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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Talia Bugel

Sponsor Department/Program

Department of International Language and Culture Studies

Student Department/Program

Department of Biology, and Department of International Language and Culture Studies

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


As our diversity continues to rise throughout the Fort Wayne area, enriching various aspects of life in our community, we also welcome populations of various, non-English speaking minorities and with this a number of detrimental miscommunications throughout our community follow. These communication barriers are evident throughout our city; young, bilingual children often act as interpreters for monolingual parents, however, not all non-English speakers have this advantage, nor is it always appropriate. Due to HIPPA and a general lack of medical Spanish interpreters and translators, a stressful and terrifying situation for any native English speaker in his/her own country, can suddenly become even more horrifying when non-English speakers find that the professionals assigned to their care cannot save their life or decrease their pain because they cannot even begin to understand what is causing the problem. Therefore, as a future medical professional, the necessity for my acquisition of a second language is paramount so that I can work, brick by brick to tear down the communication barriers that stand between me and the well-being of my future patients. For this acquisition to be successful, I must learn not only how to speak, read and write the Spanish language, as I have been taught in all of my previous classes, but I must also learn to speak and understand true, native Spanish which is more than just words and grammatical rules, but a conveyance of culture, values and emotions that cannot be explained by direct, word-for-word translations but must be experienced in the native context in which they occur, which is why my Service Learning class at Clinica Madre de Dios is so vital to my education. Working as an interpreter and translator at the Clinica has taught me that direct, hands on experience is rich in the context and real life situations that other classes simply cannot provide. 15


First and Second Language Acquisition | Latin American Studies | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Clinica Madre de Dios: a Medical Spanish Service Learning Project