Author Archives: Michael Gomez

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, April 2022: Mr. Luis Bravo (’22)

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, April 2022

Mr. Luis Bravo (’22) is Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus for April 2022.

As has been clear from previous Focus features, Hispanic Studies’ students are a diverse and talented bunch—with Mr. Luis Bravo being no exception.

Within the academic context, Luis is pursuing minors in both Spanish (a language of which he is a Heritage Speaker) and Art History, besides working towards his degree in the field of Arts Management. Outside of the classroom,  but related to his studies, Mr. Bravo has been fortunate enough to secure a position as a Gallery Host / Intern at Charleston’s Redux Contemporary Art Center.

And, as for other skills and talents? Well, suffice to say that Luis has a few, including –but not limited to—being  able to play no less than four instruments (guitar, banjo, ukulele and piano) and having experience working both as a ranch hand and as a pizza chef. Talk about well rounded!

Returning to the context of his interactions within Hispanic Studies, as HISP faculty who have had him in class or those who have interacted with him at one of the department’s many extracurricular events (the writer of the present feature included) are well aware, Luis has contributed greatly—through his course-related insights, through his demonstrated enthusiasm for the Spanish language and its many cultures, etc.—to all activities in which he has involved himself. For this reason, and for many others, we are proud to feature him as April’s Student Focus.

In his own words…

“I honestly did not become interested in the Hispanic Studies Department until my junior year, when I realized I could add a second minor in Spanish to my degree! I wish I could’ve majored and Spanish and taken many more classes in the program as well as in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. I had no idea there was so much I could learn and do with a degree in Spanish prior to coming to CofC or even until I started my minor! My passions have always been in political and social studies, and it’s been fascinating researching Latin American countries and their cultures.

Every professor I meet in the department is so passionate about the language and the complex intersecting and rich histories of Latin America: they want us to succeed and to love every second of working towards our goals. Classes like Spanish sociolinguistics, with the brilliant Dr. Weyers, have taught me more than I could imagine about the language and peoples. I have a different intimacy with the language now and I wish I could keep learning here at the College. As a Chicanx person, I feel fulfilled intellectually and spiritually about what I’ve learned and cannot recommend others enough to become involved in the department!”


Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, April 2022: Dr. Nadia Avendaño

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, April 2022

The final HISP Faculty Focus of 2021-2022 features Dr. Nadia Avendaño.

Dr. Avendaño–a graduate of the University of California, Davis (B.A. in Spanish and French), as well as of the University of Arizona (from which she earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in 20th Century Latin American Literature) first arrived at the College of Charleston in the fall of 2003, when she joined Hispanic Studies as an Assistant Professor of Spanish.

Since this time, she has come to form an absolutely essential part of the department, contributing in more ways than can be easily recounted in a feature such as this. To her students, she has generously given of her time and her talents, imparting classes on such engaging topics as the Spanish-American Boom, Chicano/a Latino/a Literature and Culture and Contemporary Spanish American Fiction, besides directing more than a few independent studies. Additionally, she has engaged in meaningful and fruitful collaborations with students and faculty of other academic programs and units, including the First Year Experience, History, Latin American & Caribbean Studies and the Honors College.

As for her scholarly research projects, as her participation in such a wide variety of academic programs suggests,  these are as diverse as they are fascinating. Recent works include her “The Road to Healing: Pilgrimage and the Vietnam War in Let Their Spirits Dance” (published in the journal, Confluencia [34.1, 2018]) and “Negotiating Identities: Growing Up Female, Jewish, and Mexican” (appearing in the prestigious Bulletin of Hispanic Studies [93.3, 2016]).

Finally, outside the context of Hispanic Studies, Dr. Avendaño has expertly guided the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program since 2019, when she took over as its Director.

In her own words…

“What I love most about my position in Hispanic Studies is the freedom I get to teach courses that I am passionate about. I love meeting students every semester and connecting with them in class as well as connecting them to the Hispanic world through the study of literature, culture and the Spanish language. The pandemic reaffirmed for me that I do not want to be behind a desk. I want to be in the classroom engaging with students and on campus collaborating with my wonderful colleagues.”

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, March 2022: Ms. Dahlia Watson (’22)

Hispanic Studies Student Focus, March 2022: Ms. Dahlia Watson (’22)

Hispanic Studies is once again proud and privileged to be able to feature one of its impressive Spanish students—this time, Ms. Dahlia Watson (’22).

