Where are they Wednesdays:
Stories of UNCW Spanish Alumni


Dr Almitra Medina
Class of 2001, Spanish BA

Why did you study Spanish?

I majored in Spanish for multiple reasons, both personal and professional. First and foremost, I wanted to continue learning my heritage language and improve communication with my Spanish-speaking grandparents, who were from Puerto Rico. Second, I’ve had a great passion for the language (which began when I took my first Spanish class in middle school); thus, I studied Spanish at UNCW to also gain the fundamental skills needed to teach Spanish and its cultures to others. Completing teaching internships and linguistics courses as part of the major solidified my career goals.

How do you use Spanish now?

I currently teach at East Carolina University as a professor of Spanish linguistics. Thus, using Spanish is part of my daily life. I enjoy teaching both graduate and undergraduate students across a range of subjects in Spanish, such as phonetics and phonology, bilingualism, Spanish for heritage speakers, applied research methods, and introduction to Hispanic linguistics. I also previously taught Spanish and Spanish linguistics at Georgetown University, where I was the assistant director of the Intensive Basic and Intermediate Spanish program, and at Auburn University, as the language program coordinator of Intermediate Spanish. From communicating with students in abroad and domestic classrooms to conversing with my husband and his family, Spanish has been an integral component of my career and household since graduating UNCW. I am grateful to my professors for helping to build in me a solid foundation in Spanish and for equipping me with the tools needed to succeed.

Study Abroad

Quito, Ecuador