Summer in Spain: A Q&A with Elaine Louden

October 16, 2018

A picture of Elaine Louden in Granada, Spain with a view of Alhambra in the background.

Majors: Spanish & Public Health
Class of 2020

Can you tell me about the non-profit you worked with over the summer, what kind of work you were doing, and what motivated you to want to do this?

I worked at a nonprofit in Madrid, Spain called the Fundación Aladina (The Aladina Foundation). The organization provides psychological, emotional, and material assistance for kids with cancer and work to make sure that kids with cancer never lose their smiles. There, I worked as a marketing and communications intern and learned how to edit websites with WordPress and perfected my Spanish-English translation abilities. As a Public Health and Spanish double major, I loved that the nonprofit I was working at gave me experience in a healthcare system separate from my own. Spain has universal healthcare, which made it interesting to see how much nonprofits can improve the quality of life for children with cancer and families who aren't worrying about medical bills like they would here.

This internship was a part of Fisher's Summer Global Internship Program, which sends interns all over the world to work in different countries. I am not a business major and came into the program knowing nobody, making me feel a little out of place. By the end of the program, I had made some incredible friends who I got the chance to travel all over Spain with. I was worried that I wouldn't have the background skills and knowledge for my marketing and communications internship, not being a business major, but Aladina taught me everything that I needed to know to succeed– I now know how to edit and design websites on WordPress! For any non-business majors out there, I HIGHLY recommend this program; don't be intimidated by the fact that it is with the Business School. You will make so many new friends with unique skills and different majors from your own!


Micaella Bruton: The Marvels of Multilingualism

October 2, 2018

A picture of Micaella Bruton, right, with her fiancé, Nathan, at Jeffrey Park & Mansion in Bexley, Ohio

Majors: Spanish & Linguistics
Class of 2020

By Ana Mitchell

At the age of eight, Micaella Bruton accepted a challenge that would eventually transform into her lifelong goal. The task was simple: all she had to do was learn more languages than her brother-in-law from Egypt. What made it a true challenge was the fact that he spoke six languages fluently.

“He always told me, ‘you’re going to do better than me, you’re going to learn seven languages’ and I said, ‘OK’, because I was little,” she described. Bruton was enamored with his ability to switch from one language to another with such ease. He taught her Arabic, and in return, she taught him the Spanish she knew passed down from her father’s side of the family. Unfortunately, her brother-in-law passed away of a heart condition, but his absence continues to fuel Bruton’s drive to accomplish his proposal.


Edgar Ochoa: Learning the Languages of Life

September 26, 2018

A photo of Edgar Ochoa doing work at Kafe Kerouac

Majors: Japanese & Classics
Class of 2022

By Ana Mitchell

The past four years Edgar Ochoa has worked in various kitchens as a sous-chef and cook, but he eagerly awaited attending Ohio State to pursue his academic passions. Now a first-year student at Ohio State, he is committed to his double major in Japanese and Classics.

Ochoa has an undeniable affinity for languages. Growing up in Columbus with both Spanish and English, he quickly took to learning French and Latin in high school, independently studied Italian, and even tutored others at his previous institution. As a kid attending a Catholic school, Ochoa recalls how he disliked knowing Spanish because other students made fun of him for being different. However, Ochoa quickly learned the power of being bilingual when he was older and could converse with Spanish speakers at local Mexican stores or while working in kitchens with people from different backgrounds. “It felt really good to be able to speak to someone in their own language and see their faces brighten up.”


Carra Gilson: Making a Lasting Impact

September 19, 2018

A picture of Carra Gilson holding a traditional chorreador (used to make coffee) given by her coworker Yami, right, from Clínica CEDAS.

Major: ​Public Health
Minor: Spanish
Class of 2019

By Ana Mitchell

Carra Gilson is in her final year of completing her bachelor’s degree in Public Health, along with a Spanish minor, here at Ohio State.  Although she had only been out of the country to Canada, she decided to leap into a nine-week program in Costa Rica that allowed her to complete her Spanish minor in five weeks, followed by a four-week, 120-hour capstone, both which were conducted almost entirely in Spanish.


Kusha Ansari: A Quest Beyond the Desk

September 12, 2018

Kusha Ansari, front left, hiking Mount Tochel with friends.

Major: Mechanical Engineering
4th Year

By Ana Mitchell  

This past summer marked Kusha Ansari’s fifth time returning to Iran, his father’s homeland, yet he described the trip feeling as if it was his first. In the past, he was dependent on his father’s Farsi to navigate the country, but this time it was his turn to take the wheel. As a mechanical engineering student, Ansari has worked at various internships for engineering. Although he enjoys his major and the work he does, he strove for learning experiences beyond sitting at a desk in a cubicle and sought to discover his “father” tongue and experience Iran from a perspective separate from common media portrayals. He observed, “It is night and day from what the media shows.”