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Alumni Updates

To see the updates from other Modern Languages and Literatures alumni, check out the departmental alumni update page.

Doug Mercado '85, Latin American Studies & History

On Friday, May 14, 2010 Wm & Mary alumnus DOUG MERCADO was inducted into the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.  Mercado graduated in the class of 1985 with a double major in Latin American Studies and History and extensive work in Spanish; he was also a resident in the Spanish House.

Doug Mercado is employed by the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance and currently serves as the Humanitarian Affairs Adviser at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York.  He has worked in the field of international disaster assistance and post-conflict recovery for most of the past 19 years on assignments with the United Nations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  He has managed humanitarian relief interventions in over a dozen countries including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iraq, Nicaragua, Angola and Eritrea. Doug photographed the conflict in Darfur, Sudan and its impact on civilians and exhibited his work at the ARC Gallery in Chicago in 2006.  Aside from his career in international affairs, he served as an officer in the United States Navy and as an editorial assistant at Américas magazine.   Doug holds a Master in Public Policy from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

For full information and a list of all Phi Beta Kappa student inductees - including Modern Languages majors - see http://www.wm.edu/sites/pbk/

Bethany Korp-Edwards '00, Spanish

I went on to do an MA in Spanish Translation at Rutgers and became a court interpreter. After working for several years in state court in New Jersey, I have been working for four years as a staff court interpreter at the Federal District Court in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Julia Ovando '02, Spanish

I've finished law school, opened my own practice, and am a court appointed attorney representing mostly Hispanic juvenile and adult clients.

Mary Catharine Martin '04, Hispanic Studies; English

After college, I spent two years working as an English teacher in Kyoto, Japan. After that, I traveled around quite a bit - around Japan, then spending time in San Francisco, Australia and D.C. 

I then got into journalism, working first as a reporter for The Daily Iberian, a newspaper in New Iberia, Louisiana, and now for the Juneau Empire in Juneau, Alaska.

Jennifer Bain '05, Hispanic Studies

Graduated in May 2009 from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health with a Master of Public Health in Sexuality and Health. Currently working at International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region in New York City as an Evaluation Coordinator.

Sarah Smith-Brady (Smith) '05,  Hispanic Studies

Hello, dear professors!  I stumbled across this update form a couple weeks ago and wondered if it was too late to share my updates, but decided with Regina's facebook reminder today that it's not!  Please feel free to share anything you wish...

I began the University of Pennsylvania's PhD program in Hispanic Studies in fall 2005 and received a grant to travel to Colombia my first summer, where I spent time exploring the manifestations of violence in the texts of Colombian authors Fernando Vallejo and Jorge Franco.  I received my MA in May 2007 and was awarded the outstanding Spanish TA award.  I took a break from the PhD program, but stayed at Penn for two semesters teaching intro and intermediate language courses as a full-time lecturer, and made the decision not to return for the PhD in large part due to my diagnosis of indeterminate colitis that year.  

My dog and I moved to Redmond, WA, to join my then-fiancé, and several months later I began employment as the Education & Support Manager for the Northwest Chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (covers WA, OR, ID, MT & AK).  That position entails many jobs, including coordinating all patient and professional education (patient conferences, medical talks, chapter medical advisory committee meetings & grant-writing to fund them), support programs (support groups, a one-to-one phone support program & youth activities), and perhaps most importantly, NW Camp Oasis, the weeklong summer camp our chapter funds for local kids with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.  I also have the privilege of working with amazing colleagues and dedicated volunteers, on behalf of inspirational folks with whom I share this disease.

I'm thrilled to be working in the non-profit field, able to combine my love of education with my passion for supporting patients and finding a cure, and I just celebrated my anniversary with CCFA this month!  (And I got married in Wren Chapel this past May!)

Charles Abbott '07, Hispanic Studies

Work post-WM:
2006-07: Bilingual paralegal at Brown Goldstein Levy, LLP
2007: Interim Project Director with Students Helping Honduras, 501(c)3
2008: Fulbright ETA Grantee, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
2009: Campaign Assistant, National Immigration Forum

Current status:
In my first year of law school at American University.  Dean's Fellow at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

Kendra Wergin '07, International Relations & Hispanic Studies

Kendra taught high school Spanish with Teach For America in Washington, D.C. for the last two years and found that her Hispanic Studies training was helpful aside from the language skills! She spent a lot of time in her second year working with Hispanic students and helping to make them more comfortable in school. She now works in the Office of the Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools and helps to coordinate the system's new teacher evaluation program, including all of the evaluations for foreign language teachers.

Rafael Henriquez '08, Modern Languages & Literatures

Before graduation I joined a pharmaceutical consulting company in Williamsburg serving as a translator as part of my practicum. After graduation I was offered a salary and have continued to work as a translator and now an ambassador manager in the global department working with European patients with chronic diseases, as well as a creative writer. I've been sent to Brussels, Madrid, San Juan, and other Spanish communities throughout the US. 

I will be applying for my MFA in Creative Writing in the Spring to the University of Texas-El Paso.