June 17, 2024

By Haley Dittbrenner ’25

Shannel Jimenez '27 Shannel Jimenez ’27When Shannel Jimenez ’27 visited Susquehanna University as a high school student, it happened to be the day the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures hosted its annual event, A Walk Down Language Lane.

The event invites the campus community to share thoughts, original poetry, a story, a quote, a simple translation — anything — written in chalk on Kurtz Lane in any language other than English.

“This event made such an impression on me because as a first-generation American student who comes from the Dominican Republic, it was nice to see a space dedicated to inclusion,” Jimenez said. “In other words, it made me feel like I belonged.”

Fast forward one year and Jimenez, now a student in Associate Professor of Spanish Studies Greg Severyn’s Spanish 302 course, organized the event as a first-year student at Susquehanna. She put her own spin on the event by including music.

Jimenez hopes that her involvement with Language Lane will help other incoming students feel welcome.

“What struck me about the event when I visited last year was the sheer number of different languages that were written on Kurtz Lane, which to me meant a wide diaspora of cultures and different demographics,” Jimenez said. “I hope others take away from this event that there is diversity at SU.”

In the future, Jimenez, a double major in history and philosophy with a minor in sociology, intends to assist with other language-centric events.