borders,” he says.

Amie Johnson '04 on a trip she took with her high school students to Costa Rica.

A graduate’s progress: teaching what she loves

Amie Johnson ‘04 studied Spanish at Hamilton College because language was something that she loved. Now, as a Spanish teacher at a high school just down the hill from campus, she tries to spread that love of languages to her students.

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She thought of her Hamilton professors when she made the move into teaching.

“My professors motivated me to do what I’m doing today,” says Johnson. “They were interesting and captivating and real.” 

After graduating from Hamilton, Johnson spent a year living in Mexico to do some soul searching. “My work there was incidental – I waited tables at an Italian restaurant,” says Johnson, “but my mission there was to continue figuring out my life’s path.”

When she returned to Central New York, where she grew up, she needed a job and went into sales in marketing. She enjoyed it but wanted to make a social impact. At the encouragement of her family, Johnson decided to apply to one of Utica College’s masters programs in education.

“I have never looked back,” she says.