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Skidmore College
Travel Seminar

FLL Alumni News


Sarah Mackin '98, Spanish
Major: Spanish; minor: business
Graduate studies: master's degree, Middlebury College, 2001 (Spanish)
After graduating from Skidmore, I taught English in Madrid, Spain, for two years. I earned my master's degree through Middlebury College in Madrid. I am currently teaching middle school Spanish at a private school in Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Beaver Country Day School). I use my Spanish daily in the classroom. I also speak Spanish at home now, my husband is Spanish. My knowledge of the language and culture have helped me travel and study abroad as well as get to know a diverse group of people in the U.S.  

Ben Matusow '14, Italian

Since graduating from Skidmore, I’ve worked as a teacher’s aide, camp counselor and organic farm assistant, among other occupations on the way to determining what I’d like to do long-term. The farms I helped out on were mostly in Italy over the course of a five-month trip, during which I practiced Italian as much as possible and felt comfortably immersed in Italian culture. Near Catania in Sicily, I gathered olives and citruses with a beautiful view of the snow-capped Mt. Etna during my bike ride to the farm every morning. In Emilia-Romagna, I cared for pigs and rabbits in addition to harvesting tomatoes, carrots and potatoes. Spending weeks at a time with different farmers and their families who speak only Italian was the kind of life-changing experience I’d been yearning for.

These days, I live in Brooklyn and am spending my time doing yoga, participating in social activism, working odd jobs and cooking frequently, all the while contemplating graduate school in urban studies and slowly but surely making my way back to full-time employment. I’ve also been watching a lot of Planet Earth on Netflix and wondering what I did to deserve a spot in this wonderfully stunning world.

Jenna Maybury '15, Italian

Ciao from Gloucester, MA! In the two years since my graduation from Skidmore, I have been working as a Teaching Assistant at Shore Country Day School, an independent PreK-9 school in Beverly, MA. Here, I have had the opportunity to work closely with students and professionals in 4th and 1st grade classrooms, as well as run a 3D Printing class and coach Varsity Softball in the Upper School. While I love my students and greatly appreciate my experiences at Shore, I’m excited to join a group of educators in the Learning & Teaching program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the fall to pursue my Master’s degree. I’m forever grateful for the support of family, friends, and Skidmore professors who have gotten me here! Tanti saluti!

Antonio X. Mojica '02, Spanish
Just to update you a little bit, I don't know if you remember but I am on one of the analyst programs for JPMorganChase. My program focuses on developing future executives, as it's called the Leadership Development program. We do rotations lasting 12 weeks throughout the firm and therefore working for the different lines of business all over the country. We primarily do most of our work in Wall Street, but traveling rotations are always available. I am currently at a rotation in Houston, Texas.

I still thank you for encouraging me to study abroad in Madrid; by far it was the best academic experience I ever had. I plan to travel back to Spain as much as I can. So here I am in Texas eating a lot of Mexican food and practicing on my Spanish from time to time.

Melissa Kotlen Nagin '92, French
Larchmont, N.Y.
Received a teaching degree (middle school and high school) in French and English. Decided I liked the medical world much more than teaching and, after having had my two children, decided my calling was to be a lactation consultant (I'm not militant, though! :-)) I mainly work with postpartum mothers who are having difficulty or problems with breastfeeding. I also teach prenatal breastfeeding classes at the 92nd Street Y. I suppose my major comes into play whenever I have a French-speaking patient.  

Hope Newhouse '06, French
I'm currently living in Paris and studying theater. Speaking the French language certainly comes in handy considering I'm the only foreigner at the school. I have a lot of catching up to do on the basics of French culture, but I'm thankful for my knowledge of literature since most of the other students have studied people like Molière, Corneille, and Racine (among others) in high school or college and are familiar enough with the classics to propose scenes for scene study.

My semester studying abroad enormously influenced me in my decision to come back to France. It gave me a level of comfortability with the language that it's hard to get in the classroom and a better understanding of the French culture. It also gave me friends and contacts in France ;-)

Hope everything's going well in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures!

Makiko Nomura '02, French
Present location: Yokohama, Japan
Present occupation: I am currently working for PR firm in Tokyo. Most of the clients are of Japanese companies, but some are American/European companies. I have been translating press release and communicating with overseas clients as well as doing my regular work. One obvious point is that things that I learned as French major help me in translation. Aside from that, I can find perfect expression/word to express how I feel, although this is just a form of self-satisfaction, and cannot share this feeling here, because nobody around me speaks French. And what I like to do is to read the same book in English, French, and Japanese. It is quite interesting for me to see the difference between languages, how translator decided to change certain words or to phrase a sentence.  

J asminne Paulino '03, Spanish
Actualmente soy maestra de español de una escuela primaria en Westchester county. Le doy clases a K-4th. 

