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Elizabeth O’Connell-Inman: Spanish Professor and… Pilot

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

Professor Elizabeth O’Connell- Inman, Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Director of Directed Independent Spanish Curriculum, cites this quote as the best advice for living one’s life. She tells students, “You have a compass. Keep going back to it. Your life will not unfold in a linear fashion. It will not be the story you thought you were writing. Be resilient. Be compassionate. And make good choices.”

After graduating from the College of the Holy Cross in 1979, Professor O’Connell-Inman returned to teach and has been doing just that for twenty-six years. She says, “Coming to teach at Holy Cross was like coming home. My father and grandfather were alums, and I am now teaching the sons and daughters of my classmates!”

Her job consists of teaching a wide variety of Spanish classes, including Elementary 1, Medical Spanish, and Debate and Advanced Oral Expression. She also directs the language and technology program (DISC: Directed Independent Spanish Curriculum), where students work independently with a technology-based language curriculum. The DISC program requires her to keep track of about hundred students per semester in six different levels of language learning.

For her, the best thing about teaching at the College of the Holy Cross is the relationships she forms with her students and advisees. She says, “I love watching my students grow intellectually, find themselves, find their passion. The last advising session and last class second semester senior year is bittersweet. These students have transformed before my eyes! And then they come back to visit after graduation having done amazing work, and I see pictures of them with their kids on Facebook, and I marvel at the people they have become.”

Not only does Professor O’Connell-Inman enjoy teaching, she also enjoys flying. She says, “I once piloted a plane! A friend owns a 4-seat Cessna and we used to fly around New England, frequently popping over to Nantucket or the Vineyard for lunch. One day, he sat back and had me take the controls. It was terrifying—and probably a little bit illegal—but, in the end, great fun!”

Maybe the next time you encounter Professor O’Connell-Inman she will offer you a ride in her plane. If not, just say hi and remember to “make good choices.”

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Evan Grogan

Holy Cross

Evan Grogan is a senior at the College of the Holy Cross who is studying abroad for the year at the University of St Andrews. She is an English and Art History double major and eventually hopes to attend graduate school for journalism and write for The New York Times. When Evan is not busy with school and writing for both Holy Cross' newspaper and Her Campus, she loves to read; go for runs; and spend time with her friends. She is obsessed with the color navy, rainbow sprinkles, and anything involving glitter. 
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