Where are they Wednesdays: Stories of UNCW Spanish Alumni

Robert A. Cox Jr. Class of 2007 - Spanish BA

Why did you study Spanish?

I studied Spanish at UNCW with the hopes of becoming proficient enough in the language to provide services to a primarily Spanish-speaking population experiencing psychosocial stressors, such as lack of authorization to be in the country, exploitation within the workplace, denial of appropriate educational supports, and access to quality healthcare. I additionally studied Spanish with the hopes that understanding the language would provide me a glimpse of the Hispanic culture and the differences that exist within the ethnic group. Finally, I studied Spanish as a way of better understanding and relating to my stepfather, a Cuban immigrant to the U.S. who positively impacted my life.

How do you use Spanish now?

I am now completing a PhD in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, and I use Spanish on a daily basis to provide culturally and linguistically competent mental health services to a monolingual Spanish speaking population within NYC public hospitals.