Meet our Majors – Foreign Languages Questionnaire

Chase HukinsChase Hukins, majoring in Romance Languages is our 2013/2014 Major of the Year.

Name: Chase Sebastian Hukins

Major: Romance Language Major (Spanish Concentration) and International Studies (Business Track)

Year at UNO: Senior

Hometown: Carencro, Louisiana

Campus Involvement: I am the head delegate and President of UNO’s Model United Nations Club. Every year we take a delegation of students to National Conference in NYC where we debate political issues with students from over 200 domestic and international universities with the final days of conference actually being held in the Generally Assembly Hall in UN headquarters. I’m also the Vice President of Student Government and Presiding Officer of the Senate.

Favorite book/author (French, Spanish or other): I’d have to say my favorite book is Gabriel García Márquez’s “Hundred Years of Solitude”; although my favorite Spanish author is Pablo Neruda. I may not always have time to finish a whole book, but I can easily read a sonnet at any time. They’re short and sweet.

Favorite musical group: The Black Keys are my favorite band followed by the Gorillaz, Mumford and Sons, and Imagine Dragons. Favorite musical solo artist: I can’t pick one! Bruno Mars and Lupe Fiasco are probably my favorite artists. Also, recently I’ve discovered the French DJ, Madeon and I can’t stop listening to him.

Favorite actor/actress: Daniel Day-Lewis

Hobbies: I don’t have tons of free time, but I’m an avid video gamer. When I feel like getting out of the house I like playing golf, practicing fencing, and soccer.

Francophone or Hispanic person (living or deceased) whom you most admire and why: Simón Bolívar, El Libertador is just one of those figures whose resolve and vision were so strong that it shattered the established world around him. He wrenched many Latin American countries from the Spanish crown with a combination of ruthless strategy and leadership. It’s in the same vein as the story of David and Goliath; Bolívar went up against the Empire and successfully won the independence of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. He left a legacy as one of the greatest heroic leaders of Latin America. Favorite

French or Spanish word(s) or expression(s) and why: My favorite Spanish word to say, which comes from Nahuat’l for dog, is “escuincle” (es-queen-clay). Not for any particularly profound reason, it’s actually a semi-derogatory term for a little kid. I just like the way it sounds.

My favorite quote is actually one that I heard in Dr. Castellón’s literature class, “Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno.” It translates to the good, if brief, is twice as good. I think it’s why I love Neruda’s sonnets so much, because they are short yet moving. Things need not be long-winded to be profound.

Most memorable French or Spanish-related moment(s) at UNO and why: I got to write and perform a rap for my final project in my French 2002 class with Professor Bourderionnet. It was kind of like Karaoke, both hilarious and embarrassing at the same time.

Another great memory I have thanks to UNO was after I went on the Costa Rica program. Once school let out I met up with some of my Nicaraguan friends and spent the rest of the summer couch surfing in Managua. I traveled all over the country, got to hike up and surf down the side of a volcano, and all while being immersed in Spanish.

The main reason(s) I study a foreign language: The main reason I study foreign languages is simply because I enjoy it. They don’t seem so foreign to me; my grandparents’ native languages were (Cajun) French and Spanish. It feels just as much a part of my culture as English. Aside from that I think speaking more than one language broadens your mind because it forces you to think differently. There are many benefits to bilingualism from job opportunities, improved cognitive skills, to opening doors to make connections with new groups of people. I remember when I decided I wanted to start learning Spanish a friend of my grandmother gave me some encouragement that really stuck with me. She told me, “Una persona que habla dos lenguas, vale por dos.” A person that speaks two languages is worth double.

Countries visited and when: Italy (2007, 2009, 2012) England (2009) Holland (2009) Germany (2009, 2012) Austria (2009, 2012) Switzerland (2009) France (2009, 2012) Spain (2009, 2012) Costa Rica (2010) Nicaragua (2010) Czech Republic (2012) And Brazil for the World Cup this summer!

Graduate school/career plans: Currently, I’m looking into dual programs to get my JD and MBA simultaneously. Ideally, I’d like to work somewhere in the realm of international business.

Do you communicate in French or Spanish outside the classroom? If so, with whom and in what situations? I speak at home a lot with my roommate for practice or if we need to have a private conversation. In addition to that, I’m one of the few people who can speak Spanish at work. My boss relies on me a lot to help out when clients who speak little to no English have customer service issues.