Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies
Education: Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh Hispanic Literatures and Languages; AB Duke University, Comparative Area Studies
It is my goal to provide my students with a learning environment that is both challenging and comfortable. One of my primary commitments as a teacher is to challenge students to think critically and analytically, not only about the subject matter, but about themselves and their relationships to the world. When students begin to question themselves, the pretext of a movie or text, and to go beyond their comfort zones to rethink a worldview or long-held notion, then I feel I have been successful as an educator.
My research incorporates different geographic areas in the Spanish-speaking world, namely Central American – with a focus on contemporary cultural production from El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. While diverse areas, my focus is shaped by feminist and gender studies, decolonial studies, and visual studies.
I am co-author and lead content developer of Elementary Spanish I & II Online, a web-based course that provides open-access via the Open Learning Initiative, and can be used as a hybrid-learning environment or a fully remote course.
I am currently the department’s Director of Undergraduate Strategic Initiatives. Some of my other responsibilities include directing our department’s study abroad programs in Madrid, Spain and Monteverde, Costa Rica. I serve as the advisor for the minor in Hispanic Studies, and have worked on several international community engagement projects with student groups.
Areas of Interest
- Border Studies
- Central American Cultural Studies
- Gender Studies
- Visual Studies
- Decolonial Studies
- Revolution in Cuba and Nicaragua: Desire and Disenchantment
- Gender and Sexuality in the Spanish-speaking World
- Split Screen: the US-Mexico Border in Film
- Imagining Peace: Central American Writers and Artists in their Own Words
Selected Awards and Honors
- Carnegie Mellon University Advising Award
- Berkman Faculty Development Grant
- Jefferson Award for Public Service
Selected Community, University, and Professional Service
- Community Engagement Fellowship Advisory Committee
- Study Abroad Advisory Board
- Civic Engagement Network
- Core Competency Working Group - Intercultural and Global Learning
- Elementary Spanish I Online; Elementary Spanish II Online (co-author with Dr. Rocío Dominguez et al)
- Achugar, Mariana and Tardio, Therese "Documenting language and content integrated learning: a case study of a genre-based film course"
- Cuba! An interactive Documentary (co-produced with Ralph Vituccio and Andrés Tapia-Urzua)