Intrigued by cultures, Halpern says `Hola’

By Jennifer Ford
November 2, 2000

photo by Michelle Palandro

by Jennifer Ford
staff writer

In 1984, Cynthia Halpern, department chair of the romance language department, began her teaching career at Cabrini College. She worked here part-time and spent the rest of her time getting her doctorate. In 1991, Halpern left Cabrini College. She returned as a full time teacher here in 1994.

She and other faculty advisers are the chairs of Phi Sigma Iota. Halpern teaches all levels of Spanish.

Over the summer, Halpern directs Casa Cabrini. Casa Cabrini, founded by Halpern in 1995, is a Spanish summer camp for children ages 7 to 12. It is available to all children.

In her free time, Halpern likes to spend time with her family. Last weekend, she and her family participated in Midnight Madness. Halpern played on the winning faculty basketball team that night. The Halpern family comes to Cabrini for many family events.

When she is not focusing on her family, her academic field or her teaching, Halpern likes to gardening. She likes to cook and read as well.

Halpern has two daughters and a son. Emily is 10 and Kendall is 23 and is a second year law student. Casey, her son is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania.

When Halpern began her college years, her original intention was to be a French teacher. ” Ever since sixth grade I was intrigued by cultural differences my teacher had,” Halpern commented. In 1972 she was advised that it would be more lucrative to teach Spanish.

Vacations for the Halpern family are usually spent in Spain. Over the summer, her son was able to spent time with a family friend in Madrid to help him learn Spanish. Her friend’s child spent time with the Halpern family and learned English.

Some of her favorite places to travel are Madrid, Tolado and Segovia. ” I try to travel all over the place, but I always return to Spain,” she said.

Two years ago, Halpern met Juan Carlos I, the King of Spain. Her family was in Spain for the Fiesta of Saint Peter. The king was there for a bullfight. He spoke to her and her family in the hotel lobby.

A summer course is offered to any Cabrini student who wants to study abroad. Students can earn six credits spending time in Cadiz. Halpern tells her students, “Once you’ve been there, you’ll go back.”

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Jennifer Ford

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