UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
John M. LaVelle (Psychology & Spanish Double Major, Graduated 2002)
John LaVelle was appointed Director of External Affairs for the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University in California about a year and a half ago (read: planning & managing major events, overseeing recruitment & outreach, etc). This role was recently expanded to oversee all the internal operations of the School of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences as well as the School of Politics and Economics. John and his wife (Kate) are expecting their first baby in late November, so that will be a whole other adventure!
Studying Spanish at UWRF has been a valuable part of my career path. It helped me realize the importance of being precise with the words I use and the potential difficulties of communicating between languages. In my current line of study I do a lot of data interpretation/translation, and I think back to my Spanish training and think 'how can I make this information accessible to people that don't have my background and training? How can I best translate the data without losing the essence of what I'm trying to convey?' Additionally, my experiences at UWRF lead me to believe that a strong foundation in languages is an excellent launching point for any number of career paths because languages are a discipline that can be used in its own right (i.e. translation) or may be used as a tool in another substantive area of training.