Texas Tech University

Academic Excellence


CMLL Awards Dissertations Doctoral Degrees


Abraham Mata
PhD Spanish & Portuguese

Dissertation, “Colonial Mexican Sermons and the Transatlantic Religious Discourse in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries"

Defense Committee
Chair: Dr. Sara Guengerich
Members: Drs. Connie Scarborough and John Beusterien

He is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Lubbock Christian University.


Daniel Hopkins
PhD Spanish & Portuguese

Dissertation, “Absoged: The Articulation of Identity in Contemporary Guna Literature”

Defense Committee
Chair: Dr. Sara Guengerich
Members: Drs. Carmen Pereira and Laura Beard
Dean’s Representative: Dr. Gary Elbow


Ana Cawthon
PhD Spanish & Portuguese

Dissertation title, “Cihuatl, Xochitl y Cuicatl: Análisis textual de la mujer en los cantos nahuas”

Defense Committee
Chair: Dr. Sara Guengerich
Members: Drs. Connie Scarborough and John Beusterien
Dean’s Representative: Dr. Constance Cortez


Rubén Galve
PhD Spanish & Portuguese

Dissertation title: “El protagonista infantil como alegoria de compromiso social en la narrativa corta de Ana Maria Matute"

Defense Committee
Chair: Dr. Janet Pérez
Co-Chair: Dr. Genaro Pérez
Members: Drs. Julián Pérez and Jorge Zamora


Rodrigo Pereyra
PhD Spanish & Portuguese

Dissertation title, “Un acercamiento social a obra de Élmer Mendoza: la violencia mimética en personajes de la narrativa negra del autor"

Defense Committee
Chair: Dr. Genaro Pérez
Members: Drs. Janet Pérez, Julián Pérez, Jorge Zamora
Graduate School Representative: Dr. Wendell Aycock

May 2014 Graduates: Master of Arts

Applied Linguistics Classics French German Spanish
  • Hasan Almekdash
  • Anton Antonov
  • Santiago Vladimir Arias
  • Hsiu-Chen Huang
  • Wei Jiang
  • Amanda Kirk
  • Rena Sawano
  • Shintaro Yamada
  • Jordan Piel
  • Nathan Wolcott
  • Karlissa Black
  • Alecia Davis
  • Jérôme Royer
  • Karla Bonenberger
  • Yesenia Blanco
  • Jesus D. Ramirez

May 2014 Graduates: Bachelor of Arts

Arabic Minor Classics French German Russian Language Area Studies
  • Suzanne Alkul, Honors
  • Michael Boyles
  • Connor Campbell
  • Anatha Latshaw
  • Justin Miller, Honors
  • Briana Smithart
  • Carlos Fierros
  • Sean Labian
  • Juan De Loera
  • Dalel Ourajini
  • Catherine Swindle
  • Rex Anne Waggoner
  • Hanna Alhaj
  • Julia Voelkl
  • Matthew Woodard
  • Christopher Berger


  • Anabel Aboytes
  • Karina Chavez
  • Jesse Clouse
  • Telesforo Cruz
  • Carlos Fierros
  • Alexandra Gardner
  • Jerardo Gonzalez
  • Julio Hernandez
  • Mayra Hernandez
  • Loren Hughes
  • Sonia Jimenez
  • Jose Lopez
  • Myrna Martinez
  • Mariana Medina
  • Jose Olmos
  • Gabriela Olvera
  • Alexandria Rivas
  • Mallory Scott
  • Katie Schwartz
  • Maritza Slama
  • Mauricio Vazquez
  • Jacqueline Walker
  • Jimmy Whittenburg
  • Roy Whittenburg, Honors
  • Greg Williams
  • Nikki Witcher

Janet Pérez and Diane Wood Awarded Emeritus Faculty Certificates


Dr. Janet Pérez


Dr. Diane Wood

Drs. Janet Pérez and Diane Wood were awarded Emeritus Faculty Certificates during the annual Faculty Honors Convocation on April 22nd. This honorary certificate is awarded to professors with a long appointment and distinguished service by the Texas Tech Board of Regents.

Recognition of Paul Whitfield Horn Professors was given to Drs. Hafid Gafaiti and David Larmour.

Diego Pascual y Cabo Receives the Russell Campbell Young Scholar Award

In March, Dr. Diego Pascual y Cabo received the prestigious Russell Campbell Young Scholar Award. This award recognizes young scholars whose research has made substantial contributions to heritage language studies. The award was presented to Dr. Pascual during the Second International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages, which is only held once every four years. Organized by the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA, the conference was attended by over 300 people from 13 countries representing over 70 heritage languages.

Christopher Witmore Awarded National Humanities Center Fellowship

Dr. Christopher Witmore was awarded the National Humanities Center Fellowship for 2014-15 in order to work on a new book, Old Lands: A Chorography of the Eastern Morea,Greece. From 362 applicants, 41 Fellows from 16 states, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom were appointed for the academic year 2014-2015. They represent humanistic scholarship in anthropology, art history, classics and archaeology, communications studies, history, law, literature, political science, philosophy, and religion.

