Majors and year of graduation: Spanish, International Studies; 2006
Professional Certification: CMI (Spanish) from the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters
Hometown: Munising, MI
Current city: Brooklyn, NY
Life in New York
Kelly Hoover is a nationally certified medical interpreter of Spanish. She currently works in Queens, NY where she coordinates a language assistance program at Jamaica Hospital and instructs her own medical interpreting classes for the City University of New York.
To read about Kelly's path to becoming a certified medical interpreter, and her advice for students interested in pursuing certification, read "An Interview with Medical Interpreter Kelly Hoover".
A look back at NMU...
Languages studied at NMU: Spanish, Portuguese
Why did you choose to study those languages?
Spanish was the only language offered in my high school when I was a student so when I got to NMU I already had a good base and chose to continue. Portuguese because it is so similar to Spanish.
When did you begin your language education?
Have you studied another language since graduating from NMU? Where?
I studied Korean, while in Korea and since.
Did you have a favorite language instructor at NMU?
Dr. Compton - an excellent professor and advisor.
While still an NMU student, where did you find opportunities to speak the language you were learning outside of the classroom?
I worked in the language lab tutoring other students, made friends with international students, and joined the Spanish Club.
While still an NMU student, did you study abroad? Where did you go, and why? How did the experience enhance your studies? Did it influence your future plans?
I studied abroad once in Costa Rica and later in Guatemala. While I don’t remember what convinced me to head to Costa Rica, a fellow student and a favorite book of mine (Secrets of the Talking Jaguar) that was assigned for a non language-related class influenced me to go to Guatemala. Thankfully, it was one of the best experiences of my life. Studying abroad in my opinion should be mandatory for language majors. I perfected my accent and did heavy duty work on my grammar while abroad. While I was in Guatemala I went to school, lived with a host family and ended up working at an American bar and for a cell phone company doing promotional work at the same time. I loved it so much I even changed my plane ticket to extend my stay another month, getting back just in time for the NMU graduation.
Did you have an opportunity to work abroad?
I worked as an ESL Teacher in South Korea for one year, I highly recommend it. My experience finding a job was quick, easy and my bosses were trustworthy.
A memorable thing that happened to you when traveling abroad (either pre or post-graduation from NMU):
While I was studying in Guatemala, I was walking down the cobblestone streets in Antigua when a girl on the other side of the street started yelling and waving at me. I looked at her as if she were an alien probably, but when it was safe she ran over to my side of the street and I recognized her - she was a fellow NMU student that had been in one of my classes the semester prior! Neither of us knew the other was going to Guatemala. On the same note, I also coincidentally met NMU graduates and people from Marquette in South Korea and Costa Rica.
Your favorite foreign language word or phrase (and what it means):
밥 먹었어? Which is pronounced like “Bap meogeosseo?” is something the older lady in the kimbap restaurant around the corner would always ask me in Korea. Literally, this is an adult’s way of saying to a child “have you eaten rice?” but it is also one of their most common greetings in Korea. I love that their culture is so closely tied to their food.