HISP Faculty Focus, October 2019: Dr. Elizabeth Martínez-Gibson

By | October 1, 2019

Dr. Elizabeth Martínez-Gibson has a B.A. in French Language and Literature from De Sales University, an M.A. in Hispanic Literature and a Ph.D. in Spanish with a specialization in Spanish and General Linguistics from the University at Albany. Before joining the faculty at the College of Charleston twenty-eight years ago, she taught at the University of Florida for five years, as a lecturer.

Dr. Martínez-Gibson has been a full professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies for over nine years and her contributions to the curriculum and leadership in areas of teaching, research and service are evidence of her dedication to and passion for languages and linguistics. She has taught a wide array of courses from all levels of Spanish language, culture and linguistics courses for undergraduates, as well as linguistics courses for the M.Ed. Program, the M.A. in Bilingual Interpreting, the Linguistics Minor Program and the Honors College.

In addition, she has created many courses for the Department of Hispanic Studies, the Linguistics Minor Program, the M.Ed. in Languages Program, and the M.A. in Bilingual Interpreting. She has demonstrated her selfless dedication to the College by founding and directing the successful Linguistics Minor (2001-present) and a Master’s Certificate for Medical Interpreting (2006-2010). Furthermore, she was instrumental in researching, developing and proposing a potential minor in Spanish for the Professions in 2017.

Complementing her teaching, Dr. Martínez-Gibson has focused her research on language contact. Throughout the years, she has published numerous articles and presented her research at regional, national and international conferences. Her studies have been a source for teaching methodology, as well as innovative research for colleagues. Her areas of study include the morphosyntactic and lexical variation of Heritage speakers and Second-Language learners of Spanish in the U.S. Over the past eleven years, she has concentrated her research on the use of English in Spain’s linguistic landscape and language contact in Spanish-language newspapers in the U.S. South. As a part of her expertise in these areas, Dr. Martínez-Gibson is an invited guest editor to review manuscripts for journals such as Foreign Language Annals, Modern Language Journal, Sage Publishers for their linguistics journals, and others.

Beyond teaching and research, Dr. Martínez-Gibson’s contributions and leadership to her Department, the College, and the Charleston community are noteworthy. In the Department of Hispanic Studies, she has developed curriculum and served on committees for searches, tenure and promotion policies, department guidelines, study abroad adviser, and many others. She also served on numerous impactful college-wide committees including Tenure and Promotion, Academic Standards, Salary Compensation, the Budget Committee and as a Department and School representative in the Faculty Senate for many years.

Finally, in addition to the above, there are three notable activities of service that Dr. Martínez-Gibson has contributed that are a further testament to her passion for her profession. In 1993, she and a colleague established and co-directed a study abroad program in Málaga, Spain, and since that time, she has co-directed a number of study abroad groups between 1995 and 2013. In 2001, she started The Language Fair, now known as the LCWA World Cultures Fair. For eleven years, she organized and coordinated this fair; and the Hispanic Fair, its spin-off, for a few years. Finally, in 2006, when Dr. Martínez-Gibson started the Masters Certificate in Medical Interpreting, her training led her to volunteer at MUSC. For the past 13 years, she has dedicated time every week to interpret at the hospital. As a nationally certified medical interpreter for the past 7 years, she devotes her time to learning more about interpreting and teaching the skills for interpreting and helping the Hispanic community with communication.

In Dr. Martínez-Gibson’s own words:

My experience as a faculty member for the last twenty-eight years at the College of Charleston has given me many life experiences. In addition to my experiences in the classroom and beyond at the College of Charleston, I have enjoyed learning how to grow as a teacher as times have changed, and I have always loved learning about College governance as I served on many committees. What I hope I have instilled in my students is a thirst to learn more, to take challenges, to experience the languages and cultures of the world through their own eyes so that they can become more appreciative and accepting of people from around the globe. My passion for languages, linguistics, and cultural diversity are a part of my identity and my life.


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