The School of Modern Languages hosted the 14th annual reception for outstanding students on Friday, May 4 at the City College East Campus Cafeteria.
The program provides numerous foreign language courses for students at City College. Students get the opportunity to learn a language and appreciate different cultures and values.
Each spring semester professors nominate students for their academic and linguistic achievements in the language courses taught on campus. The ceremony brings students, faculty, family and friends together to celebrate their success. Music and light refreshments are provided for all guests.
A welcoming speech by program chair Dina Castillo started the ceremony off by thanking the staff and professors of the department for supporting the program each year. Castillo gave students a shout out for their hard work and dedication to the courses they took this year.
Rocio Avila who is fluent in American Sign Language, English, and Spanish was one of two who won the college-wide Outstanding Student of the Year Award.
The other student honored was Michael Brooks Williams, who was unable to attend.
Avila is an officer of the ASL club at City College, and is a committed student and known to always attend local Deaf/ASL events.
"As a fluent trilingual, she is a great asset to our community by uniting ASL, English and Spanish using her linguistic skills," said Spanish instructor, Alfredo Gonzalez.
According to Avila, she's always been fascinated with ASL. When she took an ASL course her first semester at City College she immediately decided to change her major to that.
"It's important that we're able to communicate with a variety of people, it really expands your world," Avila said.
Broderick Shore, a Middle Eastern Studies major, received the only award for Arabic language at City College. He is currently in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program through UCSB. Broderick is taking the path of becoming an army officer and shared his beliefs on the importance of communicating with leaders in their own language, and making small talk that will eventually build trust.
According to his instructor Jazmin Puignau, Broderick has shown great skills in Arabic studies and shows interest in connecting with Arabic culture and history.
"I thank my professor Puignau, she's very passionate about what she does and manages to keep the Arabic program alive at City College," Shore said.
The School of Modern Language congratulated all the student scholars who took a course in one of the nine selected languages including Spanish, German, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Chinese, French, and ASL. The program encourages students to expand their minds through exploration of different languages.