Author Archives: Michael Gomez

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus, November 2022: Prof. Adelaida Bidot

HISP’s Faculty Focus for November of 2022 is Prof. Adelaida Bidot.

An impressive member of Hispanic Studies’ impressive faculty lineup since the fall of 2020, Adelaida received her education at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico—first at the undergraduate and then the graduate level—where she completed a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s Degree in Hispanic Studies. Subsequent to this, she went on to take doctoral level classes in Hispanic Philology at the University of Murcia.

Following her time spent in Spain, Prof. Bidot returned to Puerto Rico, where she taught at the University of Puerto Rico as a Professor of Hispanic Studies, and then at the Pontifical Catholic University, where she gave classes in Hispanic Studies–all of this, before joining the Hispanic Studies faculty team.

Besides her wonderful work in the Spanish language classroom, Prof. Bidot has a long list of achievements to her name, which include her being commissioned by the Pontifical University of Puerto Rico to research and write a series of volumes about the institution’s history (e.g., see her Padres Escolapios: Cooperatores veritatis, cinco décadas de espiritualidad en la Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico [2016]), the publication of scholarly articles (e.g., “¿Para qué la literatura?” in Revista Horizontes [2011]) and her conducting an award-winning interview with none other than Isabel Allende (see “Conversación con Isabel Allende” in Revista A Propósito [1995]).

For all the above and for so much more, Hispanic Studies is happy that Prof. Adelaida Bidot has chosen to call Hispanic Studies her home.

In her own words…

“Being an educator, I have always felt that I receive from my students far more than I give to them. That is, being in contact with young people spreads energy, enthusiasm, and vitality. My students give me a sense of reality and keep me grounded looking to the future.

Working at the College of Charleston has reinvigorated my career, affording me rewarding professional discoveries. Even after many years of teaching literature, I have continued to discover how challenging and stimulating it is to be in the classroom, this time teaching about Spanish language and Ibero-American cultures.

In the Department of Hispanic Studies, I have found wonderful colleagues, collaborators, and supportive and creative people who are always eager to help and to share new ideas and experiences, all things for which I am grateful.”


Hispanic Studies’ October 2022 Faculty Focus: Dr. Sharonah Fredrick

Hispanic Studies’ Faculty Focus for October 2022 is Dr. Sharonah Fredrick

Hispanic Studies is pleased to welcome Dr. Sharonah Fredrick as a member of its faculty.

Dr. Fredrick, who joins the department as an Instructor of Spanish—hired, in part, to broaden and deepen offerings in the Spanish for Health field—has an impressive academic pedigree, which includes a PhD in Hispanic Language and Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (where she studied as a Turner Diversity Scholar), a Master’s Degree from Tel Aviv University in Israel in Medieval, Renaissance and Colonial History, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Languages (again) from SUNY Buffalo.

As both her students and colleagues can readily attest, Dr. Fredrick possesses a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects, ranging from indigenous medicine of the Americas, to Indo-Hispanic theatre, to Catalan Nationalism in Spain–even to the musical complexities of one of her favorite bands, The Beatles.

Among her most recent academic publications (of which I cite only a few) are “Piracy as Resistance in Early Modern Caribbean and Pacific,” in (REWR) Routledge Encyclopedia of the World Renaissance, (forthcoming) April 2023, “Mayan and Andean Medicine and Urban Space in the Colonial Spanish Americas,” in Renaissance & Reformation (R&R) Journal of U Toronto, 44.2,  December 2021, and her upcoming book, Killing the Deities: Resistance in Mayans and Andean Colonial Epics-A Comparative Study of the Popul Vuh and the Huarochiri Manuscript.  University of Nebraska Press. (forthcoming) June 2023.

Add to these impressive credentials and accomplishments Dr. Fredrick’s evident passion for teaching and enthusiasm for engaging in the life of the department and its easy to see why we are proud to be able to feature her as October’s Faculty Focus.

In her own words…

“The atmosphere of Hispanic Studies at CofC instils genuine excitement in the students and the faculty who teach there. I find it inspiring to know that the things we talk about, from universities in Latin America to artistic festivals in Spain, from science and medicine in the Hispanic world to business and commerce, and of course, to our great love of literature and languages (including both Spanish Portuguese!!) can be experienced by the student in real time. I adore the fact that I can teach a student about community health in Uruguay and colonial and indigenous medicine in Peru and Costa Rica, and they will have the possibility of experiencing these things, either in trips abroad or in the Casa Hispana, or any of the many forums that Hispanic Studies gives them. Teaching Spanish and Latin American literature is not just an intellectual exercise. It has an urgency to it that is the main reason I love teaching. Classical paradigms connect with present reality, so no one has to ask why literature, linguistics and culture are ‘relevant’; they obviously are. It is delightful to teach in an atmosphere that recognizes the value of the Humanities.”





Hispanic Studies’ October 2022 Student Focus: Mr. Max Moore

Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus for October 2022 is Mr. Max Moore.

On a hot August day I went to welcome residents into the Casa Hispana—Hispanic Studies’ living and learning community, located on Bull Street in downtown Charleston. Striding up to the house I spied a student and his father toting belongings up the front steps speaking…German?! “What sort of confusion is this?” I thought. No confusion, it turned out. Just Max Moore, a major in Spanish, Foreign Language Education –and, yes, German—moving in.

Looking at his list of accomplishments and activities, it doesn’t take long to see that Max is the sort of individual that the School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs so highly values and cultivates—i.e., someone whose interests range far and wide, crossing borders and making connections.

Within Hispanic Studies, Mr. Moore has distinguished himself as member and Treasurer of the Spanish Club, a resident of the Casa Hispana and an alumnus of the department’s longstanding program in Trujillo, Spain. Beyond this, he forms a part of the German Club, serves as a German tutor with the Center for Student Learning and plans to head abroad, once again, when he travels to study at the University of Bamberg during spring of 2023.

In his own words…

“I started learning Spanish in middle school and fell in love with learning languages. I had always been fascinated with other cultures and places in the world and how we as humans developed into these vastly different societies, so when I was taking my Spanish and German classes in middle and high school, I was inspired by my former teachers to become a German/Spanish teacher. I had had more experience when it came to speaking German and had always felt that my Spanish was sub-par and was shy to even speak until I enrolled at the College of Charleston and met the fantastic Hispanic Studies Department staff and other students who are studying Spanish. The professors at the college are some of the most passionate, encouraging, and caring people I have met since I started college. I don’t think I would have learned or experienced half of what I have were it not for the amazing staff members. Because of these relationships the staff has built with us, I took a greater part in the Hispanic Studies activities such as the Spanish Club with their tertulia and various other events, my study abroad in Trujillo where I met amazing people and gained a valuable life experience that I will never forget, or being a resident at la Casa Hispana on campus where I live with other students studying Spanish.

I feel as though I am now better equipped and more confident when it comes to interacting with other people, whatever language that may be in, because of my experience in the Hispanic Studies department. For me studying Spanish is more than just learning about grammar or culture but learning to understand others. The world doesn’t appear as big as we sometimes like to think it is and I feel as though learning a different language allows me to see things from a different perspective that I would not have noticed otherwise. This feeling has been exemplified here at the College of Charleston through the wonderful Hispanic Studies staff and students. Studying Spanish has given me many opportunities that I am fortunate to have, but they don’t amount to anything without the experiences I have had or the relationships I have founded during my stead at the College of Charleston.”


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.”