Texas Tech University

Academic Excellence


Graduates August 2015

Doctoral Spanish

Ana Sylvia Acevedo
Yuriko Ikeda
Edith Lozano-Pozos
Susana Villanueva Eguia Lis

Dissertation Defenses and Degrees Awarded


Heath Wing

Dissertation title: "States of Exception on American Frontiers: Biopolitics, Violence, and Nation in Blood Meridian, Martín Fierro, and Os Sertões"

Dissertation Chair: John Beusterien

Dissertation Committee:
Earl Fitz
Antonio Ladeira
Julian Pérez
Sara Spurgeon


Laura Valentin

Dissertation title: "Collaborative narratives between Spanish heritage and foreign language learners: Understanding Aspect selection through two types of corrective feedback"

Dissertation Chair: Idoia Elola

Dissertation Committee:
Diego Pascual y Cabo
Connie Scarborough
Marta Tecedor
Ariana Mikulski (external member: Pennsylvania State University)


Bachelors of Arts

Kelsey Madden

Carll Edouard

Juan Aragon
Gustavo Chavira
Asia Gipson
Nicole Trivino

Awards and Recognitions

Victoria Surliuga, Associate Professor of Italian Receives Esteemed Funding for Research


CH Foundation Grant

The CH Foundation awarded the Italian Program a $ 41,900 grant to organize an exhibition of Italian artist Ezio Gribaudo at the LHUCA (The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts).

The 1905 Fellowship

The Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Association awarded Dr. Surliuga the 1905 Fellowship in the amount of $3,400 for her research project on the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Texas Tech University Scholarship Catalyst Program

Surliuga was awarded a $3,000 Scholarship Catalyst Program (Texas Tech University) grant in order to present a paper at the Intersections/Intersezioni conference in Florence in June 2015. Surliuga was among the co-organizers of the conference which included a one-day conference on Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini.

Christopher Witmore, Associate Professor of Classics, Receives 3 Prestigious Awards


  • Senior Research Fellowship with the Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters for 2016-2017
  • TTU President's Mid-Career Faculty Award for 2015-2016
  • TTU Humanities Research Fellowship for 2015 for Old Lands, Humanities Center at Texas Tech

Melissa Langston, MA Romance Languages, French Candidate and Winner of the Many Languages, One World Student Essay Contest of Texas Tech University Presents at the United Nations


An Inside Look through the Eyes of Langston

This is the second year of the Many Languages, One World contest, which focuses on having students creatively address the larger issues that are currently present in the world. The first year focused on the importance of second language learning. This year focused on addressing the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

First, students were to write an essay of less than 2,000 words addressing one of the seventeen goals that ranged from sustainable energy to gender equality. These goals can be found here. The essays not only had to be in one of the UN official languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, or Chinese), but they also had to be written in a language that was not your mother tongue or your language of instruction.

Writing in French, I chose to confront the issue of gender equality, focusing on closing the economic and scholastic gaps that are present between men and women in West Africa. I created an education initiative, which is workshop-based, that would provide women with real-world tools and skills to be able to function in the economy and provide sustainable growth and security for the country.

After the submission of essays, Many Languages, One World created review committees, which analyzed the language level of each applicant and also the level of ideas that were presented. The committee process had two rounds, eliminating applicants at each stage. Those who made it through the last committee round were then asked to conduct a Skype interview to determine their oral proficiency. This was the last stage and the winners were notified shortly afterwards. A total of 70 winners were chosen from 42 countries were selected.

Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum

The Global Youth Forum took place from July 20-26 and was based at Adelphi University. The program of the first two days was centered on arriving and getting to know the winners. The real work began on the 22nd, where each of the language divided into their respective groups to work on their presentations. The week before, each group was given a new topic that we would address as a group. The French group was assigned "Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels". This topic, as one of the sustainable development goals, includes several sub-topics ranging from reducing bribery to ending child exploitation. My personal topic addressed the economic exploitation of youth and the effect on development. Each personal presentation had to be between 2 minutes and 2 and a half minutes (which was very hard to do!). The groups continued to work together to create cohesive presentations on the 23rd, culminating in a dress rehearsal that evening.

On the morning of the 24th, all 67 of the winners (3 could not attend due to Visa issues) boarded buses at 8:00 in the morning. We did end up being late to our own show due to New York traffic, but that was our only bump in the road. We spoke in the United Nations General Assembly hall to an audience of between two and three hundred people, which included friends, family, ambassadors, and dignitaries from all over the world. The room was awe-inspiring. Having seen presentations on T.V. in the past I knew what the room looked like, but there are no words to describe the grandeur of the hall. The facilitators had told us the night before that our lives would be forever changed the moment we stepped up to the podium. This could not have been truer. Standing at that green marble podium, standing where world leaders have stood, adding my voice and my vision, is something that I will take with me for the rest of my life.


The presentations were translated into each of the other official UN languages. After the presentations there was a dinner held in our honor where we had the opportunity to make important connections with ambassadors and dignitaries. Then the real fun began and we had the opportunity to be tourists in New York City! We started at Times Square, which was more than I could have ever imagined. There were street artists, performers, and hundreds of people packed into this area. Next, we had dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square and were treated to performances by the staff. The presentation day ended with a trip to the top of the Empire State Building and some of the most amazing views of New York City.

Saturday the 25th, we continued to tour New York starting at the 9/11 memorial. This was a particular somber experience for me as an American, to stand where so many lost their lives. But I enjoyed the opportunity to be able to explain this pivotal moment in American history to the winners who did not have much knowledge of this tragedy. Next, we went on a lunch cruise around New York City and got a close up view of the Statue of Liberty. And we ended our tour day with a trip to the Museum of Natural History (the dinosaur exhibit was my favorite!). That evening, we had award presentations and a farewell dinner. It was quite difficult to say good-bye to all of the new friends that I had made over that week, but we do all stay in touch through Facebook.

Heath Wing Receives Award for Dissertation


Heath Wing, PhD Spanish, was awarded 2nd Place for the Graduate School Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2015 in the category of Humanities and Fine Arts. He was nominated by Dr. John Beusterien.

Chelsea Carlton Awarded Arts & Sciences Academic Achievement Scholarship


Chelsea Carlton, Senior BA double major – Spanish and Communication Studies, was awarded the Arts & Sciences Academic Achievement Scholarship for the Academic Year 2015-2016. Applications received annually are reviewed and ranked on the students' merits. The Department of Classical and Modern Languages & Literatures in conjunction with The Arts and Sciences Scholarship Committee applauds Carlton's current accomplishments with the knowledge that scholarships play a vital role in students attaining their personal and educational goals.

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