Eligibility: The Spanish section of the Department of Romance Languages recognizes outstanding achievement among our students by conferring Departmental Distinction upon those students who distinguish themselves in their work toward the major. Students in the beginning of their senior year who meet the following criteria are eligible for consideration:
1) minimum overall GPA at St. Olaf of 3.5
2) minimum GPA in Spanish of 3.75
3) written and oral language proficiency at the advanced level or higher
4) demonstrated capacity to produce work of exceptional merit
Eligible students will be selected by the faculty members of the Spanish Section and will be invited to submit a proposal for distinction (an in-depth research project of about 10-15 pages)
Policy: Particpation in the process toward distinction should not lead to the expectation that distinction is guaranteed. The final decision to award distinction will be made by the candidate’s distinction committee following the candidate’s defense.
A work of distinction quality must demonstrate:
1) advanced undergraduate-level command of the topic being addressed
2) the ability to develop that topic in the context of related scholarship or methodology
3) the capacity to generate individual insights, perspectives and conclusions with respect to the topic
4) the ability to argue persuasively and to present arguments in clear and orderly prose
5) written and oral proficiency in Spanish at the advanced level or higher.
Past recipients of Departmental Distinction in Spanish include:
John Murphy (Spring 1998) for his project on healthcare in rural Costa Rica
Marc Welge (Spring 1998) for his project “Internet en España”
Elizabeth A. Grawe (Spring 2000) for her project “El baile folklórico en Guanacaste, Costa Rica: Reflexión del machismo y catalizador para la liberación de mujeres”
Sarah L. Dawson (Spring 2000) for her project “La esperanza en las obras de Antonio Buero Vallejo”
Sarah Beaver (Spring 2003) for her project “La creación del mundo según los mayas (Popol Vuh) y los griegos (La teogonía de Hesiodo)”
Larisa J. Nordstrom (2006).
Cristina M. Narvaez (2006).
Andrea J. Ohles (2011).
Courtney L. Guertin (2013).
Haley E. Woods (2016) for her project “El paisaje lingüístico virtual: la disponibilidad y accesibilidad del español en el ciberespacio de Northfield” / “The Virtual Linguistic Landscape: The Availability and Accessibility of Spanish in the Cyberspace of Northfield, Minnesota.”