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

Hispanic Studies Bids Farewell to Professors Shields and Widener

At the conclusion of the fall 2018 academic semester, Professors Eileen Shields and Donna Widener will retire from the College of Charleston’s Department of Hispanic Studies after a combined 40 years of teaching on campus.  Professor Shields joined the department in 1990, and Professor Widener in 2006.  Their dedication, conscientiousness and genuine care for our students will be greatly missed as we wish them the best for the next stages in their lives, and we thank them for all they have done, for so long, for our Department of Hispanic Studies.

HISP Faculty Focus, December 2018: Professor Stephanie Forgash

Professor Stephanie Forgash

Upon completion of her B.A. in Spanish at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Professor Forgash continued with an M.A. in the same area and at the same institution, and then spent a year teaching Spanish language at Central Piedmont and Rown Cabarrus Community Colleges respectively.  She then moved to Viña del Mar, Chile, where she taught English for a year to the Chilean Navy, and then returned to the U.S. in 2017 to begin her current position as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Hispanic Studies.  Beyond the classroom, she is also an active member of the department’s Basic Spanish Language Program Steering Committee, and an active collaborator in Hispanic Studies’ distance education curriculum.

In Professor Forgash’s own words:

I feel extremely privileged to work alongside so many talented students and faculty members in the Hispanic Studies Department. For me, reminiscing on my own personal Spanish journey and seeing it transpire through my students’ experiences is the most rewarding thing about being an educator. At the end of the day I am someone who has lived the life, traveled the journeys, and learned the lessons and only aim to serve as a compass and road map for those who will follow. Whether it is through the various levels of Spanish I teach or trying to develop new testing strategies with the BSLP Steering Committee, I am always learning, and that is truly why I love what I do.

The Department of Hispanic Studies congratulates Professor Stephanie Forgash for her various contributions and for being selected for our December “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for January 2019’s feature…

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, November 2018: Dr. Susan Divine

Dr. Susan Divine

After completing B.A. degrees in both Spanish and Anthropology at Iowa State University, Professor Susan Divine earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Arizona, and then spent four years as a faculty member at Westminster College (Fulton, MO) before joining the College of Charleston’s Department of Hispanic Studies in August 2013.  Both her prior teaching expertise and her ongoing research have enabled her pedagogical contributions at various levels at the College to include classes on Spanish language, conversation and composition, undergraduate courses on Hispanic culture and contemporary Spanish literature and film, the First Year Experience, and her collaboration with the M.Ed. in Languages program.

Complementing her teaching is Dr. Divine’s extensive research on 19th and 20th-century Spanish film, literature and cultural studies that has resulted in articles in leading peer-reviewed journals in her discipline, guest lectures, and numerous conference presentations in both regional and international venues.  On the editorial side of publishing, Professor Divine has earned her reputation as a seasoned editor and reviewer with current roles as Managing Editor for both Hispanic Studies Review and Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Invited Editor for Bulletin of Hispanic Studies, a previous appointment as Technical Editor for Letras Hispanas, and peer reviewer for multiple academic journals, among other related activities.

Despite the demands of her teaching and research, Dr. Divine has still managed numerous impactful service contributions campus-wide to include her work on the General Education and By-laws Committees, the Scholarship Selection Committee for Women and Gender Studies, and Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF), among other activities; and her contributions at the departmental level have been equally significant as Co-Adviser of the College’s award-winning chapter of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, Co-Director of the Maymester Program in Trujillo, Spain and Assessment Reader.

In Professor Divine’s own words:

Everyday I am grateful that I am at CofC and get to teach students who want to grow as Spanish-speakers and world citizens. From my roles on the college-wide General Education committee, to classroom instructor, to serving as co-faculty advisor to our national Hispanic Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, I am able to help students explore their passion, reach their potential, and celebrate the highest levels of their success. I love those classroom moments when students finally understand a difficult concept, or when they make valuable connections between ideas and practice. I am most honored to watch them grow from timid novice to confident speakers of Spanish while traveling through Spain on the Trujillo program. 

The Department of Hispanic Studies congratulates Dr. Susan Divine for her many impressive contributions to her department, the College, the broader profession, and for being selected for our November 2018 “Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus.”

Stay tuned for December 2018’s feature…

Dr. Carrillo Arciniega Enjoys Multiple Publications

Professor Raúl Carrillo Arciniega’s chapter “Instrucciones para existir en México” is set to be published in the book México en el tiempo de la rabia. Arte y literatura de la guerra, el dolor y la violencia, edited by Gustavo Ogarrio y Alejandro Zamora and to be released by York University (Canada)-UAEM y-UNAM.

In addition, a short story by Professor Carrillo Arciniega has been published in the book Testigos de ausencia with Editorial Artificios.

Dr. Del Mastro Participates in 2018 MIFLC

Professor Mark P. Del Mastro had multiple roles at the 2018 Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLC) held October 4-6 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville:

  1. Organized and presented in panel on the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.
  2. Organized, chaired and presented the second annual session on “Stop the Bleeding: Language Departments and the Dwindling Major”
  3. Participated in the MIFLC Executive Committee and Business Meetings in his role as Secretary-Treasurer of MIFLC.

Dr. Del Mastro (far right) with panelists of “Stop the Bleeding”

Dr. Divine’s Study to Appear in _Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment_

Professor Susan Divine’s article “The Nature of Anxiety: Precarious City Lives in La piqueta and La trabajadora” has been accepted  for publication in the journal Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment.

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…