Margaret Knotts, USCA's first Spanish degree graduate, shares her experiences in mastering communication

Graduating senior Margaret Knotts will make history within the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department as the first student to graduate with a Spanish degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken.  

“I believe this is a beautiful thing,” Knotts said. “This is a testament that we still have success stories and students going on to graduate and go into different fields with our degree.”  

Knotts cultivated a passion for Spanish in middle school but initially chose to enroll in the university as a biology major. A summer study abroad trip to Spain after her freshman year, however, sparked a change and she decided to change her major. 


“Being able to communicate with people that did not grow up speaking the same language as me was something that was just so amazing to me,” Knotts said. “The Hispanic community has always been so welcoming and encouraging towards everything that I’ve done.” 


With less than a week before graduation, Knotts has already traveled to England, Ireland, and around the United States. “I would like to go to Mexico at one point. My best friend, who will also be graduating from USCA’s Spanish Program, will be moving to Argentina in December,” she explained.  

Knotts expressed that she'll genuinely miss USCA’s language program. Additionally, the impact of diverse events organized by the Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department will stay with her. “Being able to engage with my professors and have that personal connection is what will really stick with me,” she said. 

Outside the classroom, Knotts has showcased her talents for on USCA’s award-winning Eventing Team and served in campus organizations such as Delight Ministries, and the Hispanic Student Association.  

After commencement, Knotts will prepare for a significant shift in her post-graduate life. She'll move to Spain, where she'll teach English for a few years. Once she returns, Knotts says she’d like to work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist with issues surrounding immigration. 

Knotts offers this piece of advice for anyone interested in becoming bilingual or wanting to major in any language, “Just go for it and don’t be too hard on yourself,” she said. “Network as much as you can and realize that language is not about perfection it’s about communication. Everybody’s language journey is different so just remember to give yourself a little time.” 

Knotts is one of six graduating seniors, from university wide selected as exceptional students ahead of May commencement. Graduates are set to walk across the stage on Wednesday, May, in the Convocation Center at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Angela Saxon -