Spanish Concentration

Yami Hernandez-Becerra

Yami Hernandez-Becerra

What inspired you to choose your major and/or minor?

  I had plans for the longest time to go to art school, but plans fell through when I entered high school so I began to reexamine my interests and passions. I love helping people and I've always had an interest in learning languages and cultures. I'm a heritage Spanish speaker and my parents made sure to teach me about other cultures apart from their own. As well, I was already self-studying Korean, so I decided that I would pursue translation and foreign languages in the future. I want to help bridge the gap between people with the knowledge I acquire from my studies.

What has been your favorite class so far at Mason?

  FRLN 385: Multilingualism, Identity, and Power was one of my favorite classes I took so far. While grammar and vocabulary is incredibly important to language learning, it's vital to know the relationship language has to identities and social dynamics. The information and discussions in that class were thought provoking and engaging, and all that I've learned in it has stuck with me. Sociolinguistics is something I want to learn more about.

Who has been your favorite professor so far at Mason?

  Professor Jihye Moon has always been so supportive and encouraging! She always believes in me and she's so passionate in teaching; she was the one who encouraged me to think about pursuing creative writing. In general, the faculty at the Korean and Spanish department have been so supportive and kind and I'm glad to have them during my academic journey.

What are you most excited about for this academic year?

  I'm trying this academic year to participate in more student activities so I'm excited to meet new people and help the community! I recently joined n-Lingual and I'm so excited to help out and make language learning even more fun.

What are your career goals after graduating from Mason?

  At the moment, I have plans to act as a Korean translator or a Spanish interpreter in a government agency. I was encouraged to take an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing alongside Foreign Languages, and while I am not currently pursuing it, I am considering going back to Mason after graduation to pursue a degree in English with a Creative Writing concentration.

What has been your most meaningful experience in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages so far?

  Participating in the Korean Native Religions and Korean Wave conference. It was an incredibly informative event, and it was amazing to be around our Korean faculty and other students. I read aloud two traditional Korean poems I wrote from Spring 2023 KORE 440 during the opening of the conference. Poetry is something I greatly enjoy (both reading and writing), so it was exciting to share my poetry there. Another meaningful experience is when I read one of my traditional Korean poems and a Spanish poem during the Polyglot Performance during International Week. As well, I'm so grateful for receiving the best student paper award at the MUSCKS conference. It has given me opportunity and confidence to apply myself outside of classes.

What does learning a new language and culture mean to you? 

  It means creating connections. People need connections to thrive, and learning a new language and culture is one of the most powerful ways of connecting.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time and/or what (if any) campus activities do you enjoy engaging in at Mason?

  I like to read, draw, and write in my free time! Lately, my favorite thing is to get together with my friends during the end of the school week and to update each other on what we've been doing in our classes and what personal projects we're working on. We're all in different departments and our schedules are hectic so it's nice to be able to sit down for a bit and unwind. By the way, I use they/them pronouns.