Texas Tech University

Faculty Focus


In Memoriam

Kimi Nakatsukasa
Assistant Professor, CMLL
March 16, 1982 - October 23, 2019


Kimi Nakatsukasa was originally from Japan and loved learning languages since when she first studied English at a junior high school in her hometown, Kyoto. Studying English and French at Sophia University in Tokyo, she received a B.A. in English Language and Studies, making her curious enough about language learning to pursue a Master's degree in Linguistics at Georgetown University. While working in the Second Language Studies PhD Program at Michigan State University, she spent her free time learning Spanish. Knowing different languages expanded her personal relationships and academic interests and she expressed how excited she was to be able to work as an applied linguist in the CMLL Department. In her dissertation, she investigated the effectiveness of teachers' gestures when used during oral corrections in ESL classrooms. Her other research interests included interactions in language classrooms, teachers' and students' gestures, learners' and teachers' individual differences, program evaluation, and technology and language learning. Aside from language learning, she enjoyed baking European pastries and experimenting with the cuisines from all around the world, yoga, and photography. She was married to Dr. Johannes Dahl (Texas Tech Geosciences) and had a son, Alain.

Kimi passed away unexpectedly, leaving a big hole in the heart of her CMLL family and in all those who love her. May she rest in peace.

CMLL New Faculty and Instructors Fall 2019

Britta Anderson
Assistant Professor, US-Latino Studies


Britta Anderson is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she grew up among chile verde, Spanglish, and vibrant murals. Her research and teaching interests include border studies, public art, queer theory, performance, and Latinx and Mexican literature. Britta addresses questions of social justice and citizenship through readings of literature and public art that respond to policing in border spaces throughout the United States and Mexico. She completed a PhD in Hispanic Literature and Language at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016, with a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She served as the Director of the Latin American Studies Center at the University of Maryland from 2017 to 2019. Britta has published articles on the work of Helena María Viramontes, Cecilia Vicuña, and Mexican feminist hip hop group Batallones Femeninos. She is currently working on an article about collaborative performance art at the US-Mexico border, as well as her book manuscript, titled Borders beyond Borders: Vital Mobilities in Greater Mexico's Public Art and Literature. Her teaching experience includes courses on public art; Latin American social movements; introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies; all levels of Spanish grammar; and U.S. Latinx Literature and popular culture. Her community engagement has included accompaniment and interpretation services for asylum seekers and tutoring with the Washington University Prison Education Project. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dog, gardening, and playing roller derby.

James F. Lee
Professor, Qualia Professor of Applied Linguistics


James F. Lee conducts research on the second language processing of linguistic structures. His most recent research incorporates eye-tracking methodology in which he documents the similarities and differences between how, when and to what native and second language learners allocate visual attention during sentences processing. He earned his MA in Romance Linguistics and PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He previously worked at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Indiana University, Bloomington, and most recently, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has published eight academic books on various aspects of second language processing with noted publishers: Mouton de Gruyter, McGraw-Hill, Continuum, and Bloomsbury Academic. He has published numerous chapters in books (John Benjamins, Erlbaum, Bloomsbury Academic, Routledge, Wiley) and his articles have appeared in the best ranked journals, among them, Studies in Second Language Acquisition and the Modern Language Journal.

Alicia Luque Ferreras
Assistant Professor, Hispanic Linguist


¡Hola a tod@s! My name is Alicia Luque and I am the new Assistant Professor in Hispanic Linguistics and Director of the Spanish Program for Heritage/Bilingual Speakers. I'm truly excited to be joining the CMLL faculty at Texas Tech University this fall and to be part of such an exciting academic community.

In my work, informed by the fields of linguistics, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience, I focus on investigating the set of individual factors that contribute to successful adult second language development and proficient bi/multilingualism. I am also interested in understanding the ways in which the (becoming) bi/multilingual experience changes linguistic, cognitive, and neural function. I completed my Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Illinois-Chicago, an M.S. in Psychobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain) and two M.A.s in Spanish at the University of Oregon and in English Studies and Multicultural Communication at the University of Málaga (Spain) (Yes, I love to study and learn new things! 😊).

