Texas Tech University

Academic Excellence


Degrees Awarded and Doctoral Dissertation and Master Thesis Defenses



Julio César Pérez Méndez
Spanish Ph. D.

Doctoral Dissertation Defense and Graduate, August 2017
Dissertation title: "Using Photographs to Illustrate Don Quixote"
Dissertation Chair: John Beusterien
Dissertation Committee: Connie Scarborough, Rachel Schmidt
Dean's Representative: Jorgelina Orfila


Michael Martinez
Spanish Ph. D.

Doctoral Dissertation Defense December 2017
Dissertation title: "Beyond Borders: Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, La saga/fuga de J.B., and the Construction of Literary Fields" examines the formation of the concept of a national literature by way of a close reading of the 1972 novel La saga/fuga de J.B. by the Galician author Gonzalo Torrente Ballester"
Dissertation Chair: Carmen Pereira-Muro
Dissertation Committee: Susan Larson, Sara Guengerich
Dean's Representative: Curtis Bauer


Michael P. Boyles
Languages and Cultures-Classics M.A.

Master Thesis Defense and Graduate, August 2017
Thesis title: The Water-mill at Khirbet Faynan: Historical Perspectives and Weisgerber's Unpublished Archive
Dissertation Chair: Hannah Friedman
Thesis Committee: David Larmour

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Nawaf Alanazi
Languages and Cultures, M.A.
Applied Linguistics, December 2017
Zachary Brandner
Romance Languages Spanish M.A., December 2017
Accepted into the Spanish Ph.D. program, Spring 2018
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Elizabeth Hammond
Romance Languages M.A.
French, December 2017
Laura Schuster
Languages and Cultures M.A.
German, August 2017


BA Languages & Culture

  • Victoria Cockrum, Classics (December 2017)
  • Defore, Katherine E., German (August 2017)
  • Ian Mohn, Russian Language Area Studies & BA Global Studies (December 2017)
  • Lilian E. Quiroz, German & BA Journalism (December 2017)
  • Tessa Vaughan, French (December 2017)

BA Spanish

  • Rosa Bailey I.
  • Anazaide Colunga
  • Alyssa E. Davis
  • Jesus A. Espinosa
  • Austin K. Ford
  • Jaime L. Gonzales
  • Kasey L Hallett
  • Brittney N. Hoenshell
  • Stephen A. Jehle
  • Alexandria P. Lovell
  • Mark A. Pereida

Student Achievements, Awards and Recognitions

Khaleel Abusal Awarded Scholarship to Penn State STARTALK Arabic Academy

Khaleel Abusal, M.A. LACU-Applied Linguistics student and GPTI for lower-level Arabic, was selected to take part in the innovative summer study program, Penn State STARTALK Arabic Academy from June 19 to July 14, 2017. Designed for highly motivated students who wish to improve their knowledge of the critical language of Arabic, its people and culture, the program also provides insight to teaching Arabic to native speakers teaching in the US as in the case of Abusal. He not only gained professional development as a teacher of Arabic but also received invaluable opportunities to explore career interests.

Brett Stine Receives Fellowship and Selected to Attend Course in Athens


Brett Stine, M.A. LACU-Classics student, received the USA Fellowship for the next two years while he earns a Master's in Languages & Cultures-Applied Linguistics.

In addition, Stine applied and was selected to participate in an international post-graduate course in Greek Epigraphy hosted by the British School in Athens. The two week intensive class trained students in recognizing, reading and understanding Greek Epigraphy (inscriptions in stone) from archaic Greece to late antiquity in the Roman Empire.

Maxwell Stocker Wins Best Paper in Literature I Category


Congratulations to Maxwell Stocker, Classics M.A. student, for winning the best paper, "Comparative Identities in the Eastern Mediterranean: Exile, Homecoming, and Reintegration in Archaic Greek and Middle Egyptian Narrative Poetry", in the Literature I category at the Arts and Humanities Graduate Research Conference.

