St. Kate's is a family institution for Carly. Her younger sister, Marnie, is majoring in pre-physical therapy, and her grandma, Sharon Abbott, is also a Katie.
Carly greatly appreciated the encouragement from faculty at St. Kate's. "All the professors are personal and very supportive. For example, in my first year I played the part of Matilde in “The Clean House,” a play on campus. I had to open with a long joke in Portuguese, a language similar to Spanish. Professor Kristina Bonsager worked with me outside of class to teach me the correct pronunciation and to help me perfect the monologue. My Spanish professors even came to watch me perform!"
Carly had a variety of opportunities to build experience in the fields of Spanish and Teaching, beginning with traveling abroad. "I went to Ecuador in fall 2011 and Spain for J-term 2012. Almost all my credits fulfilled St. Kate’s Spanish requirements, and one course fulfilled my history requirement as well."
She also held the position of "Spanish Circle coordinator at the Jane Addams School for Democracy in St. Paul. My work constantly changed depending on the day, but in general, I facilitated cultural and language exchanges between Spanish-speaking and English-speaking groups of people, and helped with translation during the conversation. I also led a 30-minute Welcome Workshop every Monday and directed people to the resources they need. These include citizenship exam study guides, books and writing materials. I was fortunate to meet people from all around the world and listen to their stories. This improved not only my Spanish, but also my cultural awareness."
"Additionally, I had the opportunity to be a Spanish student-teacher at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul and Annunciation Elementary School in Minneapolis. I found out about these opportunities through St. Kate’s education department."
Her involvement continued throughout the summers. "I worked as a teacher in a bilingual pre-school program through Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) and volunteered as a translator and kitchen facilitator at La Conexión in Minneapolis — both of which I had heard about from professors in our Spanish program."
Carly's advice for new students is to "be open to meeting new people, trying new things and putting yourself out there."