Graduate Profile: Maureen O’Connell
Thanks to her Alma College experience, Maureen O’Connell felt prepared to zap culture shock as she ventured to Colombia after graduation.
The 2010 graduate, who teaches English through a Fulbright Scholarship, says the skills she learned as an undergraduate while working as a teaching assistant in the Spanish labs have helped her immensely.
“My knowledge of Spanish clearly facilitates living in a Spanish-speaking country and working with native speakers of Spanish,” she says. “Because I know the challenges of learning a foreign language, I’m easily able to relate to my students.”
O’Connell, who double majored in Spanish and graphic design, found more than a passion for the Spanish language at Alma. She credits the art faculty members for inspiring her to pursue an additional career path.
“My art professors impacted me the most because they all have distinct personalities and unique teaching styles,” she says. “They share a genuine passion for art and for helping their students learn, though.”
As a teacher, O’Connell says she hopes to be as available and willing to help students as Alma professors were for her. She also hopes to make a lasting impression on their lives.
“I want my passion for learning Spanish to transfer to my classroom,” she says. “I hope to instill a similar passion for language learning in my students.”
When she isn’t traveling around Colombia in her free time, O’Connell utilizes her art skills by working as a volunteer graphic designer at a museum, where she designs and edits promotional materials.