I'm originally from Málaga (Spain), an incredibly beautiful city (the 6th largest in Spain) right next to the Mediterranean sea. Some of my favorite things are swimming in the sea, taking photos, learning languages, playing the Spanish guitar, sipping good espresso coffee, traveling around the world, spending time with my partner, friends, family, and our two cats, and (bilingual) brains!

I am really happy to be here and I look forward to meeting you and working with you!

Yesim Dollar, PhD.
Instructor Applied Linguistics


Dr. Yesim Kesli Dollar will be joining the CMLL and Texas Tech faculty as an instructor of Applied Linguistics and ESL. She earned her MA and PhD in English Language Teaching (ELT) at Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey. Ms. Dollar also earned her second MA degree in Applied Linguistics at Texas Tech University and received an assistant professorship in 2006 at Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey where she worked for six years and for three years as chair and assistant professor in the ELT Department of Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2015, she and family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she taught courses at Glendale Community College and South Mountain Community College, both in Phoenix. Ms. Dollar's research interests include language teaching, language acquisition, language teacher education, curriculum and syllabus design, and the use of technology in language teaching.

As an MA student at Texas Tech as a Fulbright Scholar from 2004-2006, she taught Turkish as a foreign language and after fifteen years feels like she's coming home. Originally from Turkey, Ms. Dollar loves to travel and learn different cultures and lifestyles and spending time with her family.

John Hill
Instructor, American Sign Language


Johnny Hill is a Sign Language Instructor and an entrepreneur. He graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor's degree in Deaf Studies and ASL Education and received his Master's Degree at Gallaudet University in Sign Language Education. He is furthering his education as a doctoral student at Lamar University.

Coming from a large family of 5 brothers and 4 sisters, he is the second oldest. As a Deaf individual, he is proud to be part of the cultural and linguistic minority in the Deaf community - he has a Deaf brother and four Deaf cousins. His passion for American Sign Language and Deaf culture has led him to teach ASL in secondary and post-secondary schools, as well as developing his online courses. He has collaborated with university instructors to develop ASL curriculums as well as creating sign language resources for ASL instructors nationwide.

Johnny enjoys playing basketball at a competitive level on a Deaf basketball team in the NorthWest region against other Deaf teams. Other hobbies include snowboarding, longboarding, and racquetball.

Daniel Schindler
Instructor, Classics


My name is Dr. Daniel Schindler and I am the new Instructor of Classics in CMLL. I joined the TTU faculty from Elon University where I taught courses on Greek and Roman culture, Classical Mythology, and how modern film portrays and uses the idea of "ancient Rome". I earned by Ph. D. in Classical Archaeology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My main areas of interest include the material culture of the Roman provinces, especially the southern Levant, "boundaries" and cross-cultural interaction, and the ancient economy. Within these fields, my research has focused on the ceramic corpus of Late Roman–early Islamic Galilee and how this informs us of socio-economic developments in Jewish communities during the rise of Christianity throughout the Eastern Roman Empire. I have excavated at two sites in the State of Israel. The first, Tel Kedesh, was a Persian-Hellenistic period administrative center for Galilee. The second is Horvat Huqoq: a Late Roman Jewish village with a monumental synagogue building containing a beautiful and well preserved mosaic floor. Since its inception in 2011, I have served as a senior staff member and the ceramic specialist of the Huqoq Excavation Project. The student volunteers often refer to me as "Dan, the pottery man".

I am originally from Minnesota where I completed my undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Latin, and Greek. My wife, Stephanie Cholensky, and I met at the U of M during our senior and junior years. We both love cats and since 2010 have fostered and rehomed over a dozen while living in North Carolina. One of my favorite hobbies is film and film criticism, but I also love to cook. Some of my favorite cuisines to make at home are East African and Indian. Thank you all for your hospitality! Everyone I've met has made me feel like a part of CMLL and TTU.

Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

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