Author Archives: Michael Gomez

HISP Student Focus for April 2021: Mr. Creighton Shelby (’22)

Mr. Creighton Shelby (’22) is the Hispanic Studies Student Focus for April 2021.

Creighton Shelby, a Spanish Language Education major and Linguistics minor remarks, “For me, Hispanic Studies is home.” When one considers just how much of a part he plays in some of the department’s most important activities –and, thus, how much he forms a part of HISP’s daily life– it is hard to disagree with him.

Since 2019, he has served as a Spanish tutor at the Center for Student Learning, assisting his peers and working with the department’s faculty in helping students to get a handle on some of those more elusive grammatical concepts. In addition, he has taught as a member of the SPAN Peer Conversation Class Program and lent his talents as Treasurer of the Spanish Club.

Beyond this, he will be one of only two student presenters at the upcoming Hispanic Studies hosted online, international CofC-UNLaM-USACH Conference, which runs from April 6-8 (you can check out his presentation on “El lenguaje inclusive: buscando algo más del binario” on the April 6th at 4 p.m. by registering here).

Of course, while Creighton is a valued member of the Hispanic Studies family, he also belongs and has contributed substantially to other groups on campus—not the least of which is the Reformed University Fellowship Ministry, on whose Leadership Committee he serves, as well as the Office of New Student Programs, with which he works as an Orientation Intern.

In his own words:

For me, Hispanic Studies is home. I came into college with a love and fascination of the Spanish language and my professors and peers have helped this grow since starting at the College. The Hispanic Studies department here at College of Charleston has afforded me countless opportunities such as living in the Spanish House, studying abroad in Trujillo, Spain, and working on an independent study to deeper explore my interest in Spanish linguistics. I have learned that Spanish is far more than just a language, but a lived experience. I cannot be more grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from each of my professors and peers. I am excited to continue loving and learning to love the Spanish language in the future!

HISP Student Focus, March 2021: Mr. Riley Taylor (’22)

Mr. Riley Taylor (’22) is the Hispanic Studies Student Focus for March, 2021.

A Spanish major with two minors in International Studies and Communications, Riley Taylor is certainly one of those students who has decided to make the most of his time at the College of Charleston.

In the classroom, as anyone who has taught him will readily attest, Riley is keen to engage and to be engaged; displaying a genuine passion for learning more about the topic at hand—whether this is the poetry of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, the history and culture of Latin America, or some sophisticated concept of Spanish linguistics. Such dedication to and enthusiasm for his studies are evinced through his being recognized with such honors as being placed on the President’s and Dean’s Lists, not to mention his gaining admission to the Sigma Delta Pi National Spanish Honor Society (the latter for which he currently serves as secretary).

To be sure, Mr. Taylor’s many activities are not limited to those sponsored by Hispanic Studies. Besides the above, he has also kept busy as a College Student Audio-Visual Support Technician, a member of the Student Sports Marketing Team and as a participant in CofC’s Model United Nations.

While not a complete summary of Riley’s activities and achievements, the preceding certainly should communicate exactly why it is HISP is proud to feature him as this month’s Student Focus.

In his own words…

Choosing a higher education path in Hispanic Studies has opened countless doors for me as I progress towards my future career. Through the Spanish language, I have been exposed to a world of history, culture, tradition, and beauty that I otherwise would not have known existed. I am beyond grateful for the Hispanic Studies Department at the College not only for my higher education, but because they truly have the most dedicated, passionate faculty that make each course much more than just a class, but a valuable, memorable experience. I am proud to say that I am a Spanish speaker and ever more pleased to represent the Hispanic Studies Department at the College of Charleston.”

HISP Faculty Focus, March 2021: Prof. Georgia Schlau

Prof. Georgia Schlau is HISP’s Faculty Focus for March 2021.

Prof. Georgia Schlau received her Master’s from the University of South Carolina (’69), where her thesis focused on The Novels of Rafael F. Muñoz, before beginning study for a Ph.D. in Romance Literatures and Languages, at the University of Georgia.

Following her graduate-level studies, Ms. Schlau held positions as an Instructor at the University of South Carolina and as an Assistant Professor at Baptist College, among other places, before joining the Department of Hispanic Studies as an Instructor in 1990. From 1992-2011, she served ably as Director of the Language Resource Center at the College, before returning to the classroom as an Instructor, from 2012-2016, and then teaching part-time following her retirement in the latter year.

