Departments collaborate to create Spanish media minor

New opportunities arise for students

As a result of the efforts of the World Languages and Cultures (WLC) and the Journalism (JMC) department, students will be able to minor in Spanish media here at Humboldt State University starting next fall.

The Spanish media minor is geared toward students who are strong Spanish speakers and have an interest in applying their linguistic skills to media. Students who sign up for the minor can expect to learn the basics of media storytelling and in-depth Spanish language study.

This minor is the product of a collaboration between the WLC department and the JMC department. It took about two years for the proposal to go through, says journalism Professor Deidre Pike, the Chair of the JMC department at the time that the minor was created. However, there was a lot of talking and planning between departments even before the proposal was written.

“I’m just so pleased that university’s curriculum committee saw how important this was and approved it for us so that we can give students this fabulous opportunity,” Pike said.

This isn’t the first time that the two departments collaborated. The creation of El Leñador was spearheaded by Professor Marcy Burstiner from the JMC department and Rosamel Benavides-Garb from the WLC department, who is now Interim Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

“Almost in every field, if you bring language and culture into the field, you will end up empowering the students.”

Rosamel Benavides-Garb from the WLC department

The new minor will require students to take El Leñador for at least two semesters so that they can get hands-on Spanish media experience.

Benavides-Garb said that after the creation of El Leñador, a Spanish media minor was a natural next step. He believes that the creation of this minor was about recognizing the skills that many bilingual students have and enhancing those skills.

Benavides-Garb also says that this minor is just one example of what can be done when departments collaborate and acknowledge what students bring to this institution. He hopes to see many more programs that cross disciplines in the future.

“Almost in every field,” Benavides-Garb said, ‘’If you bring language and culture into the field, you will end up empowering the students.”

California State University Northridge is the only other CSU that has a program like this and even across the country, there aren’t many programs like this.

Joseph Dieme, the current chair of the WLC department, believes that the minor was created out of a necessity to give a voice to a large demographic of students.

“It’s a small yet significant, certainly, step,” Dieme said, “toward making sure that the diverse voices on campus are actually also heard.”

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