Excellence in Language Studies Award, Spanish
Student Name: Benjamin Alpert
Major(s): Spanish & Linguistics joint major, Chinese studies minor
Bio: Ben Alpert is a senior at Emory University pursuing a joint major in Spanish and Linguistics, along with a minor in Chinese. The joint major program in Spanish & Linguistics is a new, interdisciplinary program between both departments, and Ben will be one of two students to graduate in this program during its inaugural year.
Ben has been learning both Spanish and Chinese since he began high school, but during his time at Emory he has truly incorporated his foreign language studies into his daily life. Ben’s studies have inspired him to explore other cultures and different languages. Last summer, Ben studied abroad on Emory’s Iberian Studies program in Spain, where he gained a first-hand understanding of daily Spanish life and society while taking courses about sociolinguistic issues within Spain. He also conducted language attitude research that focused on bilingualism in the Basque Country, one of the multiple regions in Spain home to a minority language other than Castilian Spanish. The ways in which other countries address multilingualism is of great interest to Ben, because of the direct influence these policies can produce on cultural or public discourse. Returning from Spain, Ben embarked on a vastly different journey as an American delegate in the 2017 Taiwan-America Student Conference (TASC). This summer, Ben will serve as American Vice Chair within the 2018 TASC Executive Committee. In the coming years, Ben hopes to gain valuable professional experience before returning to graduate school, either to study International Consulting or pursue a graduate degree in Linguistics.