Ms. Watson, a minor in Spanish and Linguistics, as well as a major in English, has had her share of academic successes while at the College of Charleston, earning top marks in all of her areas of concentration—something which speaks to the high level of curiosity and dedication characteristic of her scholarly endeavors.

Besides her considerable contributions to Hispanic Studies as one of its top students, Dahlia has shared her intellectual gifts with others as a tutor of English, History, Psychology and Spanish. In addition, she represents the College’s English Department as one of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Student Ambassadors.

In her own words:

Ever since I was a young child, I have loved the feeling of conquering difficult challenges. Once I started taking Spanish classes in middle school, something lit up inside me. The excitement and satisfaction I felt when achieving rudimentary conversational skills was unmatched. The introduction of new historical and cultural information completely fascinated me and highly influenced my adventurous mindset. Nearly ten years later, I can still remember the significant impact of my middle school Spanish teacher. Her smooth fluent speech, elaborate travel stories, and the passion expressed during her lessons encouraged me to open myself up to new experiences. The way in which she was able to connect with Hispanic students who were often excluded and ignored by other teachers revealed the significance of learning a second language outside of self-improvement and exploration. I could never have imagined the vast opportunities that have opened up to me resulting from my studies of the Spanish language. I would not be the person I am today without the new people, concepts and history I’ve encountered on behalf of learning Spanish. After graduation this May, I plan to move to a Spanish-speaking country to continue building my knowledge in hopes of making the world my lifelong classroom.”

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, March 2022: Prof. Eileen Shields

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, March 2022: Prof. Eileen Shields

Prof. Eileen Shields is Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for the month of March, 2022.

A graduate of the College of Charleston (B.A.) as well as of The Citadel (M.Ed. with a minor in Spanish), Prof. Eileen Shields has had an impressive academic formation, which also includes studies at the Instituto de Arte y Cultura Puertorriqueña, as well as at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, Puerto Rico.

As one might expect from someone with such a pedigree, Prof. Shields has had ample professional success over the years, including—but certainly not limited to—her teaching at North Charleston’s prestigious Academic Magnet High School (between 1997 and 2019, serving as Department Head from 2000-2007), at Summerville High School, at The Citadel and, fortunately for us, in the Hispanic Studies Department at the College of Charleston (1990-2018, 2020-present).

Among her many accomplishments are her designation as a College Board AP Spanish Reader and AP Spanish Teacher, her National Board Certification in Spanish and her published work of fiction, Magia y Locura (Nosyotros Editores 2007).

For all of the above, and for so much more, Hispanic Studies is pleased and proud to be able to count Prof. Eileen Shields among its own.

In her own words:

CofC has been my home since 1976, where my teachers and colleagues have inspired me to be best student and then professor that I can be. I hope to continue to bring forth the wonderment of a smile and the love for languages and cultures from my students, while celebrating the richness of our cultural diversity“.

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, February 2022: Dr. Colleen Moorman

Dr. Colleen Moorman is Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for February of 2022.

Dr. Colleen Moorman—who graduated from the prestigious Georgetown University with a Ph.D. in Spanish Applied Linguistics in 2017 (completing a dissertation on Individual differences and linguistic factors in the development of mid vowels in L2 Spanish learners) and a Master of Science in Spanish Linguistics from the same in 2012—first joined HISP in a visiting capacity during fall 2020, before becoming a permanent member of the department beginning fall 2021.

From her very first days at the College of Charleston, Dr. Moorman has been a central part of the Hispanic Studies team, developing and teaching classes both within HISP and extra-departmentally—e.g., her “Multilingualism and Multiculturalism around the World,” conducted as a First Year Seminar.

Beyond the classroom, Dr. Moorman has also lent her time and talents, as a faculty mentor for Bachelor’s Essays, as an advisor to the Linguistics Club, and in the context of many other departmental doings.

For those with an interest in matters linguistic, be sure to check out some of Dr. Moorman’s recently published scholarly collaborations, e.g., her “Can perception training improve the production of second language phonemes? A meta-analytic review of 25 years of perception training research” (2018), published in the journal, Applied Psycholinguistics.