Jackson Vaughn Participates in Summer Archaeological Projects


Jackson Vaughn, M.A. LACU-Classics student, participated in the Excavations in the Athenian Agora, an excavation run by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA) since 1931. Hundreds of scholars, workers, specialists and students have taken part in the project over the span of 86 years resulting in hundreds of scholarly articles adding much to our understanding of ancient Greek history and culture.

Vaughn also joined an international team of researchers from Greece, Switzerland, and the United States in the Mazi Archaeological Project, a diachronic regional survey in northwest Attica, Greece. A collaboration between the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attika, Pireus, and Islands and the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece.

In addition to his participation in these two archaeological projects, Vaughn, recipient of a Study Abroad Competitive Scholarship for research, devoted time to his research in conducting a questionnaire in the town of Alepochori regarding the town's relationship towards the local archaeological site, the Akropolis of Pagai.

Vaughn presented two a papers recently. The first being a paper entitled, "Pagai Reformed: Law, Politics, Heritage" at the 114th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South (CAMWS) in Albuquerque from April 11-14, 2017. Vaughn presented a second paper entitled, "Ovid's Beauty and the Beast: the Win Seductions of Daphne and Galatea" at the Texas Tech Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Research Conference on November 17, 2017.

Ryan Williams Living Latin in Rome


During the summer Ryan Williams, M.A. LACU-Classics student, had the honor of going to Rome as part of the Paideia Institute program called Living Latin in Rome. It consisted of five weeks in classes, lectures, trips around Roman to museums and other sites, and "talking Latin sub arboribus." Some of the trips around Rome included visits to the Ara Pacis, Villa Borghese, and the catacombs of Priscilla. The bigger trips included outings to Naples and Florence in order to see some of the Roman and Renaissance sights there. The most exciting handful of days that allowed Williams to get in touch with the traditions and Romans themselves were days spent in groups at the Colosseum and argues for and against the gladiatorial games, reciting from memory one of Cicero's orations in the Forum, and having a picnic and reciting the poetry of Horace among themselves at the spring over Horace's villa.

Williams stated "The program was incredibly busy, but it was incredibly fun and helped me to better get in touch with the roots of Latin. For anyone, undergraduate, graduate, or professor, who is more interested in getting in touch with the roots of Latin and the traditions, I cannot suggest this program, or any other program with the Paideia Institute, enough."

2017-2018 Texas Tech Graduate School Fellowships and Scholarship Awardees in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

American Mexican Friendship-Waterman Scholarship

  • Gilberto Garcia, Spanish
  • Joana Guerrero Rodriguez, Spanish
  • Cecilia Palacio Ribon, Spanish
  • Arturo Ramirez Martinez, Spanish
  • Jesus Ramirez Mendez, Spanish

AT&T Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship

  • Gustavo Costa, Spanish
  • David Foshee, Spanish
  • Rachel Gamarra, Spanish

Cash Family Graduate Fellowship

  • Maxwell Stocker, Languages & Cultures – Classics

Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship

  • Ruben Varona Herrera, Spanish

J.T. and Margaret Talkington Graduate Fellowship

  • Maya Edwards, Spanish
  • Noemie Hamaide, Romance Languages, French
  • Manuel Jesus Martin Gonzalez, Spanish
  • Ramona Ojeda, Spanish

United Supermarkets Graduate Fellowship

  • Dora Aranda, Spanish
  • Brett Stine, Languages & Cultures – Classics

7th Annual Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Conference

CMLL had a strong presence at the 7th Annual Arts & Humanities Graduate Research Conference on November 17, 2017.


