Texas Tech University

Issue 28

Message from the Chair

Carmen Pereira

Message from The Chair, Spring 2023


At the end of every semester when Carla Burrus, long-time editor of this newsletter, sends it to me for review and to write this “Message from the Chair”, I cannot help but being in awe. Looking at all the colorful pictures of events showcasing world cultures, the list of accomplishments, awards, recognitions, presentations, publications…it is just stunning, and compressing all of it into this message, an impossible task. 

There is something I have been noticing that I would like to especially address in this message: The space dedicated in the newsletter to community engagement and outreach efforts keeps increasing, more and more, with each semester. Just take a look at the dynamic and meaningful cooperation with local schools through service-learning done by the Chinese, Arabic, German, and Spanish programs. The impactful cultural events in our campus organized by ASL, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, or Heritage Spanish. Our well-organized and well-attended CMLL conferences. The newly created CMLL study abroad scholarship that will allow more students to afford this life-changing experience and build bridges of understanding across the world…the list keeps growing!

 I see these actions as central to the fulfillment of our mission: “Throughout our campus and community, we foster linguistic and cultural diversity and advocate for multiculturalism”; and they reflect our vision: “We will set ourselves apart in the provision of experiential learning through accessible study abroad programs and local hands-on learning opportunities. We will build research and teaching partnerships with regional K-12 schools to serve local needs. […] We will promote interculturality through collaborative partnerships across the university and throughout the community.” Together, we are making this mission and vision possible, and it is happening.

Spring 2023 saw two big departmental events that showcased the power of collaboration, bringing all programs, faculty, students, and staff together. In February CMLL hosted “A Taste of the World”, inviting advisors from all colleges on campus to join us for a very special info-session on our new courses and certificates…and a delicious banquet of dishes and specialties from all over the world! The advisors also had a chance to talk with representatives from CMLL programs in a tabling event. It was super-well received and we are looking forward to hosting the advisor community again next year. 

In April we had our inaugural CMLL Awards Banquet in the International Cultural Center's Hall of Nations. Our fantastic staff did a beautiful job organizing this gala, where graduate and undergraduate students from all our programs were recognized for the awards and scholarships received from the department. We had the pleasure of counting A&S Dean Tosha Dupras and Vice Provost for International Affairs Elizabeth Trejos as our guests. Our dear Lorum Stratton, former chair of CMLL, also graced us with his presence. On this memorable evening, CMLL awarded for the first time its newly created Study Abroad Scholarship. Over twenty students participating in our Study Abroad programs in Sicily, Seville and Jordan received scholarships from $1,000-$5,000. Everything went great at the banquet, and everybody looked radiant (and the food was excellent!). We hope this is the first of many awards banquets to come, it was a great opportunity for all of us to come together and celebrate CMLL excellence!

I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the new faculty who will be joining us next fall: Pavel Andrade and Carlos Echeverría, assistant professors of Spanish, Sonja Stojanovic, assistant professor of French, and Xiaqing Chang, Chinese instructor. This summer Jinsol Kong is joining us as lecturer for the Korean and Japanese programs. I wish everybody an easy transition into TTU and CMLL.

Special congratulations to all the faculty and students who received awards this spring (See under Academic Excellence; CMLL keeps rocking!). To all the undergraduate and graduate students who graduated this spring, good job, you did it! Best of luck in your future and do stay in touch!

We say goodbye in this spring issue to a beloved faculty member, Dr. Jorge Zamora. He touched the lives of innumerable students with his inspired and inspiring teaching. Lorum Stratton has written a moving testimony to his friendship and collaboration with Jorge for this issue (Faculty Spotlight). Many thanks, dear Jorge, for your priceless gift of a life well lived. 

I hope everybody makes the best out of the summer, relax, reconnect, read, write… I'll see you at the end of August! Enjoy!

Dr. Carmen Pereira-Muro
Department Chair and Professor of Spanish



Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

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