Associate Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies
BioIt 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 also about themselves and their relationships to the world. When a student begins to question him/herself, the pretext of a movie or text and to go beyond his/her comfort zone and rethink a worldview or long-held notion, I feel I have been successful as an educator.
My research incorporates different geographic areas in the Spanish-speaking world, namely Central America – with a focus on El Salvador and Nicaragua, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, particularly Chicana literature. While diverse areas, my focus in both cases is shaped by theoretical works from feminist and gender studies, Latin American subaltern studies and postcolonial studies. At present, I am working on a project that examines the relationship between cultural production and politics in the context of post-revolutionary Nicaragua, from the early 1990s through a return to Sandinista governance in 2006.
I also work on the writing, editing and development of Spanish Online, a web-based course that provides a hybrid-learning environment for CMU students, which will soon be expanded to an open-access course via the Open Learning Initiative. In the summer of 2010, in collaboration with other CMU colleagues and faculty at ITESM-Guadalajara, I worked on a video project to strengthen and to enhance the current course content, providing students with greater access to cultural materials and authentic examples of conversational language.
Some of my other responsibilities include directing our study abroad program in Madrid, Spain, and serving as an advisor for the minor in Hispanic Studies. I also have become increasingly involved and interested in service-learning initiatives, working closely with two projects: the Granada Arts Education project and Project Nicaragua.
EducationPh.D., University of Pittsburgh, 2004
- Spanish Online. Elementary Spanish, lead author, content developer and editor.
- “Short-term Study Abroad: Views from a Faculty, an Administrator and a Program Provider” NAFSA Region VIII. Richmond, VA, November 10-13, 2010.
- “Building Bridges: Two Models of Service-Learning in Western PA” (co-presented with Dr. Ana María Caula of Slippery Rock University), Pennsylvania Conference of Foreign Languages. Duquesne University, September 2010.
- “Salarrué y el habla popular salvadoreño: pecados, poder y resistencia” Asociación Hispánica de Humanidades, V Congreso Internacional. Sevilla, Spain. “¿Cuerpo desobediente o disciplinado?: el cuerpo maternal en la obra de Pía Barros”, National Association of Hispanic and Latino Studies. Baton Rouge, LA.
- Central America Today: Out of Revolution
- América Latina en sus imágenes: culturas visuales
- Pueblos y protestas: movimientos sociales en América Latina
- Madres, machos y más: género y sexualidad en América Latina
- Beyond the Border: Inventing the Americas in Culture, History, & Literature Literature and Revolution in 20th Century Central America Latin American Literature and Culture U.S. Latinos Literature and Culture
- Elementary & Intermediate Spanish I & II (traditional and online)