What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Associate Professor, Spanish
Spanish MA Program Director
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
College of Arts and Humanities
What is your history at UCF and before UCF?
Graduate Fellow, Georgetown University (Department of Spanish and Portuguese): I taught elementary Spanish classes as my primary responsibility.
One interesting summer job during grad school was at the World Bank in Washington, DC as a program assistant in the division representing/serving Bangladesh and Nepal.
What is your academic background?
PhD in Spanish from Florida State University
MS in Spanish from Georgetown University|Study Abroad: Instituto Internacional in Madrid, Universidad de Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, Centro de Estudios Avanzados del Caribe/Universidad de Valladolid (campus) in San Juan.|BA in Spanish from St. Bonaventure University
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Attending a talk by Gloria Steinem in 2012 sponsored by UCF’s Women’s Studies Program and experiencing the energizing voice of empowerment that has reached generations of women.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would make it more accessible for all students to study abroad as part of their undergraduate or graduate academic experience, whether for a summer, semester or year.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Focus on the good things associated with teaching/research/service—that’s what really matters.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I have a thirst for knowledge in its many representations. I would be honored to have a space in the John C. Hitt Library associated with my name.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
I would choose Dean Deborah German because I admire her accomplishments, and also, because her field is so different from mine, I would enjoy hearing more about how/why she has become who she is today.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Although it’s difficult to name just one person, I would like share that CAH Dean José Fernández has supported my career in academia from the very beginning. I am very grateful for this.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Thomas Walsh, one of my linguistics professors at Georgetown, amazed me for the depth of his knowledge and the scope of his research. He inspired me through his example. I didn’t always know what the world had to offer, as someone from a small town and a first-generation American. Through hearing his stories and taking his classes, I began to realize that I could chart my own course.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
One of the last classes I took as part of my PhD program was “Modernismo(s)”. It was the most engaging class I have taken and it was the perfect course to end my studies before finishing my dissertation and then transitioning to a tenure-track position.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I love my mom’s lasagna!
What is your favorite movie, book or music?
My favorite book is El cuarto de atrás (The Back Room), a 1978 novel by Spanish author Carmen Martín Gaite
What is your favorite vacation destination?