COH Outstanding Senior: Ivana Klymko

May 12th, 2023

Congratulations to the College of Humanities’ Outstanding Senior for Spring 2023, Ivana Klymko!


Klymko is graduating with a dual degree, a B.A. in Spanish with a Translation and Interpretation emphasis and a B.S. in Physiology and Medical Sciences, as well as a Psychology minor. A first-generation college student whose parents immigrated from Argentina, Klymko will attend medical school at the University of Arizona and will pursue a career as a bilingual physician.


“Ivana is the embodiment of the ideal type of student every professor would like to have in their class. Not only is she extremely responsible, but she is untiringly self-motivated,” said Alejandra Torres, an instructor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, in nominating her for the award. “I have been teaching undergraduate courses for 10 years and can confidently state that Ivana is in the top 1 percent of students.”


Klymko told fellow graduating seniors that choosing to major in Spanish in addition to a pre-med STEM major has helped her realize her true dream.


My Spanish degree transformed my interest in medicine into a passion for serving those who do not have access to health care due to language barriers – it gave me a purpose behind my passion for medicine,” she said. “I knew that expanding my capabilities as a Spanish speaker would better prepare me for my future career in healthcare while also allowing me to feel more at home. Soon after my first course in the program, I felt extremely blessed as I now had the opportunity to explore my two greatest passions: medicine and Spanish.”


Klymko has an extensive record of extracurricular service and projects, including being a College of Humanities Student Ambassador; a lab manager, research assistant, and Spanish-English interpreter and translator for the UA Department of Psychology’s Oncology PRO Lab; a research assistant and Spanish-English translator for the UA College of Education’s Abrazo Project; a research assistant and Spanish-English interpreter for the UA College of Public Health Environmental Health Sciences; student counselor for the UA Office of Admissions; volunteer interpreter at Clínica Amistad; and a Spanish-English interpreter for the UA Model United Nations Club.


“All these projects and activities that she has been involved in have created to advance the University’s mission and to also provide services to underserved, underrepresented, and minority groups in our Tucson community. Ivana’s work has contributed to promoting a more equitable and inclusive university and local community by advancing diversity, inclusiveness, biculturalism and bilingualism,” Torres said.


“Ivana is a highly biliterate, bicultural, and bilingual Hispanic woman who has enriched our Program, Department, College, University and Tucson community. Her unique skillset, enriched by the knowledge she has been acquiring in the Spanish Translation and Interpretation major, has allowed her to better serve not only our institution but also our local Hispanic population. She has continuously and constantly been a key player in addressing language barriers and, more importantly, has provided linguistic access to minorities, underserved, and limited-English proficient people from our local community,” Torres said.