Amber Lee Spurka graduated from Ursinus College with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish, cum laude, with minors in psychology and elementary education, departmental honors in Spanish and K-12 teaching certification during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 15, on the college campus. More than 340 students received bachelor’s degrees.
At Commencement, she received The Spanish Award, given by the Modern Language Department to honor an outstanding student in Spanish.
Spurka was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, and she will teach English in Spain during the academic year 2010-2011. She will complete her Fulbright fellowship in a K-12 school in Valencia, Spain. She first became familiar with the country as a student studying in the Ursinus in Madrid program, and completed honors research in Spanish with Professor Xochitl Shuru. While in high school, she had been an exchange student in Costa Rica. “It changed my whole life,” said Spurka, who has visited her host family annually. “I’d rather speak Spanish than English.”
Spurka was a Resident Advisor for first year students, an Ursinus College Ambassador, president of the Campus Activities Board, an Admission Office Tour Guide, and a Spanish tutor. Also at Ursinus, she was a program leader in the ESL (English as a Second Language) program that instructed the Spanish-speaking custodial staff in English, and she supervised a group of 20 peer tutors.
She completed the TEFL/TESOL teaching certification program in Cusco, Peru. She was an Ursinus Summer Fellow and a student teacher in the Spring-Ford School District.
During her time in Madrid, she had an International Language Assistantship at Colegio Santa Maria de La Hispanidad, where she taught English language and conversation classes to Spanish students at the elementary and high school levels. She also assisted in a Spanish immersion classroom to help young immigrants to Spain.