Spanish Department Opportunities

Academic Opportunities

Departmental Awards and Fellowships

Helena Percas de Ponseti Senior Award

In the spring of 2000 former Grinnell Spanish professor Helena Percas de Ponseti generously established an endowment that permits the Department of Spanish to recognize the superior achievement of a graduating major through an award of $2500.The Department will select a senior Spanish major taking into account the following criteria:

  • At least a 3.5 GPA in the Spanish major
  • At least an overall 3.0 GPA
  • Quality of the academic work in the major
  • Evidence of a commitment to the study of Hispanic culture (the student's activities outside the classroom, for example, their involvement in supporting activities [lectures, visits by Hispanic authors, etc.] sponsored by the Department, Spanish Lab, the Spanish SEPC, recruitment of faculty).

Dennis Perri Junior Award

Former Grinnell students Philip Guarco and Kathryn Jackson generously established an endowment that permits the Department of Spanish to recognize the achievement of a Spanish major through a yearly monetary award.The Department will select a junior Spanish major taking into account the following criteria:

  • At least a 3.25 GPA in the Spanish major
  • Successfull completion of at least three semesters of Spanish beyond Spanish 217
  • Conscientious and dedicated junior in all of his or her Spanish courses
  • Evidence of a commitment to intellectual life of the Spanish Department in and outside of class (including attendance to speakers' presentations, Spanish table, Spanish House activities, participation in newsletter, and Spanish Laboratory)

James C. Randall '94 Memorial Fellowship

James C. Randall was a Spanish major who spent 13 months living and studying in Santiago, Chile, during his third year as a Grinnell Student.  Jim’s experience in Chile facilitated his fluency in the Spanish language and greatly enhanced his awareness of, and interest in, the cultural and geopolitical environment in Chile and neighboring South American nations.  Jim spent his summer vacation in Chile working with a program that constructed community facilities in rural villages.

The goal of this fellowship is to support a second- or third-year Spanish major or a Latin American Studies concentrator who wishes to carry out research or enhance a study abroad experience in Spain or Latin America. A wide range of projects and activities will be considered, though preference will be given to those who make a connection between their proposed activities and their academics in the project description. Applicants should submit a letter of interest of three to four double-spaced pages that details the individual’s plan, provides information on her/his preparation, explains how it relates to her/his interests and/or focus of study, and includes a brief budget. Each applicant should also submit a copy of her/his transcript.  It is recommended that those planning to do service work or intern with an organization provide a letter from the group or organization that indicates their agreement with the plan.  Fellowships will be awarded based on student achievement in Spanish and Latin American Studies courses, as well as the academic merit and overall quality of the project.

For more information, please contact Yvette Aparicio (Chair of the Spanish Department) or Valerie Benoist (Chair of the Latin American Studies Concentration).

External Scholarships and Fellowships

Internship Grant Programs

The Career Development Office and the Office of Social Commitment will give you very helpful information on internship opportunities as well as funding resources to support your internship.

Current 2nd and 3rd year students are eligible to apply for grants to support unpaid summer internships typically not available during the academic year or accessible without the funding. Funding is available through topical programs in prairie studies, global development, business, gender and women's studies, international relations, applied technology, world population control, writing, religious leadership, environmental studies, arts & museum administration, Chinese studies and conflict resolution.

Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East.

More information: http://www.borenawards.org/

Application: https://nsep.iieweb.net/nsep/nseplogin.asp


Fulbright Grants

In general, there are two types of Fulbright grants:

  • A Fulbright Full Grant, which funds one academic year of overseas study and/or research in one country
  • An English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which funds one academic year of teaching English in one country

Additionally, Fulbright offers several specialized grants, including Travel-Only Grants (which are usually given to graduate students, and only for ItalyGermany, and Hungary), Fulbright/mtvU AwardsCritical Language Enhancement Awards, Fulbright Business Grants (MexicoSpain, and the Netherlands), Fulbright Journalism Grants (Germany and UK), and Country-Specific Awards to Australia (CSIRO), Ireland (Irish Language), Italy (Slow Foods and Deaf Studies), Mexico (Graduate Degree and Public Policy); and the Netherlands (Water Management).

More information: http://us.fulbrightonline.org

Application: https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/usa/26/


Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost awards for full-time graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

More information: http://www.gatescambridge.org/

Application: http://www.gatescambridge.org/apply/


Gilman Scholarship

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.

More information: http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program

Application: http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program/Apply


Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

More information: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Application: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/applications/apply


Mitchell Scholarship

The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

More information: http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/3/en/George%20Mitchell%20Scholarship%20Program%20|%20US-Ireland%20Alliance.html

Application: http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/43/en/Applying%20to%20the%20George%20Mitchell%20Scholarship%20Program.html


Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international educational fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.

