MA in Foreign Languages

Melanie Baca-Ortiz

Melanie Baca-Ortiz

What attracted you to this program and the Spanish concentration?

I was attracted to the M.A. in Foreign Languages program because it offers classes such as Hemispheric Mediascapes and Methods of Literary and Cultural Studies which cover a range of topics, including but not limited to, the history of Latin America, literature, popular culture, media and gender studies. The professors at the Department of Modern and Classical Languages strongly encourage all students to provide feedback on courses they have taken. I especially appreciate that the professors take into account students’ interests and opinions when deciding on course offerings for the following semester and in hiring faculty members.

What are your research interests?  

My research interests focus on the Latin American region and I am particularly interested in researching the history and culture of Latin America. In 2020, I became a Thomas R. Pickering Fellow, which is a foreign affairs fellowship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. It aims to professionally and academically prepare young professionals to join the U.S. Foreign Service. Once I complete the M.A. in Foreign Languages, I will be well equipped in navigating Latin America and fully understanding its rich history and culture, which will serve me well in my goal to work as a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Do you have any advice for prospective students in the program?

I strongly encourage future applicants to reach out to both faculty members and current students to know more about the M.A. in Foreign Languages program at George Mason University. In addition to this, future applicants should attend a graduate course to familiarize themselves with the class structure, interesting class discussions, and challenging assignments.