Sarah Schiffecker, Master's LACU-German - Teaching (more than) a language- The value of grammar in a communicative approach to language teaching

Dylan Lewis, Master's LACU-German - "Facts are such horrid things!": Mediation, Manipulation, and Materiality in Jane Austen's Lady Susan

Claudia Schumann, Master's LACU-German - The idea of America in Franz Kafka's 'Der Verschollene'

Andrew Simmons, Master's LACU-Classics – Snakes on a Paper, A Paper on Snakes: A Symbolic Analysis of the Serpent in the Foundation of Thebes

Maxwell Stocker, Master's LACU-Classics – Comparative Identities I the Eastern Mediterranean: Exile, Homecoming, and Reintegration in Archaic Greek and Middle Egyptian Narrative Poetry

Jackson Vaughn, Master's LACU-Classics – Ovid's Beauty and the Beast: The Twin Seductions of Daphne and Galatea


  • Khaleel Abusal
  • Achintha Bandara
  • Anastasia Coles
  • Kristen Michelson, Ph.D.
  • Brett Stine
  • Lucas Wood, Ph.D.
  • Sydnor Roy, Ph.D.

Stephan Ross Huffman Poetry Prize Winner


This year three different majors were winners of the Huffman Poetry Award! This is the first time that there was a unanimous first place choice from among the three judges who submit their rankings individually. This year's judges were Dr. Robin German (Art), Dr. Robert Peaslee (MCOM), and Dr. Matthew Hunter (English). This unprecedented unanimous first place award went to Catherine Ragsdale, (Spanish major) for her poem, "Valencia".

Catherine Ragsdale
For Becca

Faculty Achievements, Awards and Recognitions

2017 Humanities Center Alumni College Fellows

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Belinda Kleinhans Alicia Miklos

Twelve TTU humanities scholars presented their work in a constellation of mini-lectures on October 18th in the McKenzie-Merket Center. The event showcased humanities research at the university. Among the twelve named are two CMLL faculty members, Belinda Kleinhans (Assistant Professor, German) and Alicia Miklos (Assistant Professor, Spanish).

Belinda Kleinhans presented a lecture entitled, "The Joy of Killing: Perpetrators, Violence and Media". Alicia Miklos presented a lecture entitled, "Melodrama and Myth in Nicaraguan Crime Reporting on Gender Violence".


George Cole, Associate Professor of Spanish, gave the closing Keynote Address at the I Simposio Internacional para Jóvenes Investigadores: Extremadura y América, Nuevas Líneas de Investigación that took place at the University of Extremadura in Caceres, Spain on October 24th and 25th. The title of his speech was "Paralelos entre Los naufragios de Cabeza de Vaca y La Odisea: la tenue frontera entre la crónica histórica y la literatura".


Carole Edwards, Associate Professor of French, published an article last June entitled « Pour une pensée postcoloniale: Laurent Gaudé comme écrivain-monde », in the volume La Caraïbe,Chaudron des Amériques, Presses Universitaires de Limoges, pp 177-186, alongside Goncourt Prize winner (Texaco 1992) Patrick Chamoiseau.

Idoia Elola Selected as an Integrated Scholar at Texas Tech for 2018


Idoia Elola, Associate Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics, exemplifies the description of an Integrated Scholar as a faculty who dedicates herself to a cours of lifelong learning and advance Texas Tech's role in educating, serving and inspiring others to do the same. She is not only outstanding in teaching, research and service, but creates synergy among the three functions. She promotes active learning and implements her research into her courses, publishes the result in peer-review journals and executes service commitments to complement her teaching and research goals.

Sara Guengerich Receives Faculty Excellence in Research Certificate


Sara Guengerich, Assistant Professor of Spanish, received a Faculty Excellence in Research certificate in recognition to her National Endowment for the Humanities long-term fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Dr. Guengerich spent the Fall 2018 researching the library materials toward her book, tentatively titled Daughters of the Inca Conquest. The John Carter Brown Library has the largest collection in the world of books printed in Spanish America as a whole prior to ca. 1820.

Dr. Kleinhans founds Humanities Center Working Group on "The Animal" in the Humanities

The interdisciplinary research working group "The Animal" in the Humanities, proposed by Belinda Kleinhans, has been accepted for a two-year funding period by the Humanities Center. The group brings together a core of six scholars from five different disciplines and two departments to explore "the animal" as a is a key figure for understanding "the human" in general, as well as the distinct configuration of the human and of the humanities in the 21st century. All core members of the working group will take part in the monthly working group meetings and will help to organize as well as present at a first-year colloquium as well as at a second-year conference. Drawing on an interdisciplinary group of tenured and tenure-track researchers from a variety of disciplines, the core members of the group include John Beusterien (Spanish), Belinda Kleinhans (German Studies), Katy Schroeder (Animal Science), Christopher Witmore (Classics), Lucas Wood (French) as well as Pamela Zinn (Classics).

