By Sophia Harris
This semester, Framingham State welcomed Hola FSU – a Spanish podcast to get students involved in the Hispanic community.
Professor Beatriz Alvarado, a visiting lecturer, noticed many students in her class listen to and enjoy podcasts. She wanted to implement this in the classroom.
“I came up with a way to connect with my students using what they are using nowadays,” she said.
Hola FSU was originally created as a platform for students to post their homework for a Latin American literature class.
Students were able to post their responses and refIect on Latin American authors and Latin American literature.
Hola FSU then blossomed into a platform to connect with the Hispanic community at FSU and the City of Framingham.
She said she is “very proud of the student work” that went into creating this podcast.
Interviews with people of Hispanic heritage, including President F. Javier Cevallos and Professor Nilza Gonzalez-Pedemonte, are showcased on this platform.
Alvarado said the goal of this podcast is for “people of Hispanic origin to listen to this podcast and feel engaged and connected with other Hispanics working and studying at FSU.”
She said she was looking to “connect Hispanics with other Hispanics” in the creation of this podcast.
Alvarado said FSU is “about to be a Hispanic-serving institution,” and because the University is welcoming more Hispanic students and teachers, it’s important for them to have a platform on which to connect.
MaKenna Mancuso, a senior Communication Arts major, edits and promotes the podcast through her internship.
She said she was recruited onto the podcast after a recommendation by Niall Stephens, department chair of communication media and performance.
Mancuso said, “Originally, it was supposed to only last a few weeks, and then it turned into an
internship for me. It was a win-win for both of us.”
She said she is in charge of “helping edit the podcast, combining the audios together, managing the progress of it, and promoting it.”
Mancuso said the podcast is a platform to showcase students’ work from Latin American literature and to connect with people within the Hispanic community.
She said it is a great project to work on because it gives “people in this community a voice.”
She said she really enjoyed working with Alvarado and the creation of the podcast inspired her to begin to learn Spanish.
Owen Thornton, a sophomore history major, said he often listens to podcasts.
He said a Spanish podcast enhances the FSU community because FSU has “a really good Spanish program, and drawing more people into that and letting them see what the Spanish program is all about here would be really valuable.”
He said he is looking forward to listening to Hola FSU.
Nicolle Fernandes, a sophomore psychology major, said she thinks the podcast will “knock down barriers where people think everything has to be in English.”
She said she thinks the podcast will “pull in all different types of people.”
Fernandes said she is “definitely” looking forward to listening to the podcast.
Lainey Morrison, an undeclared freshman, said she listens to podcasts occasionally but is excited to check out Hola FSU.
She said having a Spanish-language podcast at FSU is a “really good way to be inclusive.”
Morrison said it’s a beneficial way to connect with different communities and “open up that conversation.”
Alvarado said she hopes the World Languages Department or another department will continue this podcast once the semester is over.
Mancuso said she hopes the future of the podcast will bring “different languages, other perspectives, people, other minorities – just sharing their stories, their perspectives.”
Hola FSU can be streamed on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Anchor.