Tiffany Dayemo '15
I am an Impact Studies Research Intern for Water Missions International, a non-profit organization that builds water systems in countries like Honduras and Haiti to provide safe water to vulnerable communities. I am also applying to law school. I wouldn't have been on the path to become interested in human rights or legal issues concerning them if it had not been for my SPAN 499 course with Professor Chodorowska-Pilch based in Valencia, Spain in the summer of 2012. The Special Topics course focused on Immigration in Spain, a really interesting time to study it because of the 2012 Eurocrisis, and really the beginning of the current migrant crisis we are seeing today in 2015. Through the course, we learned about Spanish political and economic issues through taking a course at the University of Valencia, different types of resources available to migrants by visiting NGOs and refugee centers, and Spanish cultural immersion experiences through weekend trips to Granada and Bilbao. Our research paper on the effects of the 2012 Eurocrisis on various immigrant groups, written completely in Spanish, pushed us to interview a wide range of immigrants from around the EU, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Colombia, and Syria to name a few. The stark differences Spain's economic crisis had on each group of immigrants and the resources available to them was shocking. I knew I wanted to learn more about human rights issues, and set out to seek internships with NGOs specializing in that area. Had it not been for this SPAN 499 course, as well as especially Professor Chodorowska-Pilch and the department's efforts to provide such a wonderful program, I wouldn't have secured my dream internship with Human Rights Watch the following year nor currently be applying to law school. Thank you USC Department of Spanish and Portugese!