|The guest speaker at this year’s foreign
language induction ceremony was Andrew Schmidt, a 2001 Muhlenberg
graduate with a major in Communications and a minor in English.
As an undergraduate, Andrew
studied both Russian and Spanish, the value of which extended
into all aspects of his life, not only in college but also
beyond. Andrew’s interest in Russian began when he desired
to sing in the language for his vocal concert at Muhlenberg
without having previously learned it. His unexpected study
of Russian in college inspired him to a life of exploration
later on. New areas of interest have arisen because of his
decision to immerse himself in languages and cultures different
from his own.
Students often wonder how life at Muhlenberg will filter
into their lives following college. His brief study of Spanish
at Muhlenberg led Andrew to continue studying the language
at Middlebury College’s prestigious summer language
institutes. These studies enabled Andrew to become fluent
in Spanish, which has given Andrew an edge in the competitive
world of the job market. His ability to be interviewed in
Spanish was fundamental to at least one employer! The advantage
of understanding different languages and cultures is attractive
to employers, but beyond that, the knowledge is invaluable.
Though Andrew only briefly studied Russian, his life has
been immeasurably enhanced. From the books on the shelf
to the music sheets scattered on the piano, it seems safe
to say that Andrew is pleased that he chose to sing in Russian
that one music concert in college.
--Rachel Courtney ‘06