From the president

Susana Olivo Sandoval, a junior at the University of North Georgia, empowers individuals and communities through language instruction and cultural education opportunities. Susana views education as a key tool for achieving equity and inclusion; as such, she has focused her undergraduate education and advocacy work on understanding the root causes of discrimination and oppression. Eager to help other first generation students navigate and complete high school, she worked with UNG’s High School Equivalency Program (HEP), which assists migrant or seasonal farm workers obtain a GED. As a Goizueta Scholar, Susana has also assisted in translation at a local school, served at a local nonprofit, and mentored recently immigrated children. She is currently studying abroad in Japan to gain greater Japanese language fluency while learning more about interacting with diverse cultures. As a first-generation, Latinx college student herself, Susana strives to help individuals fulfill their potential through language acquisition, and she is keenly aware of how language teaching can help empower individuals and communities. Above all, Susana is eager to continue learning about and addressing the causes of oppression related to linguistic and cultural differences. Longer-term, she plans to deepen her knowledge of language acquisition and social justice during her PhD.

Bonita Jacobs


University of North Georgia


Personal Statement

I was raised in a traditional Mexican family, where women are not expected to study and pursue their dreams. I am breaking traditions to become the first in my family to graduate from college after moving to the US without knowing the language or culture. I experienced a lot of challenges, but I learned and improved myself. My civic action as a tutor confirmed my dream of becoming an educator. Education is essential to me, and my teachers and professors have shaped my life. During my first year in college, I interned with a program that prepares adult students for the GED. Then, I became a supplemental instructor for an English composition class at my university. Since my junior year, I have been a Japanese language tutor. My goal is to become a language professor. Through language learning, we can understand other cultures and become more sensitive to other countries' situations. We can put ourselves in another’s place. I want to help students to learn new languages so they can build bridges between different cultures. I am sure that if we have more students learning languages, they will then educate future generations about the importance of each culture.

Susana Olivo Sandoval

Spanish Modern Languages & East Asian Studies with Japanese Concentration

University of North Georgia