What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
I am an Instructor, Department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, College of Education I teach the methods course dealing with teaching ESOL students in schools. It is an undergraduate course (TSL4080).
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I started in fall 2003 as a Visiting Instructor and became a full-time Instructor in spring 2003. I am the ESOL course shepherd and mentor students in dealing with the ESOL endorsement requirement for graduation. I have been able to
add a service-learning component to our course these past two semesters for our teacher candidates. I was selected by the Office of Diversity as Faculty of the Year, which was a great honor.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
When I volunteer as a faculty marshal during the commencement exercises and see my students graduate!
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would like to have more time to get to know the faculty and more collaboration between colleges. We are very busy!
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Love your students, love your job. Make each day an interesting and fun in which to grow and learn.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
I love a good Cuban restaurant! Padrino’s in Hunters Creek is a great place to go and remember my roots.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
Anything to do with mentoring or helping second language learners achieve a good education. I was able to be a teacher and achieve my father’s dreams to teach at the university level because I had good mentors along the way.
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 like to have lunch with Dr. Michelle Regala. She is our new addition to our faculty and I would like to get to know her better.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I would like to thank Dr. Robert Williams for hiring me back in 2003. Also, I thank the faculty and staff of our college for allowing me to teach. That is what I love to do and have been doing for the past 49 and a half years.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
My inspiration comes from my kindergarten teacher, Ms. Rina, and then from my aunt that taught in a one room school after getting on a horse for an hour to get there. She spent the week in the town and returned home on weekends. I used to
wait for her on Fridays so she would tell me all the stories about her students. I dreamed of becoming a teacher just like them. My favorite researcher is Dr. Steven Krashen. He is an advocate and avid researcher on second language acquisition and is really a force in helping English learners to become successful in our American schools.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
My graduate work on bilingual education at the University of Miami really shaped and placed me in the path of advocacy and passion about teaching second language learners. I had great teachers and researchers that help me understand and learn how to better help our English language learners.