Despues de Skidmore, me fui a NYU y alli termine una maestria en Teaching Spanish & ESL Grades K-12. Mientas estuve trabajando en eso de la maestria, trabaje en una escuela primaria de la ciudad (como maestra de español), y hasta llegue a dar clases en una escuela secundaria (de hombrecitos solamente!)....Al terminar la maestria, me fui a la escuela donde estoy actualmente....y hasta ahora me siento bien en esta escuela. El programa de español es nuevo en mi escuela. Por lo tanto, he tenido que crear un plan de estudio para mis clases. Que les puedo decir, me encanta trabajar con los mas pequeños. Ellos se emocionan por todo, y les encanta aprender español.

Katie Pazienza ' 16, Italian

(Katie Pazienza '16 on left and Kate Holm '16 on right)

Since graduating from Skidmore in May 2016, I moved to Maine, where I am working as an AmeriCorps VISTA doing anti-hunger advocacy and community organizing work at the Maine Hunger Initiative in Portland.  Though I have yet to find any Italian-speaking clients, my French major has been very useful due to the large French-speaking immigrant and refugee population here.

While I was at Skidmore, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Florence.  The gastronomical experience I had there (The pasta! The wine! The gelato!) pushed me to the realization that I wanted to pursue a food-related career, which led me to the path I am on now.  My semester in Florence and my Italian classes at Skidmore helped me form some of my strongest friendships of college, Professoressa Garbin, Professoressa Smith, and Professore Faustini are among my favorite Skidmore faculty, and the Italian language will forever hold my heart.

Anna Piperato '01, Italian
Since graduating from Skidmore in 2001 I have done much with my Italian skills. I spent the next two years after graduation in Turin, Italy, working in the International School of Turin and auditing some courses at the Universita' di Torino. From 2003 to 2004 I worked on my M.A. at the University of Manchester, England, in Italian studies. I am currently a Ph.D. student at Manchester, working on Italian female saints and art. Were it not for professors Shirley Smith and Richard Bonanno at Skidmore I surely would not be where I am today! Although I majored in art history and minored in studio art at college, Italian has been a huge part of my life from the first day of sophomore year. I was able to spend a semester in Florence junior year, and that really clinched it for me—I knew I had to get back to Italy by whatever means possible! I am still in that frame of mind, and I will definitely be spending at least three months (possibly six, but maybe more) in Rome next academic year for my Ph.D. research, and I will also be a research assistant to one of my supervisors.

I don't know what I will end up doing with my life, but I hope to finish my Ph.D. in 2007 or 2008, and then my dream would be to teach at an American university in Italy. No matter what happens, Italian will always be a major force in my life, for part of me remains in Italy and certainly always will. I am so grateful for the opportunities that Skidmore has given me!

Anna's email address is

Brynn Powell '06, French
My experiences with Skidmore in Paris were wonderful and made me want to look for work abroad in France. This year, I am an English Teacher in Rambouillet, FR (b/w Versailles and Chartres). Obviously living in France, I am using my French language skills at work and in life on a daily basis. Right now I am looking into applying for jobs, graduate programs, or fellowships for next year. I'm mostly interested in international organizations, programs, etc. So I hope I can continue to use my French skills in the future as well. Hope all is well in Saratoga!

Elinor S. Prickett '84, Spanish
I was a pupil of Sonja Karsen, who was also my Spanish advisor, and I graduated in 1984. So briefly, since my graduation, this is what has happened:
1984–85 worked for Cortefiel, S.A., a big clothing manufacturer and retailer, in their export department, coordinating their exports to the USA
1985–87 worked for Kenning Atlantic, a real estate firm, as a secretary
1987–88 worked for Conurban, S.A., a construction company, as secretary
1988–92 worked for Fortuny Abogados, law firm, as private secretary for one of the partners of the firm
1993–96 worked for Santa Ana 1, S.L., a fiscal office, as secretary and handling foreigners matters

To be honest, I was hired in most cases because of my English capabilities, in order to deal with foreign clients, mostly British. Nonetheless my Spanish was a must just to be able to understand my boss, get along with co-workers, and deal with the notary, Tax Office, etc. Where it has been most helpful however is in my everyday life. I married a Spaniard in 1995 and have a small boy, who is bilingual. I am currently on the school board, I am the secretary of the parents association at school, and also a platform (association) to go against gravel pits. Furthermore I am the head of a company, soon to be operational, of what we call here rural tourism (turismo rural), composed of a rental villa in the country and taking people on excursions such as hiking, biking, climbing, etc.

Roz Rothwell '14, Italian


Amanda  Russo '06, Spanish
I graduated from Skidmore this past May and since then I have been working at a clinical program of a child guidance center.  I am a counselor of the Extended Day Treatment Program and run therapeutic groups for kids with different psychological disorders and also track the progress/treatment plans of 6 children specifically. I did study abroad in Alcala de Henares (Skidmore program), and it has benefited me tremendously. Not only did it allow me the opportunity to learn about Spanish culture and practice/improve my speaking ability, which I use every day at my job, but also increased my confidence in working in a new environment. Because I work in a city, a couple of the children's families speak only Spanish, which requires me to use my Spanish when contacting them, which I do a few times each week. I am only one of two employees at my program who can speak Spanish, which has made me a very valuable resource to our team. I hope everything is going well at Skidmore!