A Message from the Chair...
It is a bit strange to send a “welcome” when our department, like the rest of the campuses at Rutgers, will see little in person traffic this semester, due to our caution in safeguarding everyone’s health during the pandemic. But that does not mean we will not see you at all, thanks to our virtual meeting technology, or that our welcome is any less sincere! This is certainly a very unusual start to the academic year, and the faculty and staff have been working throughout the summer to prepare for a different but still very stimulating semester with our students. At every level of the curriculum, faculty have been attending training workshops and testing out all the resources available to enhance our teaching. We are excited and confident that we will all learn together effectively, collaboratively, and rigorously. (Yes, we learn as much from our students as they learn from us!) Advising is under way: please see Prof. Otero-Torres’s office hours for undergraduate advising, and Prof. Yeon-Soo Kim’s office hours for graduate advising.
During this challenging time for all of us, there is nothing better than learning and expanding our intellectual and linguistic horizons to think critically, adapt flexibly, and prepare intelligently for the future. We thank all of our students, and their families, who have entrusted their learning experiences to us. Our robust course offerings, certificates, and major and minor opportunities in Spanish and Portuguese are rooted in expert language training and sophisticated cultural, literary, and linguistic analysis.
We encourage all who participate in our programs to channel your learning experiences toward the greater good, in your communities, your professions, and your personal convictions. Along with the pandemic we’ve seen sweeping calls across the U.S. as well as internationally for social and racial justice. We look forward to exploring with our students how and where Hispanic and Lusophone studies fit into the urgency for social justice in our world. Our students’ skills as multilingual citizens provide tools of reconciliation, intercultural understanding, and engagement in our local communities and beyond. I invite you all to take those important steps with us as we continue pursuing our mission at Rutgers, and a more peaceful and just world around us.
Stay healthy, learn well, reach out to us; we are here for you.
Marcy Schwartz, Professor and Chair