Texas Tech University

CMLL News Issue 23

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Message from the Chair

Pereira
Dr. Carmen Pereira

Department Chair and Professor of Spanish

If the year 2020 has taught us something it is how to master the art of riding roller coasters. We have learned to be swift, flexible, and resilient. After going completely  virtual midspring, we had to create new online courses for the summer, to develop a new virtual International Teaching Assistant program for more than a hundred new TAs, to rush to help  find replacements for our international instructors trapped overseas, to plan for a brave new world in the fall, with different modalities and the constraints brought by safety measures, and hey, to live to tell the story! A story not only of survival, but of resounding success. We salute our newly minted PhDs who defended their dissertations amidst a pandemic: kudos to Ana Rodriguez Padial, Vicente Iranzo Bañuls, Gustavo Costa and María Luz Bateman! Also, to our new MA graduates and BAs, listed in this issue, great job, you did it! Our graduate students made us proud by receiving national and international recognitions. Our faculty has kept and increased the already strong research profile of CMLL. As you can see in this issue, several important books by our faculty have seen the light this semester. Virtual book presentations allowed for international scholars to join in, making these events nationally and internationally relevant.  We keep championing diversity and inclusiveness: three CMLL faculty members had the honor of being selected for the 2020 cohort of the Institute for Inclusive Excellence at TTU, and multiple community-based activities have still been carried out by our language programs. We are adjusting to the new demands in the workforce: Fall 2020, we launched a new Undergraduate Certificate for Global Readiness through Languages and Cultures. This certificate aims to prepare our students to use their intercultural and world languages skills in specific professional settings. It is open to students in all majors who would like to bolster their portfolio and increase their competitiveness in the job market. During the spring we will be developing an undergraduate certificate in Translation and Interpretation, which will open the doors for our students to one of the most demanded professions in the work force.

We hope the roller coaster is over for our study abroad programs and that, with more positive news on  the health front, this summer our students are able to enjoy the beauty, the language and the culture of Jordan, China, Germany, France, Sicily and Spain. You may want to contribute for students to be able to finally enjoy the life changing experience of study abroad by donating to the Lorum Stratton Study Abroad Scholarship.

This fall we have been fortunate to welcome some outstanding new faculty members and instructors: Bernd Reiter and Brandon Rogers in Spanish and Portuguese, Ashley Voeks and Bruno Penteado in French, Meixiu Zhang in Applied Linguistics, Linda Gosner in Classics, and Sarah Cantor in Italian. If you read their profiles in this issue you will learn about the strengths and vibrancy that they are bringing to the department. Can't wait to have a real party to show them true CMLL hospitality!

This fall marked the sad anniversary of the departure of our much missed, dear colleague Kimi Nakatsukasa. To honor her memory and her dedication to her students, CMLL has started a scholarship in her name to benefit our graduate students. Please consider donating to the Kimi Nakatsukasa Graduate Student Scholarship, in her name and in support of the students she cared so much about.

Although I, like the rest of the world, cannot wait to look back at 2020 in my rearview mirror, I am amazed at all the things we have been able to achieve in the midst of a crisis and a pandemic. Indeed, a department of strong, remarkable people. Here it is for a well-deserved, warm holiday season, and a much, much better new year!

Cheers!

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