By Jamie Eglin
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Galina Santos Quiñones, 33, of Williamstown, is a Spanish professor at Camden County College who plans on teaching two courses of Spanish 102 in the spring semester.
Quiñones was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She moved in 2000 to study at Rowan University. In 2005, she completed her bachelor’s degree in languages and international studies and decided to take a break while working in a retail store.
Quiñones was approached to become a Spanish professor for English speakers at the college level in 2006 while receiving her master’s in education focusing on curriculum and instruction and applied linguistics. She is an A.B.D. doctorate student while pursuing her second M.A. in special education.
Quiñones has helped in evaluating and creating interdisciplinary curriculum. She has conducted and participated in workshop focusing on classroom management, instructional technology and language acquisition. Throughout her teaching experience, she has encountered many drawbacks regarding students who suffered from different disabilities and needed accommodations within the classroom setting. “There are many persons in our society that need help in order to fulfill their goals,” says Quiñones.
Quiñones was president of organizations – Senior Honor Society, Spanish Circle and Bureau of Cultural Organizations. She was involved in many other organizations, holding board positions. She was selected to represent Rowan University in an Ohio Leadership Conference as a president.
Quiñones got started to be interested in teaching Spanish because Spanish is her native language; she says, “Teaching is my passion.” She became interested in pursuing a career in education when tutoring students while she was in undergraduate school.
Christopher Milane, a student of Quiñones, says, “Professor Quiñones’s hard work and dedication truly has an effect on me. I can really tell that she loves to help us learn and she does everything she can to help us succeed.”
When she recalls how she got to where she is now, she says she thinks, “Wow, I often look back and it has been a roller coaster experience. You have many ups and downs; but each day is a lesson and we either learn from our mistakes or we continue to grow personally and professionally. I do have to thank my family for supporting me all this time.”
Quiñones has a hectic schedule. She can spend from 60 to 70 hours a week working, but she says it’s worth the effort.
“Spanish is such an essential language in our society,” she says. “Many people do not understand that regardless if we live in the United States, still, part of becoming acculturates is becoming familiar with other cultures.”