Working towards a monograph and purpose-built, digital exhibition/archive, this project explores the Eastern Peloponnese, Greece. Following routes, roads, and forgotten paths, trailing in the footsteps of ancient geographers, Roman pilgrims, Ottoman travelers, antiquarians, archaeologists, farmers and fishermen, Old Lands offers a distinctive and rich alternative to current regional accounts in archaeology and cultural geography by reworking and further developing an old, largely forgotten genre – chorography. Old Lands draws insights from the material memories of human and nonhuman inhabitation and situates them in light of radical upheavals in regional space and the ecological crises at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness today.

Julián Pérez Receives Medal of Achievements in Nicaragua

Julián Pérez attended an international conference on the poetry of Rubén Darío in León, Nicaragua in January, 2014 where presented a paper entitled,"Confesión y polémica en dos poemas de R. Darío". The El Instituto Cultural Rubén Darío De Nicaragua awarded him with a medal of achievements in recognition of his lifetime research on the poetry of R. Darío.

David H. J. Larmour, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Classics

In May, Dr. David Larmour gave a series of lectures and seminars in the Abteilung für Griechische und Lateinische Philologie at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, in Munich. He gave a lecture entitled, “Into the Labyrinth: Juvenal's Search for Rome". During a workshop held at their graduate school, “Distant Worlds,” Larmour gave a presentation on "Memory and Space" to a research group that focuses on "Memory and Forgetting" in ancient societies. He concluded his lecture series with a graduate seminar on Juvenal, Satire 4. For more information please click here.

Dr. Kelly Named “Raider Who Rocks”

On April 22nd, Dr. Corby Kelly was among the recipients of the “Raider Who Rocks” award for 2013-2014 at the annual Raiders Who Rock Banquet at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The purpose of the Raiders Who Rock program is to recognize students, faculty, staff, or student organizations that exemplify the TTU Ethical Principles through their actions and services within the Lubbock and Tech communities. Kelly was nominated in the "Pursuit of Excellence" category by Dr. Carole Edwards.

Two Applied Linguistics Students Take "Pass with Highest Distinction" on the Comprehensive Exams


Hasan Almekdash


Santiago Arias

We are pleased to announce that two of our graduating M.A. students took a grade of "pass with highest distinction" on their comprehensive exams. This grade goes to only the highest caliber responses as judged by the most number of faculty members in applied linguistics. Hasan Almekdash and Santiago Arias are the recipients of this distinguished designation.

Ikeda & Ramirez Receive the Helen DeVitt Jones’ Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award

Yuriko Ikeda and Jesus David Ramirez were among the 19 recipients who received the 2014 Helen DeVitt Jones’ Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award through the Texas Tech Graduate School on April 11, 2014. The recipients were recognized for their outstanding scholarly activity and excellence in teaching as Graduate Part-Time Instructors during an award ceremony held at the McKenzie- Merket Alumni Center.

CMLL Graduate Students Receive Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Research Conference Award

Congratulations go to Yanlin Wang, Graduate Part-Time Instructor of Chinese and 6 CMLL graduate students for being selected as the recipients of the Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Research Conference Award at the Graduate Student Awards Ceremony on April 11th in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.

Nine faculty judges from Arts and Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts and Human Sciences read the 25 submitted papers, giving scores to each. The award for the Best of Conference paper has gone to College of Education doctoral student, Yanlin Wang for her pedagogy-focused paper: Does the Personalization of Multimedia Learning Influence Learning the Culture of a Foreign Language? The CMLL graduate recipients include: Jérôme Royer, Romance Languages- French; Evan Levine, Classics; Ronald Orr, Classics; Gorgui Ibrahima Tall, Romance Languages-French and Laura Valentin-Rivera, Romance Languages-Spanish.

Ikeda and Diaz Chosen for the Spanish Initiative to Redesign Intermediate Spanish Conversation


Yuriko Ikeda


Rolando Diaz

The Spanish Upper-Level Undergraduate Studies committee had the initiative to redesign the current Intermediate Spanish Conversation course into a variety of topic-specific conversational courses taught by advanced graduate students. The goal is to create attractive Spanish courses where undergraduate students refine their communicative skills, and at the same time deepen their knowledge of a particular cultural topic. This is also a great opportunity for the graduate students to develop professionally and to build their own teaching portfolios. The committee selected the course proposals of Ms. Yuriko Ikeda "Popular Culture in Contemporary Mexico" and Mr. Rolando Diaz "Cinema for Spanish Conversation" among several fine proposals to begin a new 2014-2015 academic year.

Karla Bonenberger presents at the NeMLA Conference

April 3-6th, Karla Bonenberger, German MA candidate presented a paper titled, “What, too soon for Shoah satire? A Study on Director Dani Levy's Approach to the Holocaust", at the 45th Annual NeMLA conference in Harrisburg, PA. Congratulations go to Bonenberger for being awarded a Graduate Student Travel Grant from the Northeast Modern Language Association in order to present at the conference.