In her own words…

One of my favorite parts of teaching at CofC is helping students develop their skills, confidence, and curiosity about language, whether it is improving their language skills in Spanish or gaining a deeper understanding of linguistics.  It brings me such satisfaction to see my students have those ‘lightbulb moments,’ as they connect concepts they are learning in the classroom with their own observations and experiences outside the classroom. I also love working with such a wonderful, collaborative group of colleagues that inspire me to continuously improve my teaching and incorporate new ideas and technologies into the classroom.”


Hispanic Studies Student Focus, February 2022: Ms. Ellie Manucy

Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus for February 2022 is Ms. Ellie Manucy (’22).

A double major in Communications and Spanish, Ellie is another great example of the sort of talented, multi-faceted, globally-minded student that Hispanic Studies attracts.

Besides her many activities in HISP, through which she has distinguished herself and impressed more than one faculty member, Ms. Manucy has volunteered her time as a CofC Transfer Mentor—working with prospective transfer students thinking of attending the College—and completed an internship with marketing and promotional product agency.

And what, you might ask, is Ms. Manucy up to during this final semester of her undergraduate studies? Quite a bit, it turns out, as she is currently studying abroad in Italy, where she is working on the completion of her Communications Capstone–a comparative ethnographical study on differences between “coffee culture” in the United States and Italy.

In her own words…

Since the early days of my educational career, I have been fascinated by the Spanish Language. I have been lucky enough to pursue my language studies education at the College of Charleston. My studies of the Spanish Language have proven to be extremely useful, especially with keeping up with the current news and events around the world, and I have especially enjoyed reading and discussing literature and poetry from times long gone. The professors of the Hispanic Studies department have been nothing but accommodating, passionate and encouraging. For a long time, I have struggled with fully grasping the Spanish language, especially the more complex aspects like linguistics and grammar—I was always able to receive guidance and assistance from my professors, and I’m so grateful for that. I’m incredibly honored to represent the Hispanic Studies department and the amazing people who have supported me every step of the way!

HISP Faculty Focus, December 2021: Prof. Tina Maric

HISP Faculty Focus, December 2021: Prof. Tina Maric

Hispanic Studies is pleased to be able to feature Prof. Tina Maric as its Faculty Focus for December 2021.

Prof. Maric joined the Department of Hispanic Studies in the fall of 2020, where she has since ably served in the capacity of Adjunct Lecturer of Spanish. Prior to her arrival at CofC, Ms. Maric distinguished herself by completing a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literatures and Cultural Studies at Indiana University (2020) and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Cultural and Literary Studies at Ball State University (2018).

Of course, like all of Hispanic Studies’ talented faculty, Prof. Maric is a well-rounded and accomplished individual, speaking no less than four (4!) languages (English and Serbo-Croatian, natively; Spanish and Portuguese, proficiently), having had experience as a radio personality (on her show The International Power Hour, broadcast between 2015 and 2018, in Muncie, Indiana) and written articles for the travel magazine Where Madrid.

In her own words…

Teaching in the Department of Hispanic Studies is so rewarding. I couldn’t ask to have students who are more hardworking, motivated, and engaged than those who I’ve had in my classes. I’m very fortunate to have the chance to be a part of the Spanish-language development of such students, who inspire me to make sure that their time in my classroom is meaningful and fulfilling.”

HISP Student Focus, December 2021: Mr. Jerry Windhorn (’23)

HISP Student Focus, December 2021: Mr. Jerry Windhorn (’23)

Hispanic Studies is proud to feature Mr. Jerry Windhorn (Class of 2023) as its Student Focus for December 2021.

A recent transfer to the College of Charleston who is pursuing a B.A. in Spanish along with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Jerry has wasted no time in taking advantage of the full range of opportunities that HISP and LCWA have to offer.

Among his many activities during the fall 2021 semester (his very first at the College of Charleston) Mr. Windhorn has become a member of the Spanish Club, the Hispanic Latino Club and the French Club. In addition, he applied and was accepted into the Trujillo, Spain Study Abroad Program, which is slated to run during the spring 2022 semester.

Of course, while HISP faculty and students will miss Jerry during his time spent abroad, consolation can be found in the knowledge that he will doubtlessly spend his time in Trujillo well and serve as a wonderful ambassador for the institution.

