Interested in what graduates of our language programs do after graduation? Find out below!

Chinese

  • Stewart Abrahart — graduated in December 2015 with a degree in Finance and a minor in Chinese and currently works Altodigital in the UK as a financial analyst. The company is trying to grow in China and his Chinese helps him be part of it.
  • Shelby Cook — graduated in December 2014 with a degree in art history and a minor in Chinese. She is a freelance artist, producing handmade jewelry and custom portraiture.
  • Leidy Marcela Florez — graduating in April 2016 with a Marketing major and Chinese minor. She speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese, and will attend graduate school for a master’s degree in International Development.
  • Devin Thorne (Psychology/Chinese Language and Studies, 2013) — upon graduation he leveraged that second major experience and well-developed Mandarin skills to attend graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies (HNC). At the HNC he continued building on the language skills cultivated at UAB. Upon successfully writing and defending his thesis in Mandarin, he earned his master’s degree in International Relations in 2015. Currently, Devin works at an international school in Shenzhen, China, teaching AP Studio Art (visual art is another of his passions). He enjoys employing bilingual ability and cultural insight in this multicultural environment, which often leads to opportunities for greater responsibility while working among unilingual colleagues.

French

  • Djamel Bouriche — French teacher at Vestavia High School.
  • Kaitlyn Brown — graduate studies, University of South Alabama College of Medicine.
  • Courtney Capocci —  graduate studies, fifth year program at UAB School of Education.
  • Natalie Dewey‐Smith — works for SLU, a local Chamber of Commerce in Seattle, WA.
  • Nicolas Drougul — freelance photographer and website design for Proust Ink.
  • Haven Hightower — studied at Louvain in Belgium; currently Advisor to the Foreign Minister at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia.
  • Molly Pollard Kopuru — working in the finance (mortgage banking) industry.
  • Amy McConnell — visual designer at Belk.
  • Amy Newby — nurse.
  • Sarah Pollard — works at the VA hospital in scheduling.
  • Ali Simpson — UAB School of Medicine.
  • Graham Smidt — store manager, Abercrombie and Fitch.
  • Lauren Smith —fifth‐year master's student in French Education at UAB School of Education.
  • Holly Cash Swafford — graduate studies, Texas State University, English program; serves as a graduate teaching assistant.
  • Sue Tisdale — recently graduated from Birmingham School of Massage.

German

  • Catherine Black (graduating August 2016) — During my first semester at UAB, I expressed interest in studying abroad. Dr. Rinker provided me with information about the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals and assisted me with applying for the program. I was one of 75 students selected in the nation for a fully funded year in Germany. I was able to receive full-immersion language training for two months, attend the Technische Universität München for a semester, and complete a practicum at a children's hospital in Munich. My experiences during the practicum phase inspired me to change my major to nursing after returning to UAB. After completing the remaining German courses available at UAB, Dr. Rinker showed me a way to continue in my studies by using the BACHE partnership to take an additional course at Samford University. I started UAB thinking that German classes would be a fun way to complete some core curriculum requirements, but the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Dr. Rinker have become the greatest influences on my experience at UAB.
  • Justin Ciucevich. Justin Ciucevich — I am currently in my first year of graduate work at the Ohio State University in Slavic and East European Studies. I minored in German at UAB as an undergraduate, and it was a wonderful experience that has proven beneficial to me for several reasons. By studying German under Dr. Erika Hille Rinker I was afforded the opportunity to study abroad. Through her efforts, UAB Education Abroad, and funding from the Lehmeyer Award, I was able to participate in the Spring Intensive Program at the Universität Tübingen. Studying in Tübingen was crucial to develop language skills which I now use in other academic pursuits. The language skills I acquired through UAB and my time in Germany (which was only possible, ultimately, through UAB’s Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures) are currently being put to use in my academic projects, which focus on national identity among the German minorities of Romania during the interwar period. The true benefit of studying a foreign language comes from being able to understand a way of thinking and living other than one’s own. No matter how globalized the world becomes or how commonly English may be spoken throughout the world, there will never cease to be an unparalleled beauty to learning and understanding foreign languages, their cultures, and literatures. Prost!
  • Matt Farrar. Matt Farrar — My time in UAB's DFLL German Program with Dr. Erika Hille Rinker literally altered my career path. My first three years at UAB were focused on a life dream I'd had since 4th grade, but after studying abroad at the Goethe Institut in Dresden in 2009 (with strong encouragement by Erika) my life took a major turn — a turn for the better. My summer in Dresden really sparked an interest in me and I knew I had to get back to Germany after graduation. The next two years, and possibly the best two years of my life, I lived in three different, distinct German cities. My time in Germany teaching English at inlingua Sprachschule pushed my German to a new level and deepened my understanding of what it meant to be German. After traveling, working, and absorbing as much as possible in Germany, I wanted to delve into Germany's relations with international actors. This led me to the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where I'm currently enrolled as a graduate student in the Master of Global Policy Studies program.
  • Jennifer Shores. Jennifer Shores — graduated in December of 2013 with a BA in International Studies and a minor in German. Shortly thereafter, she moved permanently to Vienna, Austria, where she was married to her Austrian husband, Dr. David Holzer, in December of 2014. She currently serves as an executive administrative assistant for a large international law firm in the heart of downtown Vienna and also provides in-house translation services. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys traveling, experiencing new foods, wine tasting, discussing politics and exploring new cultures.

