Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Undergraduate Spotlight: Jesús Adolfo Hermosillo

Mon, January 14, 2019
Undergraduate Spotlight: Jesús Adolfo Hermosillo
Jesú Adolfo Hermosillo

Undergraduate Spotlight

Jesús Adolfo Hermosillo


My name is Jesús Adolfo Hermosillo, and I am a Junior double majoring in Linguistics and Spanish completing certificates in computer science and data science. I am first generation immigrant from the beautiful town of Mexticacán, Jalisco, México. My family and I moved to United States when I was 14 and made Houston our second home. After graduating high school, I decided to attend the University of Texas without really knowing what I wanted to do. During my time at UT, I discovered and nurtured my interest for the study of language. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow I have had the opportunity to conduct independent research on Spanish in contact with English in the US, Texas online politics, and Latinx collectivism and language. When I am not busy doing research or schoolwork, I enjoy dancing cumbias, playing my ukulele, writing poems, and spending time with friends.


Why did you decide to major in our department?

I decided to major in Spanish because it allows me to look at the study of language from a social and cultural perspective.



What was your favorite class (or classes!) and why?

My two favorite classes have been SPN 328C Introduction to Literatures and Cultures and SPN 330L Language and Linguistics in Society. Through these classes I have learned about social issues I was not aware of. In the former I learned to critically analyze and better understand texts through the epistemologies of the authors. With a focus on indigenous studies, this class also taught me to embrace my indigenous roots and understand how to confront coloniality.  Language and Linguistics in Society was the class that first introduced me to Linguistics. In this class I learned that this discipline was something I wanted to purse as a career. I learned about the Spanish language from a scientific perspective and how it plays a role in society. This class set the basis for most of my research projects.



What is the most important/interesting thing you learned through your coursework in our department?

There have been multiple interesting things I have learned through my coursework in Spanish. If I had to choose one, it would be Spanish variation. It amazes me how Spanish can be so different depending on the region and how indigenous languages have contributed to regional morphologies and phonetic processes.



What have you learned about yourself through coursework in our department?

Through coursework on Spanish Linguistics I have learned about my place as Mexican immigrant in the United States from a linguistic, social and cultural perspective.



What are some of the skills or abilities you have learned through your coursework in our department?

Some of the skills that I have learned through coursework in the department include critically analyzing and writing academic articles, conducting independent research projects, and challenging the colonial status quo.


In what way(s) will the knowledge and skills you have cultivated through your coursework in our department help you in your personal and professional life after graduation?

Through an extensive and holistic analysis of the Spanish language and Latin American cultures, I have been able to go from a consumer of knowledge to a producer of knowledge. I have participated in linguistic research labs such as BATs and LLAMA Lab where I have contributed by bringing different perspectives on how to approach the study of language contact and bilingualism. Furthermore, I have been able to present research projects and laboratory work at various academic venues including the Code-Switching in Indigenous Languages Colloquium, Longhorn Research Bazar, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Regional Conference, and the Hispanic Linguistics Symposium. I intend to pursue a doctoral degree in linguistics, and I can say that the Spanish department has been of immense help throughout my undergraduate career.


Anything else you would like to add?

I am very honored to share that my first academic article was recently accepted for publication on the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Journal. The article, tentatively called ‘Language and Dialect contact in Houston, Texas: Lexical Leveling and Maintenance’, explains how contact between Spanish dialects and Spanish and English as well as language ideologies in Spanish-speaking Houston contribute to the normalization and maintenance of different lexical items.









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