Hispanic Studies Blog
After obtaining her B.A. in Portuguese from the Universidade Estadual de Maringá in Brazil, Dr. Luci Moreira went on to earn her M.A. in Linguistics from the Universidade Fedederal de Pernambuco, completed doctoral coursework in Portuguese at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and then she earned her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign here in the U.S.
Since joining the College of Charleston in 2000, Professor Moreira has taught a myriad of courses for the Portuguese, Spanish, International Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Linguistics programs. She also pioneered the online offering of Portuguese language in the spring of 2019, and she is co-author of the Portuguese language textbook Ponto de Encontro, which has enjoyed widespread adoption across the U.S.
In addition to her constant work with the Portuguese program, Dr. Moreira has also collaborated in various projects both locally and nationally, to include co-founding the Department of Hispanic Studies’ newsletter HispaNews in 2001, and her ongoing role as Editor of the Portuguese Newsletter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. Also in 2001, she initiated the department’s Portuguese Club, Bate-Papo Conversation Table, and the Portuguese Peer-Teacher program, which she still oversees today. In the fall of 2017, she was also instrumental with the launch of her department’s newest program: the Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Minor.
With her colleague and loyal companion Jose, she has directed 11 study abroad programs in Brazil. During these memorable trips to the Amazon, students remember sleeping on a boat in hammocks, swimming with dolphins, visiting and dancing with indigenous groups, and snorkeling with baby sharks and green turtles in coral reefs of paradisiac Fernando de Noronha.
In Professor Moreira’s own words:
I chose to study Portuguese when I was 17 years old and it has always been my passion. I have always taught Portuguese, and I don’t see myself in a different profession or field. I am a firm believer that both language and culture can be taught at any level, and that they complement each other. I could not be happier than when the minor in Portuguese was established. This was not a work done alone, and started from writing petitions, committee proposals; a great deal of merit is due to the support of the Department Chair. This minor is the legacy that will be passed to the future.
Each year students from diverse backgrounds and expectations come to study Portuguese. We never repeat things because we don’t duplicate human souls and hearts. Whoever chooses the teaching career never does exactly the same thing and is always invigorated with the energy and the dreams of the most important ones—the students—those who inspire us. It is a good feeling to see the fruits of our labor in what we do.
Stay tuned for May 2019’s feature…
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…
On Wednesday, February 20, 2019, Professor Joseph Weyers gave a guest lecture “El voseo en Medellín: tradición lingüistica y dimensión cultural” in the course “Lengua y cultura” at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia. Dr Weyers’ lecture, held from 12:00-1:20pm, was open to the university community.
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…
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…
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…
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. Weyers, far right, with the distinguished Colombian panel of “Encuentro con autores bolivarianos”
On Thursday, October 18, 2018, Professor Joseph Weyers was guest speaker during the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana‘s Encuentro con autores bolivarianos / Encounter with Bolivarian Authors in Medellín, Colombia.