Mallery Bee

Junior Spanish and Latinx Studies double-major Mallery Bee has been a part of RLL’s Gender Diversity Committee (GDC) for the past year, and is excited about the meaningful, innovative work they and their colleagues have been doing.

“We are working on developing pedagogical materials to implement gender-diverse language into all the RLL language courses,” they said. “It has been such a joy to be a part of this committee. I feel so passionate about gender-inclusive language.”

Mallery is a Student Research Assistant within the Spanish and Catalan sub-committees of the RLL GDC. They and their colleagues create gender-inclusive instructional videos and podcasts, and also design written materials for instructors and students to use.

Mallery remarked that they have seen great interest in the development of these new materials within the RLL community. Mallery said RLL coordinators and instructors are eager to have these resources available in order to provide stronger support and greater gender inclusivity for all students in their classrooms, including for trans students and non-binary students.

“It definitely has made me feel a lot more directed in using Spanish as a form of activism,” Mallery said, as they reflected on their involvement with the committee.

Throughout the coursework they’ve completed, Mallery has noticed numerous connections between their Spanish major in RLL and their Latinx Studies major in the Department of American Culture.

“It’s really surprising to me how much my majors have gone hand in hand,” they said. “There’s been a ton of overlap between things we’re talking about. I feel so inspired by the classes here; the professors are so talented and genuinely care about the students.”

“I’ve always been fascinated with languages and Spanish feels so relevant with the growing Latinx population in the US; it feels important to speak the language,” Mallery said. “Language is such a basic and important connector.”

Mallery utilizes their language skills to help fellow U-M students practice speaking Spanish, through their work as a Conversation Circles Facilitator in the Residential College. They also work as a Teaching Assistant at a Bilingual Preschool in Ann Arbor, speaking Spanish and English with the students.

Mallery is looking forward to studying abroad in Argentina during Fall 2023 through the U-M Center for Global and Intercultural Study’s Buenos Aires Advanced Spanish Language Program.

“I’m excited to live in a Latin American country,” they said. “I want to improve my Spanish and also make some Argentine friends.”

In the future, Mallery looks forward to gaining further experience in their areas of interest through internships or other opportunities.

“One of the things I am missing is real world experience with the issues I want to deal with,” Mallery said. “I would really like to work closely with Latin American communities, possibly in immigration law or in social work. I’m hoping to try different things out to see what sounds right to me.”

“I want to make sure I can approach whatever I do in a hands-on way first, so field work appeals to me more than office work,” Mallery continued. “I’m excited to get out and start trying some things and probably failing at things and learning in that way.”