HISP Faculty Focus, May 2019: Professor Mary Ann Blitt

By | May 2, 2019

Upon completing her M.A. in Spanish language and literatures with interdisciplinary studies in French language and literatures at Colorado State University, Professor Blitt continued teaching for one year at the same institution as a Spanish Lecturer until she joined the Spanish faculty at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods in Kansas City, Missouri, to serve as Foreign Language Program Coordinator for 16 years.  Concluding a distinguished career in Kansas City, she moved to South Carolina in 2014 to take a new professional avenue as Instructor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston.

Professor Blitt’s expertise in foreign language pedagogy has not only afforded her great success in the classroom at the College of Charleston , but it has also enabled her to serve as an invaluable resource for her departmental colleagues, the broader campus community, and the profession.  With Dr. Silvia Rodríguez Sabater, she co-founded both the Hispanic Studies Teaching Discussion Series “Innovations and Challenges in Second Language Teaching Series” and a Professional Learning Club workshop entitled “Developing Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs) in the Second Language Classroom,” she developed a First Year Experience course  “Global Perspectives: Cuba!,” she directed the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs’ World Cultures Fair, she currently serves on the Basic Spanish Language Program Steering Committee, and she is the Spanish Club Co-Adviser, among other activities.  In addition, starting summer 2019, she begins a new position in her department as Spanish Conversation Coordinator.

Beyond the campus  community, Professor Blitt’s role as a renowned text-book author has shaped the Spanish language programs of high schools and colleges and universities across the country.  Through Cengage Learning, she has co-authored three editions of Exploraciones, an introductory Spanish text; one edition of Exploraciones, a high school Spanish text; and with Heinle, she has co-authored two editions of Exploraciones: Curso Intermedio, an intermediate Spanish text.

In Professor Blitt’s own words:

I am the daughter of an Air Force officer, and when I was 13, my father was stationed in Madrid, Spain where I began to learn Spanish and had the good fortune of being able to explore the country and its culture. Thus began my passion for the language and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world! I now have the opportunity to pass on this same enthusiasm to my students and find it so rewarding to be able to open their minds to different cultural perspectives and to watch them grow in their ability to use the language.

I love that I can interact with the students at the College in so many different ways, such as through the Spanish Club and the Casa Hispana. In the fall, I will be taking on the responsibilities of the Spanish Conversation Class Coordinator and am very excited to be able to work with some of our exceptional majors and minors that have taken on the important role of peer teachers within our Basic Spanish Language Program. I look forward to mentoring them as they help our students to improve their speaking abilities and to increase their confidence while sharing their own passion for the language and cultures.

“Faculty Focus” will resume when the summer furlough concludes in August 2019. Stay tuned …

 

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