Danyell Farris began her journey with the university when she was accepted into the Upward Bound Program in her freshman year of high school. After graduating, Farris soon began working at UAFS in the Office of International Relations as a student worker. While there, she was actively engaged with the study abroad programs. This experience helped her to later create an individualized program to study in Granada, Spain for a summer in order to practice her Spanish skills.
During Farris’s last semester at UAFS while she was completing her internship, the World Languages Department was approached by a local school for a recommendation. The Spanish teacher that had been currently working at Central Schools was going to be going on maternity leave, and the principal wanted a fresh new student to occupy the long term substitute position. Farris was quickly recommended and hired on.
This small referral turned into much more when Farris was later offered the full-time teaching position for the upcoming school year. She just finished her first semester as the Spanish teacher at Central High School, and seems to be adjusting well. Farris uses her experiences abroad in order to teach her students about the thriving culture and language of Spanish.
She encourages everyone to take full advantage of the endless amounts of opportunities UAFS has to offer. “My life has been impacted by this university more than I could have ever imagined when I first applied to Upward Bound. I have had help in not only furthering my education and career, but also furthering what I thought was possible of my future. I will be forever grateful to the staff and professors at UAFS for all the hard work they put in to help make me who I am today!”
My name is Sarah Ramírez, and I am a Spanish teacher at Muldrow High School. I have taught at Muldrow since the fall semester of 2014 and absolutely love my job and students. I currently teach Spanish 2 and Spanish 3, a program I initiated in 2015. I also serve as the Spanish Club sponsor.
I attended the University of Arkansas Fort Smith from 2010-2014 and graduated as a Spanish major with teacher licensure. Ever since high school, I had such a passionate love for Spanish and knew I wanted to teach. Attending UA Fort Smith helped me grow my potential and realize my dream in both the Education and Spanish Departments.
Throughout my time at UA Fort Smith, I was encouraged and challenged by many of my professors. They provided me academically rigorous work that developed my ability in the Spanish language and also taught me about the history and culture of the Spanish-speaking people. I was even given the opportunity to work as a Spanish tutor for several years, which helped me gain experience explaining the language and serving in a teacher role. Without these insights and experiences, I would be nowhere near the teacher I am today.
Another benefit of being in the Spanish program was the opportunity to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain for 6 weeks. This was one of the most life changing trips I have made and one of the best memories I will always treasure. That summer, being faced with new places and people, I grew not only as a Spanish-speaker but also as person in general.
As a whole, I can truly say my time at UA Fort Smith was probably the most influential period of my life. I made many friends, studied with great educators, and learned so much about life and myself. I would not change a thing about my experience there because it has made me the person I am today, and for that, I will always be grateful.