Jeff Bowers

For Jefferson Bowers, English started his Spanish journey. 

“A lot of people say it’s crazy to see a little white kid speaking Spanish, but it all started when I was 16 years old in English class with a Mexican guy named Hugo” Said Bowers. “I just started messing with him asking stupid typical ignorant questions like, “Do they have TVs down “there” (Mexico)?” and stuff along those lines.”

First year assistant Spanish Professor Jefferson Bowers, originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina, graduated from Appalachian State in the fall of 2014 with a masters degree in Spanish, but at first sight you would not expect him to be a Spanish professor. Ironically, his passion for Spanish all began in an English class.

“A lot of people say it’s crazy to see a little white kid speaking Spanish, but it all started when I was 16 years old in English class with a Mexican guy named Hugo” Said Bowers. “I just started messing with him asking stupid typical ignorant questions like, “Do they have TVs down “there” (Mexico)?” and stuff along those lines.” 

Bowers said Hugo’s family always ate dinner earlier than his and often invited him to stay. Sitting around the table was the first exposure to Spanish and since then he’s been listening to music, watching movies, and trying to dive into the culture. “You have to be interested in learning, and motivated to learn… I tried to say everything I said in English in my head in Spanish,” Bowers said “I was obviously very wrong on most of it, but it allowed me to think through the organization of the language.” 

Students say Bowers’ teaching style has been beneficial to them. 

“Jeff has been an incredible Spanish teacher and has really helped me when I needed help understanding different conjugations, and translations,” said sophomore Matt Crumbley who is currently enrolled in Bower’s Spanish 1102 class. 

“He’s just a genuine and happy guy who makes learning the language fun,” said freshman Leul Tekilemariam, Piedmont student. 

“I think he really makes learning the language fun for all the students, and he’s understanding of the unintentional ignorance some students may have with Spanish culture, but learning from him intrigues us to get connected with the culture,” said Cameron Earls, a sophomore at Piedmont College. 

Out of class Bowers hopes to translate his love of Spanish to his students. Bowers says he “loves to see people gain interest in the culture and language of Spanish-speaking countries. (and) really enjoys seeing people get excited about the language.”

“My greatest reward is being able to interact with the students and see them grow academically and personally… and I want them to know that they are truly appreciated and an important part of Piedmont College. 

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