Elon professor offers 'flashback' to senior seminar
Professor Judith K. Lang Hilgartner gets the chance to relive her experience of Elon's senior seminar.
"Quiqui, why did you pick that color background on your powerpoint presentation?" Nina Namaste, associate professor of Spanish, asked me.
Now six years later, I'll never forget that last question at the conclusion of my senior seminar presentation. For one, it is honestly the only question I can remember because I have probably blocked the rest out, and for two, Professor Namaste's question was my favorite because I most definitely knew the answer: my color choice of red symbolized the main color of the Spanish flag. Obvious, color choice, right? Oh, the memories.
Since that day, I have often thought back to my senior seminar experience with Spanish Professor Mina Garcia because despite the challanges it entailed, this capstone experience successfully propelled me into the academic career that I still pursue today. I fondly remember fall 2009, and in particular, my research paper "De la boca de los niños: el martirio del Santo Niño de la Guardia y la expulsión de los judíos de España." This project was my first step forward into the field of Hispanic studies at the graduate level.
As I watch the leaves turn colors on Elon's campus this fall, it reminds me that returning to Elon to teach has really brought me full-circle. Last Friday, Professor Garcia invited me to attend the senior seminar class that she is currently teaching. All the good things about senior sem are still going strong. The students' research interests were fascinating; their topics range from literature to linguistics — from psychology to politics. We discussed how good ideas often come from engaging in interdisciplinary conversations, from peer review, and from close relationships with academic mentors.
I am looking forward to hearing some great senior seminar presentations once again. It is awesome to see students use the Spanish language to explore their interests. I am so thankful for my experiences at Elon as an undergrad and only have one small word of advice for the current senior sem students: don't choose red as your powerpoint background (no matter how much you love the Spanish flag) because your font won't show up on the screen!