Texas Tech University


Message from the Chair

Dr. Carmen Pereira
Department Chair and Professor of Spanish

“Somos los que encendimos el amor para que dure, 
Para que sobreviva a toda soledad. 
Hemos quemado el miedo, hemos mirado frente a frente al dolor 
Antes de merecer esta Esperanza. 
Hemos abierto las ventanas para darle mil rostros.” 
“We are those who lit up love so it would last, 
So it would survive all loneliness. 
We've burned the fear, we've looked at pain in the eye 
Before we deserved this Hope. 
We have opened all the windows, to give it a thousand faces.” 
(Juan Gelman, “Madrugada”) 
This fragment from the poem “Madrugada” --“Dawn” -- by the Argentinian poet Juan Gelman, gives us a beautiful image that illuminates the moment of hope in which we are living, as we seem to be leaving behind the pain, sorrow and hardships of this past year. Indeed, as a community, we have lit up love and have looked at fear straight in the eye. As hard and stressful as these months have been, CMLL has shined as a beacon of resilience and compassion. It is not a small feat that in a year like this our department was selected to receive TTU's Departmental Excellence in Teaching Award. We received a significant monetary award that we are using to improve our teaching technology and further enhance our teaching excellence. Further proof of our mettle is that four of our faculty members --Kate Brooke, Raychel Vasseur, Linley Melhem and Sylvia Flores—were honored with the Diamond awards (there were a total of 15 for the entire university) that were established this spring to celebrate faculty who went above and beyond as teachers and human beings during the pandemic.  
We have been given love as well. My heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors who have contributed to our newly created scholarship in memory of Kimi Nakatsukasa. Our goal is to make it into an endowment so we can provide stable annual grants to our graduate students. Please consider donating to honor Kimi's memory and support our graduate students' wellbeing and education. 
In despite of all odds, these months have seen our research productivity and our recognition grow exponentially. Take a look at our Academic Excellence and Faculty Book Publications section to see how many of our faculty members have published books and have received awards, grants and honors this spring. It is just dazzling. Congratulations to Carole Edwards, Jim Lee, Yanlin Wang, Raychel Vasseur, Kristen Michelson, Pamela Zinn, Britta Anderson, Susan Larson, Caroline Bishop, Jorge Zamora, Bernd Reiter, Genaro Pérez, Julián Pérez, John Beusterien, and Sara Guengerich for their achievements! It should be highlighted the remarkable fact that four of our Spanish doctoral students received the Dissertation Completion Fellowship for next academic year. Well done everybody, and happy writing to Sergio, Gema, Maya and Zach!

Our programs have continued to actively instill in their students the love for languages and cultures, either via virtual events or safely in person as normalcy was slowly returning (see “Events” for a colorful summary of activities). Faculty continued to be engaged as an intellectual community through events such as the Spotlight on Faculty research series, Work in Progress and Careers and Languages workshops.

Our Spanish graduate student conference, “Céfiro”, took place virtually this spring, which did not diminish the enthusiasm and participation. As a matter of fact, the virtual format allowed us to reconnect with many of our alumna, who shared their experiences and tips on academic careers. It was great to see them again! As the pandemic keeps retreating, we are looking forward for an in-person event next year, and maybe have some of our alumna returning for a happy family reunion.

It is already fantastic to see that three of our study abroad programs (Reims, Jordan and Seville) have gone ahead this year, yay! And, as hope indeed takes many faces, we are looking forward to our other study abroad programs in Munich, China and Sicily to take place next summer, and to have some of our students being able to experience these life changing experiences thanks to the generosity of the donors to the Lorum Stratton Study Abroad Scholarship. This summer, thanks to this scholarship, French student Ejura Unwuchola has been able to defray costs and realize his dream of studying in beautiful Reims. Thank you again to our donors for supporting these opportunities of a lifetime!

Next year we will be joined by two new faculty members, Drs. Paola Guerrero (Spanish Linguistics and Director of the Heritage program) and Bruno Penteado (French, Modern literature and culture). They will be so welcome, especially as we will see many of our faculty go into a well-deserved Faculty Development Leave next year.

Congratulations to all our PhD, MA and BA graduates! You did it! And if you managed to do it in a year like this, you are well prepared to do anything you put your minds to 😊.

We are a solid Diamond department all around. So proud to be your chair! Please enjoy your summer, as we see the dawning of a wonderful year ahead.

Cheers! (indeed!)


Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures

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    CMLL Building, 2906 18th St, Lubbock, TX 79409
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