Spanish Department

After Reed

What does one do with a Reed Spanish degree? Below are some examples from recent graduates. (Alums: if you would like to be included in the list, please send one of your former professors an email – we enjoy hearing from you!)

Nina Matthews (2021): 
"After graduating from Reed I took an internship in Philadelphia at HIAS PA, and helped facilitate access to jobs, food access programs, and healthcare (including the COVID vaccine) for Spanish speaking immigrant families. Then I decided I wanted to learn how to be behind the scenes in creating food access, so I moved to Orcas Island, Washington to work on a permaculture farm. In the following winter months, between farming seasons, I went and spent 3 months as an assistant social worker at a migrant shelter on the U.S.-Mexico Border. There I worked directly with migrant families to once again assist them in accessing food and healthcare while they awaited asylum. Currently I’m living in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, once again working on a farm. I hope to start my own non-profit educational farm to help create food access and food sovereignty for families like the ones I worked with in Philadelphia and Mexico."
Lyla Boyajian (2019):
"I spent the year after I graduated as a Recruiting Assistant for the 2020 Census in New Hampshire (my home state), specifically working on recruiting enumerators within our Spanish-speaking communities. In 2020, I was also selected as a Fulbright US Student English Teaching Assistant to Armenia, which was postponed due to the pandemic. For the next year, I worked as the COVID-response assistant at the New Hampshire Bar Association's Pro Bono Referral System. This primarily put me in contact with people who needed legal help with evictions, unemployment benefits, and stimulus payments. In September of 2021, I was finally able to come to Armenia, where I've been teaching English at the Armenian State University of Economics and the Slavonic University. I also volunteer as the moderator of the Teen English Club at the Yerevan American Corner. This summer, I will be remaining in Armenia to work on an eco psychology project to help address the needs of young people after the war in 2020. After that, I will be attending the UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law, with a focus in public interest law."
Cody Barnes (2017): 
"I'm in law school at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I just finished my second year (out of three). This summer I'm working for a civil defense firm in Santa Fe. After law school, I will clerk at the New Mexico Court of Appeals for Judge Zachary Ives."
Clay Wilwol (2016):
"Directly after Reed, I went down to Buenos Aires with a (truly quixotic) goal of undertaking an extremely ambitious academic research project that I was woefully unprepared and unqualified to actually carry out. Predictably, I didn't end up doing it, but I did have the good fortune of taking some remarkable graduate seminars at the UBA that made me realize that what I really wanted was more formal study—particularly in philosophy/political theory. In pursuit of this aspiration, I went to England for a Master's degree, before coming back to my home state of New Mexico to study law (where I went to law school with two other Reedies, including my friend and fellow Spanish major Cody Barnes). I graduated in May, and I'm now in the midst of studying for the bar exam. In the fall I'm starting work as a judicial law clerk, and after that my plan is to practice law here in the great city of Albuquerque."

Kriya Mira (2014):
"After graduating from Reed, I lived and worked in Spain for a year while participating in the Auxiliares program. I returned to Portland and began working at a bilingual elementary school doing reading interventions in Spanish, which put me on a path towards getting my Masters in Teaching. For the last four years I have taught English Language Development to newcomers in East County. My students come from all over the world. I have had up to 14 different languages represented in the classroom at one time, but there are always a large number of Spanish speaking students. Knowing firsthand what the process of language acquisition feels like has been a huge boon, and being able to connect with and advocate for our Spanish speaking families without the need of interpreters has been absolutely invaluable. This year I’ve had 3 different students from Cuba, where I studied abroad while at Reed. I’m definitely grateful for the cultural competency and language skills my Reed experience helped me develop."

Maya Scherr-Willson (2013):
"After graduating from Reed I spent two and a half years in Quito, Ecuador working in experiential education and as a teacher. I later moved to Mexico City where I began working as a film producer. I collaborated on films like “ROMA” by Alfonso Cuarón and “Prayers for the Stolen” by Tatiana Huezo. In 2020 I completed a master’s degree in Visual Anthropology from Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2021 I relocated to Berlin, Germany where I’m still in the independent film sector, working on co-productions at The Match Factory. I also work on the side as a research assistant and am developing my own audiovisual practice. Speaking Spanish continues to be an important aspect in my current job (and life!) and I’ve learned it’s difficult to start from scratch learning German at 31!"

Kate McCully (2013):
"I currently live in Paris, France, where I just finished an intensive year-long language course, and I plan to start a masters degree here in the fall in either translation, intercultural management and communications, or publishing and bookselling. I work with Desperate Literature, an international bookshop based in Madrid, on their yearly literary contest and publication, "Eleven Stories," as a publicist and editor."

Charlie Hankin (2011):
"I received my PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from Princeton University in 2021 and am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Colby College. My research considers music-literature crossings in the Caribbean in relation to race and colonialism. In 2017, I recorded violin tracks and co-produced with Malcoms "Justicia" the Cuban hip hop album Sentimientos Desafinados, which was nominated for a CubaDisco award. My book Break and Flow: Hip Hop Poetics in the Americas is forthcoming with UVA Press."

Carmen García Durazo (2011):
"I'm currently the Director of Development & Current Production at Left/Right TV, an unscripted production company specializing in documentary film. In this role, I manage a slate of unscripted projects at all stages of development: on any given day, on any given day, I might be directing a shoot, overseeing an edit, or searching the interweb for The Next Big Idea. In addition to my nonfiction producing oeuvre, I am spearheading an effort to recruit talent from underrepresented backgrounds into documentary film. My work on FIASCO, a 6-part documentary on the Iran-contra scandal, was recently recognized for excellence in a review by the New York Times."

Marina Valenzuela (2007):
"After graduating Reed in 2007, I worked for a year with international exchange students in Hawaii, facilitating their cultural adjustments and learning the ins and outs of dealing with the Dept. of State. When the economy tanked in '08, I moved to Colorado to be with family and eventually went for my Masters in Library and Information Science. I worked as a paralegal for an immigration lawyer for three years, and for the last five years I worked as the Spanish Language Librarian for Arapahoe Libraries in Colorado. Wherever I go next, there's no doubt that my love of language, travel, and people will be a part of it."

For more information about the career paths of Reed graduates with Spanish majors, please consult the Center for Life Beyond Reed.

Students may also log into IRIS to find out what Reed Spanish majors go on to do by searching the alumni directory by major.