Japanese

  • Graduates of JET (The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme):
    • Tiffany Barnes (2015).
    • Samuel Brinkerhoff (2015).
    • Tyler Campbell (2015).
    • Christianna Traynor (2015).
    • Sonny Griffin (2015).
    • Riley Bowden (2013).
    • Rachel Byrom (2012) — teaching English at a private language institution in Japan.
    • Mel Thompson (2011 graduate) — teaching English at a private language institution in Japan.
  • English Teachers hired by Hitachi City, Ibaraki, Japan:
    • Drew Holmes (2015).
    • Candy Smith (2013).
    • Sam Eto (2012) — working at a private company in Japan.
    • Cheyenne Haney (2011) — teaching English at a private language institution in Japan.
    • Jillian Albright (2010) — working in England.
  • English teachers hired by private English institutions:
    • John Wells (2015) — studied away for one year at Ibaraki University in Japan. After graduation, John returned to Japan in order to teach English. He is currently teaching English with a company called Bilingual Kids (BLK). He teaches children from the ages of two to 16 in topics covering conversational English and English grammar.
    • Carl Cotton (2015).
    • Calvin Burchfield (2015).
    • Berkan Ciger (2015).
  • Blake Newton (2015).
  • Brian Kirk (2012) — graduate studies at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan.
  • George Agras (2013) — graduate studies in Hikone, Shiga, Japan.
  • Desirea Evans (2015) — private language program in Japan.
  • Ashley Lindsey (2013) — teaching English in Korea.
  • Zedrick Pitts (2015) — studying at the University of Alabama.
  • Michael Appleby (2015) — graduate studies at Syracuse University, Museum Studies program.
  • Bright Chang (2015) — UAB School of Dentistry.
  • Yunhee Choi (2015) — UAB School of Dentistry.
  • Mohini Krishnan (2015) — UAB School of Medicine.
  • Tianyi Yu (2015) — UAB School of Health Professions.

