Riley Davis will graduate this spring with a strong foundation in teaching English to non-native speakers, as well as a keen awareness of her position in doing global work, as she prepares for an eight-month Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Argentina.
Davis has left no time to spare throughout her undergraduate career in Oberlin. She has double majors in Hispanic studies and Latin American studies with minors in anthropology and gender, feminist, and sexuality studies. In addition to her coursework, Davis has taught Spanish lessons to local youth through the Spanish in the Elementary Schools program; co-taught a course on the United States citizenship exam through her involvement with the El Centro Volunteer Initiative; and served as a teaching assistant for a handful of lower and upper level Hispanic studies courses.
Through her work with El Centro, Davis also volunteers to teach English to a local family on Sundays. She has taken classes in language pedagogy, introduction to linguistics, and advanced linguistic anthropology, all of which have affirmed and encouraged her passion for language and language-learning.
“I feel like this is the right next step after Oberlin,” says Davis, a resident of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “After being a student for so many years, I’m looking forward to being able to share my knowledge and to be a resource for those whom I can support.”
The Fulbright program begins in March 2023 and will last for eight months. Davis has studied abroad in Latin America twice—first during a 2019 Winter Term group trip to Guadalajara, followed by a Winter Term trip in 2020 called Amazon Learning, in which she lived with an indigenous community in Ecuador for several weeks.
“In both experiences, I grew extremely close with my families and I enjoyed learning most about their lives and relationships,” Davis says. “I’m excited to see how the culture of Argentina compares and contrasts with the countries in Latin America I am more familiar with. I’m curious to see how the country’s history of European immigration has shaped the art, architecture, and language of Argentina, as well as how these influences interact with indigenous communities, and to explore how cross-cultural interactions have shaped the different provinces of the country. Of course, I’m also looking forward to interacting with the students and faculty wherever I’ll be teaching.”
Davis recently completed her honors thesis in Hispanic studies. Outside of academics, she is a member of Oberlin’s all-gender jazz and folk a cappella group ’Round Midnight, and she works as a manager of the 'Sco, Oberlin’s bar and music venue.
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