Aron, O’Brien Awarded Luis Leal Scholarships

Kaitlyn O'Brien '19
Rachel Aron ’16

June 1, 2016 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Two Hispanic Studies majors at Illinois Wesleyan University have been awarded Luis Leal Endowed Scholarships.

Rachel Aron ’16 (Mt. Prospect, Ill.), who is also majoring in biology, and Kaitlyn O’Brien ’19 (Glenview, Ill.), who is also majoring in secondary education, will receive the scholarship to carry out Hispanic Studies research off-campus while enrolled in an IWU-affiliated program. Named for the Mexican-American writer and literary critic, Leal (1907-2010) was a pioneer in the field of Latin American and Chicano literature. He was the author of more than 40 books and more than 400 articles.

O’Brien will study abroad in Santiago, Chile in the spring of 2017. “I plan to conduct an independent study on Spanish literature and its connection to both Chilean society and education system,” said O’Brien. “I hope to gain a new perspective on how people in Chile value education and how certain cultural factors shape their values.”

At Illinois Wesleyan O’Brien is a teacher’s assistant for the IWU Language School for Kids. She is also a Language Resource Center monitor and member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and Alpha Lambda Delta honor society for first-year students. This summer she will also serve as a Titan Orientation Leader.

After graduation from Illinois Wesleyan O’Brien plans to teach high school Spanish.