HISP Faculty Focus, March 2019: Professor Fenner Hoell

Professor Fenner Hoell

As an undergraduate student at Eastern Carolina University, Professor Hoell spent his fall 2011 semester in the Bilateral Student Exchange/Spanish Immersion Program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, and then completed his B.A. in Hispanic Studies with a minor in Anthropology.  He then attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he earned his MAT with a specialization in Spanish.  During his time in Wilmington he taught for the Spanish Department at Hoggard High School (2017), and he worked as a graduate assistant for UNCW’s Department of World Languages and Cultures (2015-16). Since joining the Department of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston in August 2017, he has taught full time in the Basic Spanish Language Program, earned his Distance Education certification (spring 2018), and served on the Department of Hispanic Studies’ Distance Education Committee.

In Professor Hoell’s own words:

Working with the College for the past two years has been a marvelous experience which is difficult to summarize in a single paragraph. From the social atmosphere of the department, to the professional development opportunities that abound, we must remember this is one of the best positions we can be in within our field of expertise. I relish in the fact that each day I am given the chance to bestow on my students the gift my past instructors bestowed on me: the understanding and ability to communicate with others around the world. 

The Department of Hispanic Studies recognizes Professor Hoell’s fine contributions to students, his department and the College, and for being selected for our March 2019 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for April 2019’s feature…

HISP Faculty Focus, February 2019: Professor Claudia Moran

Professor Claudia Moran

After earning her undergraduate degree in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Instituto Nacional Superior en Lenguas Vivas, Professor Moran obtained her M.A. in Bilingual Legal Interpreting at the College of Charleston, where for the past 17 years she has taught a wide range of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to include beginning and intermediate Spanish language, interpreting and applied Spanish.

Complementing her efforts in the classroom, she also serves as the Coordinator of the Spanish Conversation Program, which affords students one-credit hour, co-curricular opportunities for improving their oral and aural language skills.  Professor Moran is aptly suited for this role as she is currently one of only two in the Department of Hispanic Studies with American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview Tester Certification.

In addition to her leadership role as a program coordinator, Professor Moran has also served the department and College in a myriad of ways to include her editorial role for the past decade with the department’s newsletter, HispaNews; past chair of the Spanish House Committee; past co-adviser of the Hispanic Latino Club; former member of the Faculty Advisory Committee to the President; and long-time member of the Honor Board Advisory Committee.

In Professor Moran’s own words:

It has been an honor for me to have been part of CofC in different capacities, but that of a teacher has been the most rewarding. I love being in the classroom and sharing experiences with my students as I teach language and culture, especially when I hear them express their learning curiosity, as beginners or in more advanced courses such as SPAN 316 where I introduce students to interpreting as one of the many ways to apply a degree in Spanish. As the coordinator of the Spanish Conversation Class program for the past five years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with exceptional Peer Teachers as they share their own passion for the language with their students as I observe their classes. I have also been able to work closely with students as a committee member of the Casa Hispana and the Hispanic-Latino Club and share their enthusiasm for the Spanish language and culture. Throughout the years I have greatly enjoyed learning from and sharing ideas with everyone in the Department of Hispanic Studies. 

The Department of Hispanic Studies applauds Claudia Moran for her important contributions to students, her department and the College, and for being selected for our February 2019 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for March 2019’s feature…

HISP Faculty Focus, January 2019: Dr. Félix Vásquez

Dr. Félix Vásquez

Following his undergraduate degree in accounting from the Universidad Particular Ricardo Palma in Lima, Perú, Professor Vásquez continued his education in the U.S. with an M.A. in Spanish from Winthrop University, and a Ph.D. in Colonial and 19th-Century Spanish American Literature from the University of Kentucky. He taught at both the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Georgia before joining the College of Charleston’s Department of Hispanic Studies in 2001.  Beyond courses ranging from elementary Spanish language through Early Colonial Spanish-American Texts, Dr. Vásquez regularly teaches the department’s business for Spanish curriculum that forms the foundation for the Business Language Minor in Spanish program that he started in 2011, and which is currently the department’s fastest growing minor.

