Marin Digs Deeper Into the Arabic Language

While other students walked across the stage and received their keys to the career world during graduation, Mikenna Marin, psychology major with double minors in Spanish and Middle Eastern Studies, had her eyes set on pursuing another year of language studies at the U of A.

Marin is returning to the University to continue studying Arabic. She was drawn to the language after listening to her professor, Dr. Paula Haydar, clinical assistant professor of Arabic, explain how she fell in love with the language.

“On the first day of class, she told us the story of how she stumbled into Arabic by accident,” said Marin. “I just remember listening to her story and thinking about how much it aligned with my life.”

After a few semesters of studying Arabic, Marin knew she had to have more, but she had to convince her parents to allow her to remain at the U of A for another year.

“At first, I was a little hesitant about asking, but I decided it was worth it,” said Marin.

Apparently Marin presented a strong case to her parents: she will be taking Arabic courses during the Fall and Spring Semesters.

Marin's desire to continue her studies has also been fueled by Dr. Haydar’s teaching methods, and her relentless desire for her students to grasp the language.

“Because Dr. Haydar started learning Arabic in a classroom, like us, she has a deeper understanding of what our Arabic experience is like, and I think that really helps her to really connect with her students and teach as well as she does.”

When Marin was asked to explain why studying a language is so important to her she said, “Learning a second language, no matter what it is, is one of the best things you can do because it opens so many doors personally and professionally."