Giving Voice


College of Liberal Arts student Ellie Sjordal is the editor and social media presence coordinator for Voc/zes, a Spanish language podcast which is bringing innovative cultural content to area high schools.

The podcast features interviews with metro area native speakers of Spanish and Portuguese conducted by Stephanie Anderson and Elizabeth Lake, instructors in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies and Voc/zes co-producers. Initially used for Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies courses, the Voc/zes team currently partners with the University’s College in the Schools program to bring the podcast and accompanying college-level coursework to regional high school instructors. 

In addition to its utility as a language-learning tool, Voc/zes provides valuable insight into the lives of local community members. “This builds awareness of how Latinx culture influences our University and Twin Cities communities, and shows how much Portuguese and Spanish is spoken around us,” said Lake.

Sjordal, a senior, will leave dozens of episodes as a legacy of her work with Voc/zes. “As a Spanish student, I'm passionate about including the voice of our local Latinx community in the classroom. It takes what we're learning and connects it to what's real and relatable, right outside our doors,” she said.