In his own words…

Hispanic Studies at the College is an enigmatic experience. For myself, it began with a great deal of correspondence over the summer, planning out my semester and making sure I was going to put my best foot forward in the fall. From very early on, I was able to see for myself how the Department worked as a team and all I knew was that I wanted to be a part of it. I have learned so much in such a short semester and in a myriad of ways. I am met with a mutual fascination for the Spanish language daily by individuals such as Prof. Devon Hanahan. Moreover, professors such as Dr. Christina García and Prof. Claudia Moran have dedicated many ‘debates’ and lectures to understanding Latin America and the unique perspectives that make my multi-disciplinary learning so vibrant, exhilarating and of course, academically challenging. Studying in the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs—and specifically in the Department of Hispanic Studies—has been my goal from the outset, and with opportunities such as tutoring for the Center for Student Learning, studying abroad in Trujillo, Spain, in the Spring, and living in La Casa Hispana in the fall, I am in no short supply of room to grow and partners with which I can accomplish much by the way of speaking Spanish and supporting the communities around me.

Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus, November 2021: Dr. Antonio Pérez-Núñez

Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for November 2021 is Dr. Antonio Peréz-Núnez

Dr. Peréz-Núnez, an Associate Professor in Hispanic Studies as of fall 2021, joined the College of Charleston in 2015 after completing his Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics, with a concentration in the field of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Prior to this, he distinguished himself at the University of Granada, Spain, where he received two M.A.s—in English Linguistics (2009) and in Advanced Studies in Spanish (2008)—as well as a B.A. in English Philology.

As a member of Hispanic Studies, Dr. Pérez-Núnez has contributed extensively to the departmental curriculum, developing such offerings as SPAN 491: Bilingualism in the Hispanic World, as well as lending his talents within the context of the First Year Experience (e.g., with his FYSE 120/LC Spanish Panorama), teaching a wide range of Spanish language and linguistics course, and working in conjunction with the Honors College on student research projects such as the Bachelor’s Essay.

Finally, Dr. Pérez-Núnez has been an active scholar, having had pieces published or accepted to be published on such topics as “The Effects of Comprehensive Written Corrective Feedback on the Acquisition of Specific Heritage Language Forms” (in the volume Outcomes of University Spanish Heritage Language Instruction in the United States. Ed. Melissa Bowles. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press) and “The Acquisition of Spanish Gender Marking in the Writing of Heritage and Second Language Learners: Evidence from the Language Classroom” (in Heritage Language Journal).

Not a complete summary of his activities, to be sure, but enough to make clear why his colleagues and students are happy that he took the job all those years ago.

In his own words:

I really feel very fortunate to do what I do and to be where I am. Ever since I joined the College in 2015, the department of Hispanic Studies has been a unique place, where I could share my passion for teaching and learning with my students, and also grow personally and professionally with the help of great colleagues and friends.”




Hispanic Studies Student Focus, November 2021: Ms. Elizabeth Jane Hancock

Hispanic Studies Student Focus for October 2021 is Ms. Elizabeth Jane Hancock (’22).

An Honors College student pursuing an Artium Baccalaureatus in Spanish, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Classics, Ms. Hancock has established an impressive academic record at the College of Charleston — both in and outside of Hispanic Studies — having been named to the Dean’s and the President’s Lists.

Additionally, Elizabeth has been accepted into the ranks of more than one highly selective honor society (the Sigma Delta Pi National Spanish Honor Society and the Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society), been named a Global Scholar, served as a Spanish language tutor with the Center for Student Learning, and contributed in the role as Philanthropy and Scholarship Chair for the Sigma Delta Tau sorority.

For all these reasons, and many others, HISP is proud to be able to feature Ms. Elizabeth Hancock as November 2021’s Student Focus.

In her own words:

The Hispanic Studies Department here has been an integral part of my experience here at CofC. I have taken many fascinating courses about topics such as the history of Spain and sociolinguistics, as well as more grammar and literature classes to help polish my speaking, reading, and writing abilities. I have made connections with wonderful professors here at the department, including Dr. Weyers and Dra. Beck, whose classes had me produce some of the best writing in Spanish that I have done to date (whether it be a literary analysis of a Golden Age work or a project surveying the presence of written Spanish in Charleston). Along with working to develop a fluency in speaking the language, the classes offered through the Hispanic Studies department (as well as my fantastic professors) have given me a rich understanding of culture in different parts of the world.”