Liu Chen Yu Receives Professing Excellence Award

On March 26th, Chen Yu Liu was 1 of 10 student-nominated Texas Tech instructors to receive the “Professing Excellence” award at a reception sponsored by TTU Student Housing. Ms. Chen Yu is a graduate part-time instructor in Chinese in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures. She received her B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures at Nation Chung-Hsing University in Taiwan. This is her first year teaching at Texas Tech. Chen Yu has a passion for teaching Chinese and she enjoys the time she spends with her students in the classroom.

Hasan Almekdash and Serena Mangano-Maddux, Applied Linguistics, Inducted in Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society


Hasan Almekdash


Serena Mangano-Maddux

Hasan Almedkdash Publishes with Dr. Greta Gorsuch

Gevara, J.R., Gorsuch, G., Almekdash, H., Jiang, W. (2013). "Native and non-native English speaking ITA performance test raters: Do they rate ITA candidates differently?" in G. Gorsuch (Ed.) Talking matters: Research on talk and communication of international teaching assistants. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press. In press.

Rolando J. Diaz Presents Various Works


Rolando J. Diaz attended the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators Annual Conference in La Verne, CA, which took place from March 17-19, 2014. Rolando interviewed Dr. José Angel Gutierrez, leader of the Chicano Movement and founder of La Raza Unida Party. Dr. Gutierrez is the author of the book The Making of a Chicano Militant (1998). The issue of Chicano identity development is directly related to Rolando's dissertation.

Diaz was invited to do a dramatic reading of Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez’s poem, “I Am Joaquin” at the Cesar Chavez March and Rally in Odessa, Texas on March 29th.

Rolando J. Diaz presented at the United States Hispanic Leadership Conference, which took place from February 13-16, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois. The presentation, entitled "What do Hispanics and Rabbits Have In Common?", traced the history of the Hispanic peoples, starting in Latium during pre-Roman times and continued through the Chicano Movement of the 1960's. The purpose was to examine historical events that have contributed to the Hispanic identity.

Four CMLL Graduate Students Awarded a Texas Tech University Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship for Academic Year 2014-2015

Susana Villanueva Eguia Lis, Spanish; Heath Wing, Spanish; Yuriko Ikeda, Spanish; and Laura Valentin, Spanish were awarded the Texas Tech University Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship for the academic year 2014-2015. Economic support from the graduate school will be available for up to 12 months to enable them to dedicate their time exclusively to the completion of their respective dissertations.

Eguia Lis Inducted into the Golden Key International Honors Society

Doctoral student Susana Villanueva Eguia Lis academic excellence, leadership and community service was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society. With more than 2 million members around the world, including honoraria: Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel and Bill Clinton, Golden Key International carries an esteemed legacy of achievement.

Eguia Lis Recipient of an AT&T Fellowship Scholarship

Susana Villanueva Eguia Lis was awarded an AT&T Fellowship Scholarship for the Spring 2014.

Sixteen CMLL Majors and Minors Initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society


On April 24th , Fifty-three Texas Tech students, of which 16 were majors or minors in the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, were initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society at a ceremony held in the Texas Tech Law School. Chancellor Kent R. Hance welcomed the students; Dr. M. Duane Nellis, President of TTU and Dr. Lawrence Schovanec followed with remarks. Dr. Michael San Francisco, Dean of the Honors College gave the Keynote Address and Dr. Marc Lochbaum made the Acknowledgments. Dr. David Roach called the names as students were given the Phi Kappa Phi keys. A reception followed the ceremony with music provided by the Youth Orchestra of Lubbock Chamber Music Students.

Recipients from the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures include:

  • Nicole B. Amos
  • Claire R. Burrus
  • Jessica A. Eastman
  • Ryan D. Glidewell
  • Tanner K. Haynes
  • Rachel M. Holt
  • Philip C. Jarrett, III
  • Lindsey D. Lowe

  • Cole A. Morrison
  • Luis J. Ruiz
  • Catherine Swindle
  • Kory A. Tillery
  • Julia M. Voelkl
  • Alison Wagner
  • Kristen E. Weasenforth
  • Andrew L. West

Jamie Kroon Accepted to the Moscow Texas Connections Program for Summer 2014

CMLL congratulates Jamie Kroon on being granted the opportunity to spend the summer in Moscow, Russia working with the federally Moscow Texas Connections program. Jamie expressed her gratitude to Instructor Irina Yuryevna, "Thank you very much for your help with the application process. I truly appreciate it. I will be proud to represent Texas Tech in beautiful Russia!”

Nick Grimes Awarded Congressional Internship for Summer 2014

Nick Grimes, RLAS major, was awarded the Congressional Internship in Washington, D.C. A special thanks goes to his instructor, Irina Yuryevna, “Thank you so much for writing a recommendation letter for me for the Congressional internship. I am pleased to inform you that I was recently awarded the internship and I will be working in Washington D.C. over the summer. I could not have gotten this internship without your teaching and your recommendation.”