More information: http://www.rhodesscholar.org/

Application: http://www.rhodesscholar.org/applying-for-the-scholarship/

Activities and Organizations

Hora cultural: ¡Hablemos en español!

Students are invited to Spanish House (1316 Park St.) at 9 p.m. on Thursdays to meet with the Spanish Language Assistant for informal conversation.

Spanish Table

Fall 2014 Spanish Lab Tutors

Fall 2014 Spanish Lab Tutors, left to right: 
Natalie Dokken, Isaac Walker, Gina Haro, Farida El Habashy, Nick Hunter, Nino Murillo

The Spanish lab is open Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 7 - 9 p.m., in ARH 223 (Spanish Seminar Room) 

The Spanish Language Assistant and two tutors are available to help students with oral, listening, reading, and writing practice. This assistance is principally offered for students in the first four semesters. 

The tutors working in the Spanish Lab this semester are: 
Natalie Dokken, Isaac Walker, Gina Haro, Farida El Habashy, Nick Hunter, Nino Murillo, and Maxiliano Castillo (Spanish Language Assistant.)

Cine-Club Español

Spanish and Latin American movies are shown Saturdays from 4-6 p.m. at ARH 302. All are welcome to attend!


Fall 2014 Spanish SEPC members, left to right: Isaac Cannon Walker, Athena Carlson, Adriana Zenteno, Prisca Kim.
Fall 2014 Spanish SEPC members, left to right:
Isaac Cannon Walker, Athena Carlson, Adriana Zenteno, Prisca Kim.

Spanish Student Educational Policy Committee (SEPC)

In the fall of each year, majors in the Department elect members to the Spanish Student Educational Policy Committee. Responsibilities of the SEPC are:

  • To participate in the evaluation of instructors' teaching for contract renewals (third year) and for promotion and tenure
  • To participate in the departmental searches
  • To elect a representative to the SGA
  • To create a strong community of Spanish majors
  • To meet with the staff to discuss issues related to the department's curriculum and extracurricular activities
  • To collaborate in the publication of the Spanish Newsletter


Athena Carlson

Prisca Kim

Isaac Cannon Walker

Adriana Zenteno

Student Organization of Latinos/as

Student Organization for Latinos and Latinas (SOL) is "designed to focus on the unique cultural experiences of students of Latino heritage. Our organization coordinates activities highlighting the cultural diversity of the Latino community and aims especially to educate the campus community about the Latino community in the United States. We seek to break down and eliminate common stereotypes and to assert the impact--political, cultural, and economic--of Latinos and Latinas throughout society."

For more information, please contact SOL.


Las Estrellas de la Galaxia

Las Estrellas de la Galaxia, an after school Spanish language program for Grinnell area youths, seeks Grinnell College students to work at the Davis and Galaxy after school programs teaching Spanish to K-4th graders using games, music and crafts or leading a high school Spanish club.

For more information or to apply, please contact Claire Moisan.

Babel Tower Language Academy

Babel Tower Language Academy, an after school and weekend foreign language program for Grinnellians of all ages, seeks Grinnell College students to teach Spanish at various levels of instruction.

For more information or to apply, please contact Claire Moisan.

MICA (The Mid-Iowa Community Action program)

MICA is a private, non-profit agency that delivers programs and services to income-eligible families. This organization often is in need of multiple Spanish translators in order to communicate with the families of children in Head Start programs in Grinnell -in the classroom, at monthly home-visits and during family nights. MICA employees typically pick up interested students from their dorm rooms and provide transportation to and from these locations.

For more information, please contact Deanna Shorb.

Woodbury School

Woodbury School is a school in Marshalltown, Iowa. The school seeks student mentors for Spanish-language students.

For more information, please contact Heather Korte '99.

ESL - English as a Second Language

Twila Rosenow works with four different schools in the Grinnell-Newburg School District and is responsible for working with students who have another language in their background, for integrating students into their classrooms and building language skills, vocabulary and cultural awareness. Volunteers are needed to help tutor students, to work with them in one-on-one instruction and to help them build vocabulary and confidence.

For more information, please contact Twilla Rosenow.

Adult Education - GED Preparation at Iowa Valley Community College - Grinnell Center

GED classes are held at Iowa Valley Grinnell Center (123 6th Avenue West) on Monday and Wednesday from 1-4 pm and Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9 pm. Volunteers are needed to work one on one with students, especially helping with reading, math, social studies and science skills. Bi-lingual skills helpful, especially Spanish.

For more information, please contact John Wagner.