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ELC Faculty Spotlight: Katrina LeMense

Student worker Alessandro Nigro recently sat down to ask professor Katrina LeMense about her experiences before and during her time at ELC. Here is what she had to say:

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today. 

I remember being in my 7th grade social studies class when I first became aware of other countries and cultures. What struck me was this idea that there are so many ways to live and languages to be spoken. I immediately felt the pull to go explore and travel. It wasn’t until college that I was able to fulfill this need. 

While in college, I spent the first semester of my junior year studying in Luxembourg and traveling all over Europe. That time abroad deeply changed me as a person. I began to see the world differently. After graduating with a BA in English, I moved to Argentina and began my teaching career.

After years of traveling and working abroad in other countries, I finally went back to school and graduated from the University of San Diego with a Masters of Education in TESOL, Literacy, and Culture. Upon graduation, I came to DC (my hometown) to pursue a career in education at a University. Georgetown was on my mind…

How did you end up at ELC?

I always knew working in a university setting was where I would flourish. Georgetown had a special place in my heart (many family members attended Georgetown and my grandfather and older brother both taught here). I networked and attended free events at SCS in the hopes of finding a position. I handed out my resume to many people and followed up continuously. I wanted a job here more than anything. 

One day, I got a phone call from a woman named Mandy Kama and she asked if I would be able to come in for an interview. The rest is history. Side note: I just had my one year anniversary at the ELC and I couldn’t be happier. 

Any recommendations for ELC students in DC?

Take advantage of everything and anything. You only live once and even though you might be stressed, tired, homesick or shy, challenge yourself to do as much as you possibly can. Live for the stories you will someday tell. 

Any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
I would like to leave you with a quote by Charlemagne: “to learn another language is to possess a second soul.” To learn another language is to possess a second soul… what a beautiful way to explain the power of language. Language is so much more than just words…

Author Alessandro Nigro is a MA degree candidate in Georgetown’s interdisciplinary Communications, Culture, and Technology program.