Spanish language is highlight of SBCC’s annual faculty lecture

Spanish+Professor+Dr.+Sonia+Zuniga-Lomeli+does+a+practice-run+the+day+before+she+will+host+City+College%E2%80%99s+36th+Annual+Faculty+Lecture%2C+Tuesday%2C+April+14%2C+in+the+Garvin+Theatre+in+Santa+Barbara.+Zuniga-Lomeli%E2%80%99s+speech+will+focus+on+her+passion+for+the+evolution+of+the+Spanish+language.

Ryan Cullom

Spanish Professor Dr. Sonia Zuniga-Lomeli does a practice-run the day before she will host City College’s 36th Annual Faculty Lecture, Tuesday, April 14, in the Garvin Theatre in Santa Barbara. Zuniga-Lomeli’s speech will focus on her passion for the evolution of the Spanish language.

Devon Seefeldt, Channels Contributor

Dr. Sonia Zuniga-Lomeli will host City College’s 36th Annual Faculty Lecture at 2:30 p.m. April 15 in the Garvin Theatre.

The Spanish professor of nearly 25 years was elected by her peers in 2014, and has then been preparing for her speech “From Rabbits to Spanglish: Journey of a Language.”

The presentation will focus on her passion for the evolution of the Spanish language in today’s society.

Zuniga-Lomeli has combined her interest in teaching and her love of language to get to where she is today. Her fascination with language has been prominent ever since she was a little girl. She said she loved the sound of languages, pronunciations, and accents for as long as she can remember.

“When I travel, even in the U.S., I am always paying attention to the sounds and the fact that through language we communicate,” she said. “It makes us who and what we are as humans.”

Sitting in her corner office of the Humanities Building, she said she’s definitely nervous heading into the speech.

“It’s a good nervous,“ she said. “The idea of being surrounded by your colleagues and students, I don’t want to let them down.”

After found out that she had been named as the speaker she said a wave of emotion came over her.

“I was elated, proud, insecure, all of those emotions that can converge did,” Zuniga-Lomeli said. “To be put at that level by my peers and students is quite an honor.”

Teaching has always been a passion for Zuniga-Lomeli and she truly believes in the effect that teachers have on their students. Her passion for education came after she taught a summer program for Puerto Rican high school students in New York City. It was her first time teaching, and she immediately realized how much she enjoyed it.

“I fell in love with the experience of seeing young people go ‘Wow, I didn’t know that’, it really sparked my attention. I had always admired my teachers,” she said.

There is an obvious glimmer in Zuniga-Lomeli’s eyes when she speaks about language.

“We use language to ask questions, answer questions, we think through language, we go to war because of language, we make love because of language,” she said. “Everything is language based.”