Susan Larson Named General Editor of Romance Quarterly

Dr. Susan Larson, Charles B. Qualia Professor of Romance Languages, officially became the General Editor of the academic journal Romance Quarterly. The peer-reviewed journal publishes articles on Spanish, Spanish American, French, Catalan, Galician, Italian, Portuguese, and Brazilian literatures and cultures and is housed by academic publisher Taylor & Francis. Romance Quarterly contains critical essays and book reviews in English and in Romance languages by scholars from universities around the world and has been published without interruption since 1954.

Professor Larson was invited to give the final Distinguished Lecture of the Urban Futures Lecture Series at the John W. Altman Humanities Center at Miami University of Ohio. The title of her lecture is "Trash, Recycling and Post-Crisis Madrid" and is the core of her most recent research project. Other speakers in the series included Saskia Sassen, Neil Brenner, Andrew Ross, and Alison Isenberg.

Anita McChesney Receives Research Scholarship


Anita McChesney, Assistant Professor of German, traveled to Austria on October 11-22 to conduct research. Funded by the Scholarship Catalyst Program, the trip facilitated a project that examines the role of contemporary Austrian crime fiction as social critique. At the center of the 10-day trip was attending the 14th annual Crime Night (Kriminacht) in Vienna and the 9th annual Crime Festival (Krimifest) in Salzburg. At both events, contemporary authors read from their most recent publications and fielded questions from the audience. The week in Vienna also provided opportunities to visit the Vienna Crime Museum and search the extensive archives of the Vienna Literature House. This research will lead to an article on Vienna as a crime scene and will contribute to her larger goal of drawing attention to the unique contributions of Austrian crime fiction in exposing social wrongs.

Christopher Witmore Named in Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium: Introducing Current Perspectives

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ISBN-13: 978-1138888715
ISBN-10: 1138888710

Christopher Witmore, Associate Professor of Classics, received significant recognition by being named in the book Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium: Introducing Current Perspectives as one of the most important theorists in contemporary archaeology. This inclusion places him alongside an impressive cohort of such important thinkers as Rene Descartes, Martin Heidegger, Ferdinand de Saussure, Judith Butler, and Edward Said.

Hispania, "Visionary Essays: The Future of Spanish and Portuguese" Centenary Issue

Hispania, the official journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), was first published in 1917 and was housed in our own department and edited for years by Professor Janet Pérez. A special Centenary Issue titled "Visionary Essays: The Future of Spanish and Portuguese" will be published in December 2017 (100.5).

This is the description of the volume from the editors: This volume provides readers of the journal with overview essays and accompanying rejoinders that offer both a succinct historical perspective and a forward-thinking vision of the future of particular segments of our field. It will contain a total of 90 voices from educators at all teaching levels throughout the globe.

Six Texas Tech professors are featured in this important volume:

Idoia Elola, Associate Professor of Spanish. "Writing in Spanish as a Second and Heritage Language: Past, Present and Future."

Susan Larson, Qualia Professor of Spanish. "The Pedagogy and Politics of Twenty-First-Century Luso-Hispanic Urban Cultural Studies."

Avizia Yim Long, Visisting Assistant Professor of Spanish & Kimberly Geeslin. "Spanish Second Language Acquisition across the Globe: What Future Research on Non-English Speaking Learners Will Tell Us."

Comfort Pratt, Associate Professor of English. "Envisioning a Future of Re-Examination of Foreign Language Teacher Education."

John Beusterien, Professor of Spanish, Diego Pascual y Cabo, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Julio Torres. "What's Next? Heritage Language Learners Shape New Paths in Spanish Teaching."

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