Meet Stephen

Stephen Rogers studies Italian and is currently a senior in the UB School of Dentistry. 

Stephen Rogers.

"My journey through post-secondary education always had an endpoint in mind. Dentistry was my single aim. With that charge, an educational journey through the core sciences is predicated, if not mandatory.

But I soon realized that my sanity was waning. I began speaking with advisors about taking some language courses – a subject that I enjoyed immensely in grade school. This turned into a conversation about establishing a minor, and eventually the possibility of accomplishing a double major. The freedom to pursue my interests in the humanities while satisfying my primary goal was due to the flexibility of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL).

I didn’t only find time to satisfy degree requirements. I spent six weeks abroad and immersed in a culture best understood by living amongst its people. My coursework at an Italian university was easily calibrated to my Buffalo transcripts. Professors worked with me to ensure that I was on schedule for graduation and that I had the opportunity to engage in independent study. The support I received from the department was tremendous and served as a primary reason why I was able to graduate with a double major in Biological Sciences and Italian.

As I finish up my final year of dental school, I have utilized my language skills in a few unique ways. Some patients of the school only speak Italian, and others are simply excited that a student doctor can speak the tongue of “the old country.” Anything to help a patient relax in a notoriously stressful environment is essential to successful dental treatment. Not surprisingly, as a romance language, Italian, like medicine, is deeply rooted in Latin. Medical and dental students learn thousands of new words during their pre-doctoral training. It certainly lowered the learning curve to know much of the medical (Latin) terminology before I even opened the textbooks.

The support I received from RLL throughout my undergraduate studies benefited me in ways that I didn’t even anticipate at the time. It’s been seven years since graduation, and the department is more robust and dynamic than ever. I encourage all UB undergrads to explore their options no matter their academic and career goals." – Stephen Rogers

Meet More Students

  • 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
    “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.”
  • 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."
  • 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 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
    "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!"
  • 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.
  • 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
    "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."
  • 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."
  • 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:
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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."