Fall is my favorite time of year. I love how days turn cool and brisk on the East Coast and how seasonal pumpkin-inspired options return to menus. There are also new starts to mark, most notably, the first days of school. Even as graduate students, it is not uncommon to experience first day (or week) nervous excitement about getting to know your faculty members, fellow students, and seeing what you will be covering and learning in your classes. Soon enough, you will all settle into new routines and the momentum of the semester will make the days to winter break pass far too quickly.
Welcome to our first-year students in the Master’s in Translation & Interpreting and the Master’s in Professional Writing! And welcome back to continuing students pursuing their degrees from so many different parts of the world. That’s part of the beauty of learning and working online; it builds community in new ways and lends itself to new discoveries that we might not otherwise make.
I admire your pursuit of graduate study in fields that focus on connecting us through the communication of thoughts and ideas. You are all seeking to help others be better understood, and to dismantle the barriers that prevent us from hearing and listening to each other’s ideas and issues. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded many of us of the simple joys of being in each other’s company, sharing our lives, and becoming better known to each other through storytelling. Communication that crosses boundaries of language and modality to offer information, comfort, togetherness, inspiration, and laughter is a most precious enterprise.
Ours is a special community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are here to support each other. Please get to know us and each other and take advantage of this chance to expand your professional circle (and likely make new friends in the process). One great way to do this is to join OWLS, the Online Writing and Languages Society, that brings together students from both programs, and is open to all SPS graduate students.
Your academic directors, Dr. Annelise Finegan (MSTI) and Dr. Kristine Rodriguez Kerr (MSPW), and program advisor, Jennifer Yuen, are committed to your success and are here to answer any and all questions that come up for you as you make progress in your program. Please do not hesitate to reach out - to say hi, ask a question, or share some fabulous news so that we can celebrate your successes along with you. I am also here as a resource and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming virtual event soon. Until then, best wishes for an excellent Fall semester.
Billie Gastic Rosado