Denisse Quintanilla ’22 received the 12th Mario Vargas Llosa Award, during the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) National Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 10. The award is granted yearly to one undergraduate Spanish major or minor who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in all upper-division courses completed and exemplary involvement in extra-curricular activities related to Spanish. The award was presented by AATSP Executive Director Sheri Spaine Long, Ph.D., and Mark Del Mastro, Ph.D., executive secretary-treasurer/director of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi.
Quintanilla graduated with a 4.00 GPA in each and all her upper-level Spanish courses in a demanding BA in Spanish – Concentration in Communication/MSP. She was a member of the team working in the award-winning student-run radio show “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos,” one of the very few college radio shows in Spanish in the nation. There she aided in the creation of a 10-minute audio piece that won an award at The Intercollegiate Broadcast System (IBS) for “Best Foreign Language” show in March 2020.
According to Professor Pricilla Gac-Artigas, by receiving that award, Monmouth University became the first university radio station outside California to achieve the honor. “Denisse´s contributions were a key to that success,” Gac-Artigas said.
“Thank you to Dr. Sheri Spaine Long and Dr. Mark del Mastro and the selection committee for this award and for the incredible opportunity and experience,” Quintanilla said upon receiving the award. “Additionally, thank you to my professors at Monmouth University for allowing me to combine my Spanish skills in my assignments and in particular, Dr. Priscilla Gac-Artigas for believing in my potential and nominating me. I dedicate this award to my parents who, since I was little, instilled in me to speak this language and learn about its culture. Thanks to their support and teachings I was able to receive this award. As I embark on my professional journey, I’ll continue to use my bilingualism skills to inform the Hispanic community, and to live up to the intention of this award. Gracias!”