Kelly Braddy Van Winkle, Minor 1999

President/CEO-King of Texas Construction Company, Inc. – Dallas Texas

1999 Major: Comparative Area Studies - Latin American and Western Europe, minor in Spanish

How has being a graduate from Duke's Romance Studies Department helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Owning a large commercial construction company in Texas, 97% of my workforce is Spanish-speaking. Every day, I use my speaking, reading and writing skills that were cultivated with my Spanish minor. Additionally, requirements for my major involved taking literature, art, language, politics, sociology class, most were in Spanish through the Romance Studies Department. I have a strong cultural understanding of Latin and South American cultures that helps me communicate and bond more effectively with my workforce."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Romance Studies programs?

"Please be open to where life takes you! Who would have thought I'd go from Romance Studies to Commercial Construction?"

Kelly Braddy Van Winkle