Also a passionate advocate of the study abroad experience, Professor Vásquez is an 8-time director for the College of Charleston’s various programs in Chile, Cuba, Peru and Spain. Currently he is founding co-director of a new summer study-abroad program in Trujillo, Spain and in cooperation with the School of Business.  This new, one-month interdisciplinary program will launch in June 2019 with courses in management, intermediate and advanced Spanish language as well as an introduction to Spanish for business.

Underscoring the teacher-scholar model, Dr. Vásquez also manages to showcase his work in the classroom through his scholarly activity, to include multiple conference presentations in both national and international venues as well as related publications, to include his recent book chapter “Case-Based Pedagogy to Develop World-Readiness Skill for Business” published with SabioBooks, LLC in 2018 in the edition Transferable Skills for the 21st Century: Preparing Students for the Workplace through World Languages for Specific Purposes.

In Professor Vásquez’s own words:

My goals as a foreign language educator are to foster my students’ cultural and linguistic awareness and help them gain communicative competencies in Spanish. In my Spanish for Business courses, the objective is to prepare students for successful communication in the Hispanic commercial world by building on their existing knowledge, developing their skills in practical, real-world uses of oral and written Spanish, and emphasizing the importance of cultural practices in doing business in Spanish-speaking countries and with Hispanics in the United States.

The Department of Hispanic Studies congratulates Dr. Félix Vásquez for his substantial contributions to his students, his department and the College, and for being selected for our January 2019 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for February 2019’s feature…

Hispanic Studies Welcomes 3 New Faculty for Spring 2019

The Department of Hispanic Studies welcomes two new faculty members and one returning for the spring 2019 semester:

Jessica Dimondstein
Professor Dimondstein holds an MAT in K-12 Spanish from UNC Chapel Hill, where she also obtained her BA in Spanish with distinction.  She previously taught at West Forsyth High School (Winston-Salem, N.C.), Charles E. Jordan High School (Durham, N.C.) and Guilford Technical Community College (Greensboro, NC), and she served as a Spanish interpreter for the Mayer Law Practice.  She also has prior study-abroad experience in Guanajuato, Mexico.

Tristan Hill
Professor Hill is a graduate of our own M.Ed. program in Languages (Spanish), and a double major in French and Spanish as an undergraduate at CofC where he earned Outstanding Student Awards in both languages. His teaching record is extensive and distinguished as a current teacher of Spanish at the School of the Arts, and former employee at West Ashley High School where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Yulian Martinez-Escobar
Professor Martinez-Escobar taught repeatedly in our department since 2011, but we are delighted with his return after a multi-semester “break.” He is a seasoned Spanish language teacher with prior experience not only in our department, but also several years at James Island Charter High School, Trident Technical College and at the Universidad Industrial de Santander in his native Colombia.  He was also a very active faculty member in our department serving on the HispaNews editorial team in 2016-17, and producing our now legendary, albeit outdated, promotional video for the Casa Hispana back in 2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDJZEKa4LPg

Dr. Martínez-Gibson’s Study Published in Fall 2016-17 Issue of _MIFLC Review_

Professor Elizabeth Martínez-Gibson’s essay “Por la Calle de Alcalá: The Languages Used in Storefront Signs along Madrid’s Longest Street” has just been published in Volume 18, Fall 2016-17 issue of the MIFLC Review.

HISP Faculty Focus, October 2018: Professor E. Berenice Marquina Castillo

Prof. Berenice Marquina Castillo

A graduate herself from the College of Charleston with an M.Ed. in Spanish, Professor Marquina Castillo has taught every course in the Basic Spanish Language Program since she joined the Department of Hispanic Studies in August 2009.  A native of Mexico, she also earned her undergraduate degree in Hispanic Language and Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the same alma mater of renowned writers Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz and Elena Poniatowska, among others.  Besides sharing her first-hand cultural perspectives in the classroom, she has also bolstered her pedagogical skills through her participation in the College’s Professional Learning Club and her certification in Distance Education Readiness, which in turn has enabled her to teach online Spanish courses for the department.

