ITHACA, N.Y. — Danilo Moreta, a Cornell University graduate student studying corn breeding, stood wearing jeans and a black button-down shirt as undergraduate students entered Room 336 in the Plant Science Building for a Tuesday night section of “PLSCI 4300, Applications in Molecular Diagnostics.”

“Hola. Cómo estás? Bien?” he offered to various students taking seats. Moreta teaches the science section in Spanish.

Partly, that’s because students in January will do fieldwork in Chilean vineyards, gathering leaf samples to test for viruses. They will need to query lab workers about such things as where to find a micropipette — “Me puedes ayudar a encontrar una micropipeta?” — said Moreta, who was raised in Colombia and honed his English in school and through rock lyrics (Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, the Doors).

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