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Robert Butler

Circuitous is probably the best description for the route that Robert Butler took to become a Spanish major. He transferred to the College as a junior. But almost right away, the Hispanic studies department gave him a new appreciation for the world – and he’s been thriving ever since.

Robert is a first-generation college student, who actually spent his first months living and studying in Santiago, Chile. “I saw a flier for the College’s semester abroad program in Chile. I talked with everyone I could to see if I might get in. I got a lot of information and a lot of support, and ultimately ended up in Santiago. It was amazing. Now, when I talk with younger students, I encourage them to study abroad. It can set you forward academically, and your language skills just explode while you’re there.”

Robert’s experiences in Chile solidified his interest in the Spanish major. “By the time that semester was over, I had fulfilled the requirements for a minor in Spanish, and I just wanted to keep going.”

Since then, he has taken courses such as Current Issues in Spain and Latin American Literature. He also branched out and began studying Portuguese, and later added a minor in linguistics. He was named to the Global Scholars Program and inducted into the Spanish Honor Society. On top of that, Robert was invited to teach conversational Spanish to first-year students.

“I’ve discovered that I truly love learning about languages. I just connect with everything about them, and the professors in the Hispanic studies department are really helpful and cool. All of them maintain an open-door policy, which is awesome.

“In one professor’s Chicano sociolinguistics course, we were required to do research at a local school. I surveyed these elementary school kids to find out what slang they knew in English and Spanish, and in what I call Chicano – a sort of ‘Spanglish’ hybrid. Half those kids were Hispanic. It turned out to be an intense experience, but also one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever done. I think I can see myself becoming a teacher.”

Consider the Spanish major. It can prepare you for a careers in business, law, sales, medicine, education and beyond.

Program Information

Home to the largest and most comprehensive undergraduate Spanish program in the Southeast, the Department of Hispanic Studies is unique.


  • Nearly 6,000 students study Spanish at the College every year.
  • The department offers programs in Portuguese as well as a minor in linguistics.
  • We offer a wide variety of study-abroad programs, including semester programs in Havana, Cuba; Trujillo, Spain; Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina; and summer programs in Costa Rica, Panama, Peru and Spain.
  • Our graduates move on to study/work in a variety of roles. Recent graduates have continued to graduate school, become college professors, company managers in the U.S. and abroad, defense attorneys, translators and elementary and secondary school teachers.
  • Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese and English), and Hispanic consumers are the fastest growing market segment in the U.S.Recent graduates have entered careers in medicine, education, counseling and journalism.
  • Recent courses have included Religion and Ecology; Myth, Ritual and Symbol; Religion and Film.


  • Students can live in the Casa Hispana.
  • Our award-winning chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, recognizes outstanding Spanish majors and minors.
  • Join the Spanish or Hispanic Latino Clubs.

Contact Information

Mark P. Del Mastro
Department Chair