To Dr. Rosa Perez language is culture. She firmly believes learning a new language is a worthwhile experience because it opens your mind to something different; something you aren’t used to. Language is important for communication but, more importantly, it’s a door to new ideas, understanding and ways of life.
Perez earned her Bachelor in French with a Spanish minor from Hunter College, MPhil. and her Ph.D. in French from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She previously taught at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island then came to SUU in 2008 as an associate professor of French.
Perez teaches the following classes:
- FREN 1010 Beginning French I
- FREN 1020 Beginning French II
- FREN 1030 Accelerated French I
- FREN 1040 Accelerated French II
- FREN 3230 Advanced Vocabulary Study
- FREN 3512 History/Culture: Modern France
Her academic interests and research focus on medieval studies, Jewish culture and Francophone studies. She loves research and chose to become a professor because research and teaching compliment eachother well. In the classroom she shares her studies, encourages research and enjoys getting to know students on a personal level.
“Language classes are all about communication,” said Perez. “It gives us teachers a close relationship with our students because we’re always talking and having simple, casual, day-to-day conversations. We get to know our students in a way many other professors don’t.”
Perez has led several study abroad trips to France, though she prefers to visit smaller towns than Paris because it’s less overwhelming and touristy. She firmly believes that everyone should study abroad because it isn’t just for students studying language.
“It’s one thing is to see movies or talk in class about foreign countries; it’s another thing entirely to be there,” she explained. “It’s impactful to experience another culture. I’ve seen it change students’ lives because it opens their minds to new possibilities.”
Co-organizer for the SUU French Film Festival, Perez also believes it’s important to bring different cultures into the community. The festival takes place annually during January and February, is free of charge, the films are subtitled and each screening includes an introduction and post discussion.
Perez uses her language skills to serve the community and translate. She worked as a voice and speech coach for two Utah Shakespeare Festival plays and translated documents into French for the book The Life & Legacy of Baroness Betty de Rothschild.
French is an important language in the world today, especially for people involved in politics and diplomacy. Perez explained that although many people tend to assume it’s a language only spoken in France, it’s the official language of 29 countries. It’s also one of the fastest growing languages in the world. Even though Perez is partial to French she encourages all students to try different languages and chose to study one they enjoy the most.