Mr Fernando Escalona, Ambassador of Argentina, with prize winner Deborah Thompson.


Top Spanish students recognised by Ambassador

Argentine Ambassador Fernando Escalona has presented Massey University’s top Spanish students with the Argentine Embassy Prize.

The new award recognises academic achievement in Spanish language and culture papers in the 2011 academic year.

Mr Escalona says the embassy had an excellent relationship with Massey University, which was well known in Argentina especially in the agricultural sector.

Now the embassy wants to strengthen ties between Massey and universities in Argentina.

“The Spanish department is very important as it allows students to feel more at home when they get to Argentina, not only with language but also with culture,” Ambassador Escalona says.

He congratulated the students for their enthusiasm. “We invite you all to visit Argentina to practice your Spanish.”

Deborah Thompson and Peter O’Gorman won the prize for 100-level, Tracey Castro Whare for 200-level and Daniel Harman for 300-level.

Miss Thompson says watching the Spanish football team in the FIFA World Cup in 2010 inspired her to learn the language and she hopes to go on exchange to Spain or Latin America.

Spanish lecturer Dr Leonel Alvarado of the School and Linguistic & International Languages says Miss Thompson’s level of Spanish was extraordinary.

“She hasn’t been to any Spanish speaking country but she speaks so well and is so studious.”

Mr Gorman, Mr Harman and Ms Whare are distance-learning students and were unable to attend.
Ms Whare lives in Panama but her parents accepted the award on her behalf.

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