Languages and Cultures

Department of International Languages, Literatures, & Cultures Outstanding Students 2020

Dean Tracy Butts Graduation 2019

The following students are honored for their academic achievement, leadership, and contributions to their departments and the University.

graduation 2020
  • Monica Lopez Acosta - Outstanding Student – MA in Teaching International Languages

    Outstanding Student 2019When Monica Lopez Acosta joined the MA program in Teaching International Languages (TIL) in Fall 2018, we were thrilled to have attracted a gifted teacher and young scholar of exceptional promise. Indeed, she fulfilled this promise entirely, finishing the program with an outstanding thesis that explored Spanish learners’ awareness of variation in the use of modes of address. Monica’s intellectual curiosity is matched by a contagious zest for learning and teaching. Her students thoroughly enjoyed her Spanish 101 classes and she also quickly earned the respect and affection of her fellow graduate students, who elected her to serve as president of their graduate student association (TILSA)

  • Wesley Smith - Outstanding Student – BA in French

    Outstanding Student 2019Both a French and International Relations major, Wesley Smith has an outstanding work ethic and this trait propelled his trajectory from the time he arrived at CSU, Chico. He lived in Africa and began learning French there. He continued French study in high school and he began in intermediate French at CSU, Chico. He took advanced courses every semester thereafter. This year he is enrolled with CSU International Programs at Aix-Marseille University. He plans to work for an international agency where his background in French will be in high demand.

  • Katharine Worcester - Outstanding Student – BA in German

    Outstanding Student 2019Kate Worcester has approached her two majors, German and Civil Engineering, with equal commitment and engagement. Her stellar academic performance in German, which earned her membership in the National German Honor Society Delta Phi Alpha, is coupled with an obvious passion for the language and culture. Following a year abroad at the University of Tübingen in Germany, Kate has encouraged numerous others to follow in her footsteps. She initiated many a Chico State student in the world of German games and taught German to fourth-graders in a local elementary school. Kate has been an inspiration and an outstanding role model.

  • Michelle Pusich - Outstanding Student – BA in Spanish

    Outstanding Student 2019Michelle Pusich joined the Spanish program in 2017 and she will graduate with a Spanish major this spring. For five years, Michelle commuted from Grass Valley to Chico and managed to do pursue her education while raising a family and working full time in her own beauty shop in Grass Valley, California. She is capable of understanding complex issues and ideas, is sympathetic to the needs of others, and is very motivated and unafraid of new challenges. She has been a joy to work with due to her uplifting personality, cheerful nature, and positive outlook on life.

  • Gilsa Castellón de la Rosa - Outstanding Student - BA Spanish Pre-Credential

    Gilsa Castellón de la Rosa joined the Spanish Program in 2015 and she will graduate with a Pre-Credential Spanish major this spring. For five years, Gilsa commuted from Corning to Chico. In 2019, she was inducted into Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society. She is planning to become a bilingual high school Spanish teacher. As a first-generation student, she is a role model for our students and her siblings.  

  • Kelsi Snyder - Outstanding Student – BA in Latin American Studies

    Outstanding Student 2019Kelsi Snyder is completing a double major in History and Latin American Studies and a minor in Spanish. She aspires to become a high school teacher and coach and eventually hopes to become a university professor in what she identifies as a male-dominated field. She has a passion for “learning about and furthermore educating others on topics that are not commonly presented or discussed in pre-university education” and she wants to teach in underserved school districts. During her time at Chico State, she has also worked as a peer advisor and senior staff member for summer orientation, and she also plays for the lacrosse team, dances with Envy (Chico State’s hip-hop dance team), participates in the history club, and volunteers for CAVE and Chico Community Food Pantry. After completing her BA in Fall 2020, she plans to enroll in the credential program at Chico State.

  • Michael “Mikey” Riser - Outstanding Student – BA in Asian Studies

    Outstanding Student 2019Michael Riser joined us at Chico State in 2017 after studying and working in his home state of Texas for many years. A double major in Asian Studies and Comparative Religion with a Japanese minor too, Mr. Riser has soaked up every opportunity the Asian Studies program has been able to offer, taking nearly every course in our catalog and studying in both Japan and Taiwan, and has done yeoman service as an HFA Student Ambassador.

  • Alexander Lopez - Boyle Outstanding Asian Language Student Award – Japanese

    Recipient Bio

    The recipient of this year’s Boyle Outstanding Asian Language Student Award – Japanese is Mr. Alexander Lopez. He is knowledgeable, enthusiasm, friendly, and always willing to help. He takes a joy in learning languages. He is not only fluent in Spanish but also almost fluent in Japanese. He spends a lot of extra time for practicing pronunciation and building overall vocabulary with many friends, including students from Japan. He also enjoys a variety of cultural products such as Japanese animations, TV shows, music from traditional to pop. He plans to be a video game programmer/developer and travel the world in the industry to experience all sorts of different ways of creating online games. He intends to be in Japan for business and also to re-connect with his Japanese friends to experience the overall history, events, and life style.

    Award Summary

    This award was established by John Boyle to recognize and award student excellence in the study of Asian languages. Professor Boyle taught East Asian History at Chico State from 1968 until his retirement in 1997. He received an MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University in 1956 and a PhD in History from Stanford University in 1968