B.A. in Spanish and French, Western Michigan University (1986)
M.A. in Spanish, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1988)
Ph.D. in Spanish American literature, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1997)
My dissertation was on testimonial literature in 20th century Spanish America, focusing on mediated texts, questions of authority and the influence of photography and cover art on readers' interpretations. Once I began
teaching at Salve Regina, I began to develop an interest that I've always had in literature from the Hispanophone Caribbean countries. My interest in a Chilean author, Luis Sepulveda, has also led me to work with detective fiction/thrillers as well as the topic of literature and exile. Currently, I'm working on images of Haiti in contemporary Cuban literature and Cuban literature in exile.
I began studying languages in the 10th grade, and discovered that I have a very good ear and a natural talent for them. Yet I knew I didn't want to teach high school. In college, I searched, through my general education requirements, for something "practical" that I could put with my languages. While I obviously couldn't take a course in every subject, I couldn't find anything that I liked as much as languages. It was one of my college professors who suggested to me that I become a professor since I loved to read, my language skills were excellent, and my literary analysis was good. To my surprise, I found out in graduate school that I love teaching. Some 20 years and two more languages later, I still do. While there is a set schedule, rarely are two days the same. When I work with freshmen, I try to inspire them, regardless of their majors, to explore all avenues, and to try new things. For some students, another language will be merely a tool that allows them to excel at their chosen professions. For others, it's a passion. It's never useless or irrelevant. I'm proof that you never know where the road of life will take you. Languages have opened so many doors and possibilities to me, and I like to help facilitate that for my students.