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Spanish, humanities classes enrich business major

May 16, 2024
A man poses for a picture on steps

KOKOMO, Ind. —Jordan Hostetler knew earning a certificate in Spanish would add value to his business management degree from Indiana University Kokomo.

What he didn’t know was that it would also enrich his student experience — and that he would end up earning a minor in Spanish, with encouragement from J.R. Pico, teaching professor in Spanish and humanities.

“He helped me realize how important Spanish is, and how much I can get out of it, not only with my future career, but in my personal life,” said Hostetler, who graduated in May. “We’ve done a lot of interesting activities in Spanish literature, Spanish grammar, and Spanish conversation.”

He’s also applied what he’s learned in an internship with Solidarity Community Federal Credit Union, assisting in marketing, providing translation services at events, and translating the website from English to Spanish to make it more accessible to clients who speak English as their second language. While many of them do speak English, they appreciate being able to read in their first language, to be sure they are understanding everything being communicated to them.

“You want to be sure the language on the website is being translated as accurately as possible,” he said, adding that Pico, whose first of many languages is Spanish, reviews his work as he goes. “You’re not just translating the words, you’re translating the ideas,” he said.

He lives in Logansport, which has a growing Hispanic population, and hopes to work there, so fluency in Spanish will benefit him, he said.

Hostetler earned the Outstanding Student in Spanish award and was inducted into the Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Spanish Honor Society.

Along with Pico, he said Karla Stouse, teaching professor of English and humanities, was influential on his time at IU Kokomo. He was one of 10 students chosen to travel to England with Stouse this summer for the Innovation Symposium, which uses overseas travel to encourage students to develop solutions to global challenges.

“Karla has changed the way I think,” he said. “We’ve read books in her class that were centered around creative thinking and viewing things from different perspectives. That helps with my life in general, beyond the classroom. We’ve studied the ways innovations have been made throughout time, and notable figures who are considered geniuses, learning from their success and failures.”

He was also honored with induction into Beta Gamma Sigma honorary in business, recognizing his academic achievement at IU Kokomo.

Hostetler maintained excellent grades while working full time as a personal trainer at the Cass County YMCA in Logansport, teaching group fitness classes for women and for seniors, along with providing one-on-one training sessions. While he hasn’t decided what he wants to do for a career, he hopes to continue working as a trainer in addition to his career.

“I like to help people learn how to exercise properly without hurting themselves,” he said, in particular older clients.

“It’s important for them to continue exercising, for their independence and better outcomes,” he said. “I consider a lot of my clients to be my friends now. I’ve gotten to know many of them well, and I care about them and their success.”

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

Contact Info

Erin Witt, director of media and marketing
765-455-9468
witterin@iu.edu

Danielle Rush, communications specialist
765-432-9906
darush@iu.edu

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