Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Featured Alumni

Nora Lang ‘09

 Double major: Spanish, Latin American Studies

Current occupation: PhD student and Spanish instructor at University of California, Santa Cruz 

I began my studies at SUNY New Paltz after having spent a year living and working in Paraguay. I also had the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I enrolled in courses alongside Argentine students at a local university. My interests led me to move to northern Peru upon graduation, where I worked with a partner to design a summer school program for a small NGO. Additionally, I lived and worked in Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, and Thailand before deciding to pursue a Masters degree in Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Both my work as a Spanish instructor and my research on bilingual education programs in Latin America contributed to my decision to pursue a PhD in education at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Contact information: 

Michael Willis '14

Double Major: International Relations and French

I am currently working as a Passport Specialist in NYC within the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs.  That means my primary job functions are adjudication of passport applications for U.S. citizens by interpreting and applying citizenship and immigration laws to each case as necessary. 

 Prior to that, I was a Youth Development Volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Morocco.  I joined four months after graduating from SUNY New Paltz, and I credit my time there as one of the many factors which led me to pursue Peace Corps.  The liberal arts was a ripe environment for cultivating my professional, as well as personal goals and ambitions given my focuses in foreign languages and international relations while enrolled at SUNY New Paltz and its partner programs.  One notable experience was being able to participate in a study/internship program during my final semester, which was the springboard I needed to break into my field. 





Stephanie Brynes ‘13

Double Major: English and French

I’m currently completing the second year of my Masters/PhD track in French Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on 19th and 20th century French Literature and Translation Studies. I am also a very lucky and grateful recipient of the Julia Emerson Walther Fellowship from the Department of French and Italian Studies at UT, which allows me to finance my education as well as work as a Teaching Assistant.

The connections I made at SUNY New Paltz are one of the strongest driving forces behind my success post-graduation. During my four years at New Paltz, I was privileged to work with an outstanding team of professors who pushed me intellectually and encouraged my love of interdisciplinary studies. With their mentoring I mastered the language skills necessary to live abroad in France, where I discovered TAPIF, the teach-abroad program in which I participated during my gap year after graduation. Finally, it was SUNY New Paltz’s emphasis on the liberal arts that truly awakened my interest in academia as a career, rather than as a stepping-stone. 

Contact information: Facebook-Stephanie Alexis

Abbey Neumann '09

Double Major: French and International Business

Current occupation: Customer Service Lead and Systems Administrator for Bobrick Washroom, Inc.

This was the only position listed for French speakers when I was job hunting, so I gave it a shot. The company had recently eliminated their Canadian service department and needed a French speaker to help with the transition. My experience at New Paltz and studying abroad has given me an open mind when working with people from all backgrounds. I communicate with French sales reps and distributors. I am one of only two people in a large company with this skill.

Contact information: Abbey Neumann (Facebook and LinkedIn) and