Spanish

  • Grace Benton (also studied Arabic) — research associate at Institute for the Study of International Migration.
  • Patrick Breen — Mountain Brook City Schools system, Spanish teacher.
  • Allison Cash — graduate school, Auburn University.
  • Jonathan Casiano — graduate school, UAB School of Dentistry.
  • Ruben Michael Ceballos — UAB School of Medicine.
  • Emilly Collingsworth — UAB Admissions Councelor, UAB Office of Admissions; graduate school, UAB Department of Psychology.
  • Andrew Cook — accepted into the PA Physician’s Assistant program at Yale after having served with City Year New York and Americorps in New York.
  • Candace Cooper — graduate school, UAB Alternative Master’s Program in Foreign Language Education, Spanish and English as a Second Language.
  • Minda Farris — Programa de Auxiliares de Conversacion, Spain, Depart of Education.
  • Casey Gatlin — Down & Dirty Data Analyst.
  • Johana Maria Gooch — Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Program Coordinator, Asset Building and Economic Development.
  • Seth Graves — graduate school, UAB School of Public Health.
  • Sarah Grogan — graduated from UAB School of Public Health.
  • Indira Guevara — research position in UAB Medicine's Department of Pathology.
  • Marissa Hall — Mercer University School of Medicine.
  • Judi Hakim — UAB School of Medicine.
  • Nadia Hives — UAB 5th Year Program in Spanish and English as a Second Language.
  • Caleb Kelley — graduate school, University of Alabama, Spanish.
  • Rebekah Kummer — graduate school, UAB, Department of English.
  • Daina Mason — MSEd 2015, Pinson Valley High School ESOL and Spanish.
  • Jonathan Miller — graduate school, Columbia University, Medical School (expenses covered through Turner scholarship).
  • Caitlin Murray — Programa de Auxiliares de Conversacion en Espana, Spanish Government.
  • Jason Novak — graduate studies, UAB Collat School of Business, MBA program; personal assistant to the executive director, Birmingham International Center.
  • Michelle Ocampo — program coordinator, UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center.
  • Sylvia Peral — program coordinator, UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center; graduated from UAB School of Public Health.
  • Jemise Ray — graduate studies, New Mexico State, Spanish, with a Teaching Assistant grant.
  • Bryan Rice — graduate studies, UAB School of Education, TESOL.
  • Julian Roberts — graduate studies, University of Alabama, Spanish.
  • Ruben Rosales — Spanish teacher, Daphne High School, Daphne, Alabama.
  • Blake Samper — Master in Landscape Design and Graduate Assistant, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Olivia Telle — UAB School of Medicine.
  • Zach Tenner — general manager of a Mexican restaurant.
  • Rachel Walker — Jeremiah's Hope Academy (medical training).
  • Keldon Watts — graduate studies, Auburn University, Hispanic Studies program.
  • Rebekah Whitaker — graduate studies, Hispanic Studies program.
  • Joyce McKay (BA, Spanish, 2009) — private practice mental health counselor with Covenant Counseling & Education Center. She also holds a BS in Occupational Therapy, an MEd in Counseling and Guidance, an EdS in Counselor Education, and an ABD in Counselor Education from the University of Alabama. In her counseling practice she sees Spanish-speaking clients who are bilingual. She improves her level of competency through working with tutors, interacting daily with Spanish-speaking people, and individualized studies.
  • Olivia “Libby” Telle (BA, Spanish, 2009) — enrolled in the UAB School of Medicine, class of 2014.
  • Crystal Whatley (BA, Spanish, 2009) — teaching in Honduras.
  • Lacey Bowen (BA, Spanish, 2006) — surgical physician assistant in the School of Health Professions at UAB; parent coach in the Department of Pediatrics, UAB Hospital.
  • Lauren (Oshinski) Hoffman (BA, Spanish, 2006) — married Jeremy Hoffman in June 2007; pursued an optometry degree at UAB. Works part-time as a parenting coach for the UAB Shaken Baby Prevention Program where she uses both Spanish and English to speak to parents about the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Laurie is also a part of NOSA (National Optometric Student Association) where, among other activities, she volunteers to help the underserved and uninsured Hispanic community through Cahaba Valley Healthcare where she and other students provide eye screenings and exams.
  • Breana Lipscomb (BA, Spanish, 2006) — pursued a Master’s in Public Health at UAB, concentrating in Maternal and Child Health.
  • Toya Matthews (BA, Spanish, 2006) — works for the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA).
  • John Miller (BA, Spanish, 2006) — a bilingual real estate agent in Birmingham who has both English- and Spanish-speaking clients.
  • Natalia Bentley (BA, Spanish, 2005) — pursued a PhD in Spanish at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
  • Mandy Heatherly (BA, Spanish, 2005) — after teaching Spanish at Thompson High School in Alabaster, teaches ESL at Meadow View Elementary.
  • Pamela May (BA, Spanish, 2005) — an interpreter for the Early Intervention Program after graduating from UAB. Now a project assistant for the ABC Program (breast cancer awareness), where she interprets at the Breast Care Center.
  • Chris Mazie (BA, Spanish, 2005) — a bilingual research specialist for the UAB Center of Research in Reproductive Health. He is the only Spanish-speaking staff member and interprets for the Hispanic community during their prenatal care and study visits. He is also a volunteer interpreter for Cahaba Valley Health Care, an organization that provides free vision and dental care to the Hispanic community. Chris started at the Nursing school at UAB in the Fall of 2008.
  • BreAnne Seay Wingard (BA, Spanish major, 2003; FL Education, 2005) — ELL teacher at Meadowview Elementary in Shelby County.
