Anita Klasing, a Spanish in the Workplace major and Music minor from Mountain Brook, Alabama completed a twenty page Spanish paper on the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico for her Capstone project this past semester.
Her research analyzed their relationship from its beginning and used specific historical examples to show how the United States does not treat the territory of Puerto Rico the same way it does its states even though Puerto Ricans are technically United States citizens.
Klasing used the United States’ poor response to the destruction of Puerto Rico during last year’s Hurricane Maria as the major illustration of this broken relationship.
When asked what inspired her to choose her research topic, Klasing said that she chose this topic because she had “always had an interest in the territories of the United States,” but Puerto Rico in particular really caught her attention because of the hurricane.
Outside of school, Klasing uses her Spanish skills to share her heart for people all over the world in her annual mission trips to Honduras. She said, upon looking at a photo of her with children, “The boy on the left is one that my family has been privileged to sponsor for the past five years.”
Now that she has graduated, Klasing is spending a semester in Chile as an English teacher for the English Opens Doors program. She describes her experience as “wonderful,” and is excited to be able to use what she learned in her Spanish studies at BSC to impact the lives of her middle-and high school students in a real-world setting.
Klasing says that her best piece of advice for other students who are about to conduct their own senior research is that “it is okay to change your research paper topic.” She adds, “I, along with the two others in my class, changed our topics probably three to four times each…as soon as you find the right topic, don’t hesitate to begin researching, finding sources that may or may not be useful, and start piling up sources you can look through later when the time comes to begin writing.