Farewell to Susana Braylan
Senior Lecturer Susana Braylan is retiring in May 2019. Susana first came to UF as an undergraduate student in 1980, earned her MA in Spanish Literature in 1990, and was hired as a full-time Lecturer in Spanish in 1997. She recalls with gratitude the influence of those professors who opened her eyes to a new world and shaped her into a more enlightened person. Susana mentions in particular Dr. Adolfo Prieto, “mentor and guide, great friend and advisor,” and Dr. Geraldine Nichols, who opened the doors to feminism and feminist thought for her.
Over her more than two decades working at UF, Susana has served the department in a wide range of capacities. Reflecting on these, she says she believes the most important educational project of her time, and her major contribution to SPS, was to coordinate the Spanish as a Heritage Language Program (formerly the Bilingual Program, and originally the Native and Near-Native Speakers Program, designed and directed for several years by Dr. Reynaldo Jiménez). Susana introduced changes to the program and vigorously promoted it across the UF campus. She is pleased to leave the Bilingual Program in the capable hands of Drs. Diego Pascual and Víctor Jordán-Orozco.
Susana’s participation in SPS’s study abroad programs constitutes her most cherished professional experience. She accompanied groups of UF students four times to Santander and twice to Valencia. She also initiated and directed a program in Buenos Aires, which ran for only a few years. Susana particularly enjoyed having her students share their experiences with her, as well as witnessing the amazement and joy they felt at discovering new places.
Susana has kept in touch with many of her former students, especially via social media. “They make me feel that I have made a small but positive mark on their lives, which assures me that although I will be retired I will remain present in their lives,” she writes.
As for her retirement plans, Susana wants to spend time with family members she has barely seen lately, especially the growing number of grandchildren she has around the world in Texas, Argentina, and Spain. She and Horacio plan to move to North Carolina, where they will be able to cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway on their Gold Wing motorcycles!