  • Carla Benson (BA, Spanish, 2004) — a bilingual receptionist and student at the University of Texas at San Antonio, working on an MA in Bicultural-Bilingual Studies with a concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language. Plans to teach English internationally, hopefully in Spain and/or Italy. “Being the only bilingual receptionist at my job has led me to increase my everyday vocabulary to include very simple and very technical medical terms. I have also helped to increase our Spanish-speaking clientele by 20%.”
  • Donna Hill (BA, Spanish, 2004) — pursued a Master’s in Public Health at UAB.
  • Becky Glenn Smith (BA, Spanish, 2004) — married to Paul Smith and proud mother of Brian. She participates in a variety of professional activities ranging from work with a CPA to the translation of documents from English into Spanish.
  • Cotrena Mosely (BA, Spanish; MAE, Foreign Languages - Spanish, 2004) — teaches Spanish at Minor High School in Jefferson County, Alabama.
  • Victoria Garrett (BA, Spanish, 2003) — received her MA in Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was also a coordinator for the nationally renowned Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures. She pursued her PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Walter “Juanito” Ruggerio (BA, Spanish, 2003) — living and working in Costa Rica with his wife and child.
  • Dr. Christopher P. Eckstein (BA, Spanish, 2001; UAB Medical School, 2005) — Neurology resident at UAB Hospital.
  • Eric Wallace (BA, Spanish, 2001) — studied in Chile, Spain, Mexico, and most recently did malaria research in the jungles of Peru. He pursued a medical student at UAB.
  • Malinda Blair O’Leary (BA, Spanish, 2000; FL Education 2003) — assistant professor of Spanish. She completed her PhD at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
  • Jemise Ray (BA, Spanish, 2000) — has over five years experience studying, working, and volunteering in Latin America. She studied Spanish and Latin American culture in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Upon completion of her BA she returned to the Dominican Republic where she continued her volunteer work with Fundaci—n Melassa. There she participated in building a library, cultural workshops, and taught English and computer skills to persons living in the Mata de los Indios community. Her interest in participating in global understanding and travelling eventually lead her to a career with GAP Adventures. She currently facilitates the experience of small adventure groups through Central America. She has lead tours through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala, and six other countries.
  • Melissa Rivera (BA, Spanish, Suma Cum Laude, 1999) — married to Ismael Rivera, proud mother of Deven. Worked as a bilingual customer service representative for a local insurance company before finding her true passion, teaching. Melissa has been teaching in public schools since 2000, first as an elementary Spanish teacher, later as a high school Spanish teacher, and currently as an English as a Second Language teacher grades 3 through 8. She was awarded the Birmingham City Schools Teacher of the Year Award 2006-2007 for her efforts and achievements with our inner city youth.
  • George D. Medlock Jr (BA, Spanish, and BS, Electrical Engineering, 1998) — graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001. He is currently an attorney working in the Atlanta office of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, the largest law firm in the United States engaged exclusively in the practice of patent, trademark, and copyright law.
  • Harrietha Pippen (BA, Spanish, 1988) — teaches Spanish. After first teaching at Banks High School, she now teaches at Fairfield High School.
  • Stephen L. Ledford Jr. (BA, Spanish, 1996; BS, Economics, 1999; MA, Finance 2001) — the second student in UAB history to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He spent a year in Mexico studying graduate-level finance at ITESM, Campus Monterrey, and working at one of Mexico’s largest banks, BANORTE. He also spent two years on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program and studied Japanese at Middlebury College. He is now employed by Raytheon in Washington, DC, as a Principal Field Engineer. He spent five years traveling throughout Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East working as a technical expert on proprietary government contracts. Stephen was recently accepted into the JD program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and plans to practice in the field of international corporate law. He is married with two children and enjoys traveling the world with his family.
  • Pamela Fossett (BA, Spanish, 1993) — director of the Education Policy & Professional Practice (EPPP) Division at the Alabama Education Association (AEA). Her expertise in Spanish has enabled her to assist in the editing and implementation of AEA’s Jumpstart into Spanish, a professional development program provided by the EPPP Division. The program assists educators with communicating with their Spanish-speaking students, as well as with incorporating strategies for the instruction of English language learners. Pamela is also a member of the National Education Association (NEA) English Language Learner (ELL) Training/Advisory/Strategy Team, which released an association guide about effective education for English language learners. Additionally, Pamela serves as the Advocacy Chair of the Alabama Association of Foreign Language Teachers.
  • Larry Bachus (BA, Spanish, 1974) — founder and CEO of The Bachus Company, and his areas of expertise include diagnosing pump problems and seal failure. He is also a member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), and most of Larry’s products find application in civil and mechanical engineering. Today, Larry travels the United States and the world lecturing on pumps, and he can conduct his courses and consultations in both English and Spanish. Larry has written a book on pumps that is published in both languages.