Of course, Ms. Schlau’s professional pedigree is only part of the reason that she is so valued by Hispanic Studies. Besides her admirable work in and outside of the classroom, she has contributed significantly to the life of the College, that of the Department and of students in general, through such activities as her past advising of the Spanish Club and her participation in the World Cultures Fair.

For all of these reasons, and for many others, HISP is proud to claim Ms. Georgia Schlau as one of its own and to be able to feature her in this month’s Faculty Focus.

In her own words…

“I enjoy teaching so much I came back after retirement to continue teaching for the Hispanic Studies Department. It gives me a focus and keeps me young at heart.”

SPAN Major, Isabel Del Mastro (’22), Awarded Sigma Delta Pi Internship Prize

Hispanic Studies’ Spanish major Ms. Isabel Del Mastro (’22) was recently awarded National Spanish Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi’s inaugural Virtual Internship Scholarship. The internship, to be conducted during the upcoming summer of 2021, will put Ms. Del Mastro into contact with an organization in Medellín, Colombia, in either the field of NGOs & Nonprofits or Languages & Translation. Isabel was chosen, along with only one other individual, from a highly competitive, national pool of applicants. Congratulations to her on this considerable achievement!

HISP’s Student Focus, February 2021: Ms. Isabel Del Mastro (’22)

Hispanic Studies’ Student focus for February 2021 is Ms. Isabel Del Mastro (’22)

A double major in Spanish and Latin American & Caribbean Studies and a double minor in Linguistics and Studio Art, Ms. Del Mastro has participated actively in the life of the department since arriving at the College of Charleston—most recently, in her role as a Spanish Peer Instructor and tutor, as well as in the context of the Spanish National Honor Society, Sigma Delta Pi, the Nu Zeta chapter of which she currently serves a president.

Of course, as is frequently the case with Hispanic Studies’ impressive majors and minors, Isabel has been up to other notable and exciting activities, including studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, being accepted as an intern with Student Action with Farmworkers, and lending her considerable talents to the Trident Literacy Association.

For all of these reasons, and many others, HISP is proud to count the talented Ms. Isabel Del Mastro among its students.

In her own words…

My experiences with Hispanic Studies and its members have been nothing but positive and motivating throughout my college career. I have been able to connect with a wonderful group of professors who show an infectious passion for the material they instruct and the information that they research. Through their advising and guidance, I have been able to study abroad in Argentina, and apply for internships that have allowed me to conceptualize possibilities for life after college. They also motivated me to pursue a Latin American and Caribbean Studies major and add a Linguistics minor to my graduation plan. Even simply taking classes within Hispanic Studies has grown my passion for studying Latin American literature, history and culture!

I can honestly say that Hispanic Studies has been a major force in shaping my college experience. I am so grateful for the opportunities and support that the department and its members have given to me, and I am proud to have shared this experience with so many amazing students and faculty!

HISP Faculty Focus, February 2021: Dr. Christina García

Hispanic Studies Faculty Focus for February 2021 is Dr. Christina García

A member of Hispanic Studies since 2018, Dr. García holds a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine (2018) [with a dissertation focusing on “Touching Impenetrable Bodies: Material Ecologies in Cuban Literary and Visual Works”], an M.A. from New York University (2009) in Humanities and Social Thought, and a B.A. in English and Art History from Florida International University (2004).

As one might expect, such a varied formation and background has resulted in a unique and fascinating research agenda, as well as in more than one engaging course offering—among the latter, the fancifully titled “Cannibal Readers,” “Sea Anemone, Roach-men and Hurricanes” and “Talking Trash and Wasting Time: A Caribbean Ecology”; among the former, “Of Souls, Skins and Leopard Prints: Queer and Animal Creations of Cubanbeings” (Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, June 2021), “Baroque Revolutionaries, Communist Fags and Risky Friendships: Reading the Politics of Friendship in Fresa y chocolate” (Cuban Studies 47, 2019) and “The Ethics of Botched Taxidermy” (Antennae: the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture, Issue 7, Autumn 2008).

In addition to the above, Dr. García has enriched the department in many other ways, ranging from her serving as Faculty Advisor to the College’s Hispanic Latino Club to her recent co-organizing of a poetry reading featuring renowned author Susannah Rodríguez Drissi.

For the above and for much else, Hispanic Studies is fortunate to count Dr. Christina García among its faculty and proud to be able to feature her as this month’s HISP Faculty Focus.

