The ELI Student Spotlight (formerly Student of the Month) series is designed to honor students who demonstrates outstanding commitment and enthusiasm in ELI courses. 

Meet María Rodríguez Santiago! Maria was nominated by Katie Coleman for her Fall 2019 work in ELI 521: Writing for Academic Purposes and ELI 522: Research Paper Writing. Professor Coleman commended Maria on her great commitment to academic writing, and "serious, inquisitive, and actively engaged in both classes, readily offering helpful insights in class discussions." She was particularly impressed with Maria's use of descriptive language, noting that her papers were "truly a delight to read."

Name: Maria Rodriguez Santiago

Hometown: Naranjito, Puerto Rico

Degree Program and Area of Research: PhD in Italian (Romance Languages and Literatures), The Catholic Novel

What inspired you to take a class at the English Language Institute? As a Phd student I need to develop my academic writing skills in English since this is the language of Academia. Therefore, I decided to register in two courses at the ELI in order to understand and master what is considered academic writing.

What have you enjoyed the most about your class? Why? I really enjoyed my instructor's methodology to teach and the valuable feedback that she thoroughly provided for each of my assignments. Moreover, the book was very helpful and handy.

What do you hope to do after graduating from Michigan? Travel the world. Save stray dogs and become a Professor of Spanish and Italian Literature and Language.

What advice would you give to other international students at U-M? To definitely take classes at the ELI as soon as they get accepted at the U of M. I did it on my third year and realized that I should have done so earlier since many of my writing weaknesses were immediately addressed in my ELI courses.