Meet Kelly

Spanish Languages and Literatures major Kelly Aldinger won the 2017 UB Study Abroad Photo Contest with her image of a misty Macchu Picchu. Kelly hopes to pursue a degree in TESOL or ESL education.  

"I'm a WNY native who grew up in a tiny rural town about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo. Although the small town atmosphere has a lot of unique things to offer, I always dreamed of traveling and getting to know the rest of the world.

My first international trip was to Peru in the spring of 2017. I spent the first half in the coastal capital city of Lima and the second half of the semester in the Sierra City of Cusco, with the goal of becoming bilingual. It was undoubtedly the best decision I've ever made and I would encourage everyone, regardless of discipline, to go abroad and be immersed in another culture. It will change you in ways unimaginable." – Kelly Aldinger

More photos of Kelly's amazing trip!

From left: Gilman scholars Michael Pilgrom, Wanly Chen, Brandon Reilly and Kelly Aldinger. Photo: Douglas Levere.

From left: Gilman scholars Michael Pilgrom, Wanly Chen, Brandon Reilly and Kelly Aldinger. Photo: Douglas Levere 

Kelly was also one of four UB students to win a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study abroad. 

“Studying in Peru is something I never thought I’d be able to do, primarily due to financial constraints.” – Kelly Aldinger

Meet More Students

  • David Turnbull
    3/12/18
    "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."
  • Mame Salim
    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."
  • Jacob Caldwell
    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.”
  • Angelique Romulus
    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.
  • Brandon Reilly
    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."
  • Annika Smith
    6/6/23
    Annika Smith, joint major in French and Global Affairs, won a SUNY Chancellor’s Award in spring 2023. During her time in RLL, she participated in French Club, collaborated with a professor on research about masks and masking practices in Côte d’Ivoire, and did an AmeriCorps internship as an English teacher with Journey’s End Refugee Services. She completed her French major while studying abroad in Lyon, France.
  • Emma Correia
    6/6/23
    Emma Correia, a double major in Spanish and Linguistics with a minor in Education, was one of only seven students in the country to receive the 2023 Gabriela Mistral Award, which is awarded by Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, to members who have shown outstanding initiative in addition to academic excellence. In addition to winning this national honor, Correia was named the Outstanding Senior for Linguistics and served as an ambassador to the UB College of Arts and Sciences for both Linguistics and RLL.
  • Sophie May
    12/22/21
    French and Political Science double major Sophie May has won a Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship beginning in Fall 2022! The Rangel Program selects outstanding Fellows annually in a highly competitive nationwide process and supports them through two years of graduate study, internships, mentoring, and professional development activities. How did she do it? Read on...
  • Diana Cortés-Evans
    1/27/20
    "I came to Puerto Rico with support from the University at Buffalo Romance Languages and Literatures Department to be a cultural mediator and translator for legal services and policy work by the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic group. This is my first time visiting the archipelago, and it is hard to position myself; although I am not a lawyer, and cannot contribute in creating policies, I am a PhD student in Spanish literature. Therefore, personally as a cultural critic mind-driven I am hoping to understand the Puerto Ricans through their written language and artistic representations. Today I am not writing as a cultural critic, however, but as a witness who is seeing Puerto Rico and its diaspora mobilizing to help each other."
  • Hannah Griffiths
    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!"
  • Daniel Oakes
    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. "
  • Dijana Savija
    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."
  • Joëlle Carota
    3/24/20
    Joëlle is one of 12 doctoral candidate finalists in UB's Fourth Annual Three Minute Thesis competition. Click on Joëlle's name to watch her video presentation.
  • Lilian Macancela
    10/24/19
    This summer Lilian spent 6 weeks in Milian, Italy with VoluntarItaly. Through a partnership between the Dante Aligheri Society of Michigan and the Oratories of Lombary, Italy, students who speak some Italian are placed as counselors at church-run summer camps.  Volunteers live with with a family, get free accommodation and perfect their Italian skills.  This is Lilian's story:
  • CaTyra Polland
    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."
  • Andrea ModicaAmore
    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."
  • Suzanne Toczyski
    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!"
  • Paige Melin
    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.”
  • Stephen Rogers
    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."
  • Elise Roberts
    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."
  • Adam Dounane
    6/6/23
    Adam Dounane ’23, joint major in French and Communication and RLL’s 2023 Outstanding Senior, came to UB knowing that he wanted to explore how studying world languages and cultures could help solve real-world problems, and he says that “RLL has been an amazing community to do exactly that.”