In her own words…

I am always so impressed by how bright and socially engaged the students are at the College of Charleston. Whether it’s Spanish 101 that I’m teaching, or a senior seminar, I love rereading works of fiction and analyzing visual art with them. The students here have diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and, in drawing from their lived experiences, their interpretations enrich and revitalize the objects we study. Teaching them is the best gig!


Dr. Christina García’s Forthcoming Article in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos

Hispanic Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Christina García’s article, “Of Souls, Skins and Leopard Prints: Queer and Animal Creations of Cubanbeings,” was recently accepted for publication in Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. The piece will appear in the June 2021 volume. Congratulations to her on this impressive feat of scholarship.



HISP’s Dr. Joe Weyers’ Forthcoming Article in The Southern Journal of Linguistics

The Department of Hispanic Studies is proud to announce that Dr. Joe Weyers’ article, “A tale of three languages: Spanish, Guaraní, and English in Asunción, Paraguay,”  has recently been accepted for publication in the spring 2021 issue The Southern Journal of Linguistics. A hearty congratulations to Dr. Weyers for this considerable achievement!

HISP Student Focus, January 2021: Ms. Lily Andrews

HISP’s Student Focus for January 2021 is Ms. Lily Andrews (’23)

Ms. Andrews, a double minor in Spanish and Medical Humanities and a major in Public Health, is yet another wonderful example of the manner in which language and cultural studies can combine with other fields to enrich students personally and professionally.

Within the context of Hispanic Studies, Lily has, since 2020, contributed significantly as both a Substitute Peer Teacher for the Spanish Conversational Class Program and as a Spanish Tutor with the College’s Center for Student Learning.

In addition, she has been active with CofC’s Occupational and Physical Therapy Alliance, serving in various capacities (including that of Vice President, beginning in spring of 2021), as well as with the College’s Aquatic and Motor Therapy Program, FitCatz, where she works as a clinician with special needs children.

As if that weren’t enough, Ms. Andrews has also served as a Peer Advisor with the Office of Academic Advising and Planning and as a tour guide Charleston Forty.

In her own words…

With my future career goal to be a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in mind, I pursued a Spanish minor because I love the language and want to be able to provide care to those who speak it, but I never imagined the greater impact it would have on me. Taking courses such as Spanish Composition and Applied Spanish made me a more effective communicator in both Spanish and English. The skills I learned in those classes, such as how to be concise or how to interpret language in a way that accurately reflects the feeling behind the words spoken, will undoubtedly help me in my future career.

Additionally, I’ve taken courses focused on topics I was already interested in, such as sustainability and textual analysis. These courses have broadened my worldview by allowing me to see the world through perspectives I never would have had access to before. As a result, I have a deeper understanding of the issues that impact all of us, no matter where we live or the language we speak.

Being a member of the Hispanic Studies Department has also afforded me job opportunities that allow me to encourage other students as they learn and develop a passion for Spanish. I currently work as a Spanish tutor in the CSL, and in Fall 2021 I’ll be facilitating an FYE Synthesis Seminar. I hope I can be as helpful and encouraging to new Spanish students as the professors in the department have been to me!


HISP Faculty Focus, January 2021: Prof. Betsy Hance

HISP’s Faculty Focus for January 2021 is Prof. Betsy Hance

With a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish—from UNC Charlotte and Chapel Hill, respectively—Prof. Betsy Hance brings considerable experience to her role as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Hispanic Studies.

Following the completion of her Master’s thesis, which dealt with the topic of “Dramatic Interpretations of the Conquest: Rodolfo Usigli’s Corona de fuego and Carlos Fuentes’ Todos los gatos son pardos,” Prof. Hance went on to teach as an instructor at Central Piedmont Community College and at UNC Charlotte, before making her way to Kennesaw State University and finally—thankfully! —to the College of Charleston in 2018.

When not brightening the days and opening the minds of students with her enthusiasm and knowledge of the Spanish language and its cultures, Prof. Hance has–among other things–volunteered her time as a certified medical interpreter in Spanish with the Cross Cultural Healthcare Program, as well as in the pediatric emergency room at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, both in Marietta, Georgia.

In her own words…

By far, the most rewarding aspect of teaching at the College of Charleston is my students.  I have always taught with a global perspective in mind, and the students here are so willing and ready to embrace new concepts.  I have been able to mentor and influence my students to pursue some of the many language-related opportunities that the Department offers. In addition to working with such terrific students, I have been most fortunate in my time here to have open, collaborative and inspirational colleagues. Best job ever.