May 30, 2013 | 8:55 a.m.
By Jenny Hudalla '15
(L to R) NACFLA vice president Tamara Townsend and NACFLA president Jan Evans congratulate Sydney Quandt '13 and Bethel Associate Professor of Spanish Sandi Weightman.
Bethel University student Sydney Quandt, who graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences recently, received an award from the North American Christian Foreign Language Association (NACFLA) this spring. Quandt is one of the first two students to receive the Emerging Scholars’ Award, which recognizes students for their contribution to the integration of faith and learning in the field of world languages, literatures, and cultures. Even though NACFLA’s annual conference is primarily for professors to share their research with colleagues, students are also invited to present.
Under the mentorship of Associate Professor of Spanish Sandi Weightman, Quandt presented at Covenant College in Georgia, and was selected as an award recipient for her paper, “Latina/o Feminist Theology--La vida es la lucha: The Struggle is Life,” a perspective that Quandt considers rarely heard. “Presenting at the conference was such a joy,” she says. “I left feeling encouraged and excited about how this research will continue to shape me as I learn to include diverse Biblical perspectives.”
An East Moline, Ill., native, Quandt completed her undergraduate education this spring with degrees in Spanish, youth ministry, and reconciliation studies. Although her post-graduation plans remain flexible, she is grateful for the opportunities that speaking Spanish will provide her.
“I love being able to communicate with people, so knowing Spanish is an invaluable skill for me,” she said. “I am excited that its uses have no limits, and I can use it anywhere!”
Wherever she ends up, Quandt will always remember the help and guidance she has received from her Bethel professors. “There have been so many professors who have poured into my life—in all three areas of my study—and have helped me to feel prepared for the future,” she says. “I am challenged and encouraged by their confidence in me.”