Meet David

Now a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State, David Turnbull (Honors Scholar, BA in French, Spanish and International Studies '05) addressed the following remarks to the graduating class of 2016. 

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"Language is a gift. It helps us understand how to build bridges with other people. It’s something we should feel privileged to study. Because the relationships and opportunities you can create with language are truly unique.

You have the skill set. You have learned it here at UB. I know the faculty here, and I know the quality education. Whether you studied Italian poetry, French grammar, or Spanish literature, or anything in between, somewhere along the way you’ve learned to focus, to use your fear, and to be flexible. Your teachers have corrected your pronunciation – especially if you had Prof. Ludwig. They’ve given you insights and a path to understand different parts of the world and its peoples. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, remember them, and remember your school. 

And just this final word of encouragement. Use your language skills to serve. Serve your communities by teaching, serve other communities through work with non-profits, or serve your country. The world needs people who can build bridges, who can relate to one another. And even though the distance between is shrinking everyday with advent of new technologies, there is yet to be a substitute for person-to-person communication." – David Turnbull

Meet More Students

  • 3/12/18
    "I come from a small town in New York State, and the first time I visited UB and heard three different languages, I knew it was the place for me!"
  • 3/12/18
    "The freedom to pursue my interests in the humanities while satisfying my primary goal of dentistry was due to the flexibility of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures."
  • 2/6/19
    Over Winter Break 2019 Dijana served as volunteer translator with a UB Law School team at the US-Mexican border in Dilley, Texas. She writes: "I learned a lot about the immigration laws of our country, and a whole lot about the lives of Honduran, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan women and children. The whole experience was challenging but absolutely worthwhile. Being able to help some of those women and children that are seeking peace in our country was an opportunity for me to create a stronger and better world."
  • 1/29/19
    In the fall of 2018 Paige applied for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Senegal and the Teaching Assistant Program in France. After teaching abroad, Paige plans to get her Ph.D. in Translation Theory to teach & translate francophone literature not traditionally represented in the Western canon. She says, “I am so grateful for the supportive community I found in the Romance Languages Department at UB. Without these professors and mentors, I would never have had the courage to study abroad in France as an undergrad, or to pursue my current goal of teaching English abroad.”
  • 3/12/18
    "In light of recent events, I believe it is more important than ever to educate ourselves and each other about people from different walks of life."
  • 3/12/18
    "I hope my students leave with a real passion for French language and francophone literature and culture. I’m very grateful to UB for a solid grounding in French!"
  • 12/24/18
    "Overall, I'm grateful to have participated in this program. Although it was stressful at times, I enjoyed every minute of it. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who loves working with kids from different cultures/backgrounds and anyone who wants to learn more about the day-to-day life of Italians."
  • 3/12/18
    “I will use American football to support health and learning at my placement, and play soccer as well, in order to ensure an equal exchange of culture.”
  • 5/15/19
    "As my time here in Italy comes to an end, I can’t help but reflect on these last three months and feel so incredibly lucky to have had this experience. I could not have asked for a better school and family to have spent my time with. I now consider this tiny, close-knit community to be another home of mine. Throughout my time here I have made forever friends, gained new family members, and have developed a passion for helping students learn and achieve their goals."
  • 8/6/18
    A class of 2018 Advanced Honors Scholar, Psychology major and French minor, Angelique is ready to embark on a doctoral program in clinical psychology at Long Island University.
  • 3/12/18
    "Studying in Peru was undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made and I would encourage everyone to go abroad and be immersed in another culture. It will change you in ways unimaginable."
  • 1/3/19
    "I originally wanted to be a Spanish teacher but I changed my mind along the way. However, I still wanted to major in Spanish. I knew the importance of being bilingual and the rapid growth of the Spanish speaking population."
  • 4/23/19
    "I never considered myself to be a teacher in the past; however, it’s the amazing experiences I had by studying abroad in Italy and helping international students practice English through UB’s Chat Room that convinced me to apply. Here at the school, I’d like to thank Dr. Emanuela Pecchioli, Dr. Paola Ugolini, and Dr. Laura Chiesa for teaching me Italian to a level that made this possible. "
  • 3/12/18
    "My foreign language skills have helped me accomplish far more than tracking down the best gelateria in Florence—they have opened the door to countless opportunities in both my personal and professional lives."