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Foreign Languages and Literature

Foreign Languages & Literature



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We are looking for Foreign Language Alumni to tell us their story of life in the world of languages after SIUE. Tell us about your travels, your interviews, your views on the future of language; whatever is on your mind. These narratives will be used to help current and future students have a better understanding of foreign languages in today's market.

Email us your name, year graduated from SIUE, and the languages you speak. Be sure to give us a story (or stories) that you feel would help the students at SIUE better understand the need for a degree in a second (or third!) language. Or just tell us what you are up to.

Thank you.
Dr. Douglas Simms
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature

Email your Comment to Dr. Simms


  • Joseph R. Hoff, Ph.D.

I graduated from SIU-E in 1974, major in Spanish, minor in Italian - I was enrolled in the Dean's College Scholar Program which I loved!!!!! - and the education that I received at SIU-E motivated me to pursue my M.A. in Spanish Linguistics at SIU-C (1976) and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures at Saint Louis University (1988). I then taught at MacMurray College (Jacksonville, IL) where I was also the Department Chair from 1991-2011. Currently I am teaching at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL. Along the way, I received an NEH award for the study of identity in Latin American culture, I edited the Journal of Cultural Diversity, I chaired the Central Illinois Foreign Languages and International Studies Consortium, and won a number of teaching awards.

And all of this I attribute to the 4 years I spent at SIU-E which was an absolutely wonderful and inspiring experience. I wanted to mention the faculty that inspired me to study language and literature: Betty Osiek, Helen Dille Goode, Dan Romani, Claude Francis, Gertrude Marti, Paul Guenther, Alfred Pellegrino, and Rino Cassanelli. They were wonderful, inspiring teachers and I am forever indebted to them.

  • Caleb James Pecue, M.A. 

I graduated in 2013 with my B.A. in French after spending a semester abroad at Université Laval in Québec, Canada (2012). Then, I got my M.A. from SIUE in Teaching English as a Second Language in 2015. As I continue my journey at SIUE, I now work full-time at ESLI on campus, teaching 5 English classes everyday. I’m also finishing up a Master of Science in Education in College Student Personnel Administration. I will be done with that next semester. 

  • Jenny Hammond, M.A. 

I graduated in 2007 and started teaching Spanish the very next Monday after graduation. I'm currently teaching at Alton High, but have taught at a private school and a middle school too. I love what I do, but things have definitely changed in the last 10 years. Without trying to discourage anyone from following their dream, I would want current students to be aware of exactly what they are signing up for because it is definitely not an easy job. I would recommend that any Foreign Language student find friends that don't speak English..or will refuse to speak English with them..and to go abroad as much as possible!

Although the program at SIUE is great, you can only fully be prepared/knowledgeable if you take the initiative outside of the school day/year. I loved all of the professors and enjoyed the courses. I do wish SIUE could do away with all of those gen eds and just allow you to focus on your goal. I think it would help students that aren't able to travel abroad get more exposure to the language, rather than sitting in classes that have nothing to do with those goals. I went back to SIUE for my Master's and graduated in 2013. 

  • Lisa Alexander, B.A. 

Hello! My name is Lisa Alexander. I began my undergraduate degree in Spanish- Spanish Literature in 1999 and finished in 2003. I have fond memories of all of my professors and wish I could ‘catch-up’ with all of them. Since graduating I have been teaching at the high school level for 14 years and I am still going strong!

  • Caitlin A. Lally, B.A. 

I graduated with a B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature as well as Mass Communications in 2017. This October, I will be traveling to Ollantaytambo, Peru for a 10-week internship with the non-profit organization Awamaki working on blogs, photography, social media and website content. I'm looking forward to combining my foreign language and mass comm skills as well as learning more about Quechua culture. 

Without the support of the excellent Spanish professors in the department, I wouldn't have the confidence to embark on such a journey. I especially want to extend my thank yous to Joaquin Florido-Berrocal, Carolina Rocha and Olga Bezhanova.

If anyone is interested, they can keep up with my travel preparations and experiences abroad at

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