Making the decision to attend Messiah College was an easy one for James Fetterman. In fact, he stopped applying to other universities once he received confirmation of his admission. Throughout his studies as a Spanish major (with teaching certification), he was challenged academically and grew spiritually, and never regretted that instantaneous decision. During his junior year, he studied abroad for six months in Valparaíso, Chile, at La Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. His experience abroad turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of his college experience, helping to improve his Spanish skills while also opening his eyes to different points of view and ways of life.
James says that one of the major takeaways from his undergraduate studies is the importance of plurality of thought. As a language and education major, his classroom experiences constantly reinforced this idea, and he came to view Messiah as a place where diversity and distinctiveness are respected, embraced, and celebrated. He also says that because his professors encouraged the sharing of these perspectives and world view, he left Messiah recognizing the great beauty found in our distinctiveness.
Upon graduating from Messiah, James began a career as a high school Spanish teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, where is he still currently employed. He has taught Spanish classes for both nonnative and heritage-speaking students in a variety of settings, including both regular and alternative education. In addition to teaching Spanish, he also serves as the World Languages & Cultures Department Chair for his high school and the Co-chair of Spanish curriculum for the school division. He also concurrently pursued a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Language Teaching from Michigan State University and graduated from that program in 2015.