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Meet a FLAS Recipient

Chantelle Hartling, majoring in Social Work and International Studies and minoring in Spanish and Psychology

FLAS StudentMy name is Chantelle Hartling and I am a junior at the University of Utah. I am double majoring in Social Work and International Studies and have minors in Spanish and Psychology. I speak fluent Spanish and I chose to study Portuguese because it is a language I have always wanted to learn and something I felt I would be applicable to my areas of study. I plan on working with refugees in the future and being able to speak three languages will allow me to help a greater number of people. I would also love to do humanitarian work in lower income regions throughout South America.

Learning a new language is going to benefit your life in numerous ways, but what’s essential is how you plan to use that skill. My advice for submitting a successful application is to be specific in your statement of purpose so it is clear what you plan to do with this opportunity in the future.

 The FLAS scholarship has been so beneficial for me throughout this past year because it has not only allowed me to begin learning a new language, but also to learn about culture and customs of Portuguese speaking countries around the world, and the required area studies classes have made it possible for me to finish my minor in Spanish.  Receiving this scholarship has been an amazing experience and has greatly enriched my university education. 

Brisa Zavala, majoring in Latin American Studies & Chemistry 

Brisa Highlight PhotoSince I entered the University of Utah I have realized that our challenge as students is not to pick one area of interest and go down a paved path, but to gather all of our interests and pave our own unique path. I am currently an undergraduate double majoring in Chemistry and Latin American studies, and studying Nahuatl. Finding a way to merge my love for the sciences and passion of learning Nahuatl has been a challenge; however, I have succeeded in paving my own path due to the experiences I have had as a FLAS recipient.

Receiving the FLAS fellowship has validated the importance of learning Nahuatl and has encouraged and supported my interdisciplinary interests. FLAS has provided me with many opportunities. It has allowed me to go to Yale University twice, to participate in a six-week intensive course, filled with modern Nahuatl, classical Nahuatl, and cultural activities. It has enabled me to continue to take Nahuatl and Latin American studies courses at the University of Utah. It has provided financial means to attend two intensive winter courses in Zacatecas, Mexico and visit the communities of my instructors in Chicontepec, Veracruz over two spring breaks. During my two visits to Chicontepec I have been able to interact with people of the communities –in Nahuatl– and listen to the elderly share stories, anecdotes and experiences in Nahuatl. FLAS has been my ticket to escape the STEM bubble I was in as an incoming freshman. It has granted me the opportunity to meet students from all over the world, studying different disciplines at various educational levels (bachelor’s, master’s, Ph.D.); from these interactions develop my future educational and career plans.

Thanks to the opportunities and experiences I have had as a FLAS recipient I have decided to continue on to graduate school and I am working towards creating an environment, both in academia as well as in society, where “traditional” medicine of indigenous communities is valued in the same regard as “modern” medicine thus helping to preserve the knowledge and practice of traditional medicine in Nahua communities.

Logan Frederick, majoring in Geology

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Utah and have been a recipient of a FLAS scholarship for the last two academic years to continue my linguistic study of Ecuadorian Quechua. FLAS has allowed me the opportunity to not only increase my language skills, but also to expand my understanding of the indigenous Quechua people in disciplines like anthropology, geography, and public health policy. These area studies classes, which are also a part of the FLAS program, help me to widen the context of my research to be more interdisciplinary. My research is a part of a larger project in Ecuador focused on potential remediation of mining-impacted rivers. Culture, health, and physical science are all important aspect when exploring potential remediation. As I plan to continue working in the nexus between public health and water quality throughout my doctorate education and into my future career as a hydrological consultant, the language skills and the interdisciplinary nature of area studies courses will allow me to succeed in promoting safe water for native peoples. I would advise future FLAS applicants to use the FLAS program to not only learn a language, but also to gain a wider prospective into the interdisciplinary nature that underlies all academic disciplines. 

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Last Updated: 9/19/19