Beyond the classroom, Professor Marquina Castillo has also served  the department and College in numerous capacities to include her role as a mentor for SPECTRA (Speedy Consolidation and Transition Program), member of the LCWA IT Advisory Group and Distance Education Committee, Co-Adviser of the Spanish Club, and a departmental mentor for new faculty, among other activities.

In her own words:

Being a part of the Hispanic Department has been a wonderful experience, I get to share my passion for the Spanish language with enthusiastic and inspiring students, and I am surrounded by talented and creative colleagues who constantly reinforce and fuel my interest in learning. I am fortunate to work with students as a mentor and advisor, but also, to learn and share knowledge with colleagues through committees and learning clubs.

The Department of Hispanic Studies congratulates Professor Marquina Castillo for her dedication to students, colleagues and programs at the College of Charleston, and for being selected for our October 2018 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for November 2018’s feature…

HISP Faculty Focus, August 2018: Dr. Silvia Rodríguez Sabater

Dr. Silvia Rodríguez Sabater

Professor Rodríguez Sabater earned her Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics at Indiana University prior to starting her career in the College of Charleston’s Department of Hispanic Studies, where she is currently an Associate Professor.  Since joining the College’s faculty in 2000, she has taught at every level in the Spanish curriculum to include basic language through graduate courses for the M.Ed in Languages (Spanish) program, and she has taught for the Honors College.  In addition to her impressive teaching record and tireless dedication to students, she has an extensive and sustained record of successful leadership with curriculum management and development through her past roles as Basic Spanish Language Program Coordinator (2009-2011), Director of the M.Ed. in Languages Program (2015-2018), and her current assignment as Chair of the Hispanic Studies Distance Education Committee, which has been responsible for the department’s proactive response to the growing demands for online learning.

Of Dr. Rodríguez Sabater’s countless contributions at the College of Charleston during her 18 years to date, her initiative with curriculum development and pedagogical innovation has been especially noteworthy and impactful.  In 2015, for example, she co-founded the Hispanic Studies Teaching Discussion Series as a professional development platform for language teachers in the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs, and she has distinguished herself as one of the department’s foremost experts on distance education.  As a pioneer of second language teaching, Professor Rodríguez Sabater’s ongoing work is leading us all through the ever-changing academic landscape of the 21st century.  In her own words:

I am an advocate for learning languages and cultures at all levels. I enjoy teaching because of the close connection I develop with students and faculty in Hispanic Studies and other disciplines. But what I love the most is the creative process of teaching! I enjoy reflecting on my teaching, developing new curriculum, helping students in the learning process, and creating realistic assessments. I also have a passion for adapting the use of new technologies to the learning of languages and cultures.  I am also particularly proud of my time as Director of the M.Ed. in Languages. I have been fortunate to serve this program and its students during a period of growth and achievement when we implemented several changes and initiatives such as the digital portfolios, the new online ESOL program, the expansion of the curriculum, and more efficient communication with students.

The Department of Hispanic Studies congratulates Dr. Silvia Rodríguez Sabater for being selected for our August 2018 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”  Stay tuned for September 2018’s feature…

Summer I ONLINE Course Opportunity! “The Role of the Quran in Contemporary Islam”

Registration for Summer classes begins on March 10!

ARST 273 (CRN 30754) will be offered ONLINE by Dr. Ghazi Abuhakema during Summer I.

Course Description: In this course, ARST 273, The Role of the Qur’a and its Place in Contemporary Islam, students are introduced to some of the key ideas and themes of the Quran and its role as the ultimate source of authority for Muslims. The course also examines current, and, in some cases, controversial, issues, and explores how particular Qur’anic passages have been cited and interpreted with respect to these issues.