Languages and Literatures Faculty news

Fall 2017

John Zubizarreta — Professor of English, Director of Honors, and Carnegie Foundation/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year — attended the 16-17 Feb. 2017 meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Board of Directors as Chair of the organization’s Teaching and Learning Committee. He accompanied three honors students, including Spanish major Caitlyn Duffy, in presenting at the Southern Regional Honors Council conference in Asheville, NC, 30 Mar.-1 Apr. 2017. At SRHC, he offered a workshop session on faculty peer review and class observation, and students presented sessions on envisioning new paradigms for future honors programs and the complexities of multi-lingual translations. He was invited to write promotional copy for a Stylus Publishing book on Teaching Interculturally: A Framework for Integrating Disciplinary Knowledge and Intercultural Development. Over the summer, he conducted a program review of the Florida Gulf Coast University Honors College, delivered a keynote address and led a faculty retreat at Miami-Dade College, and organized the 2nd Honors International Faculty Institute at Texas Christian University with colleagues from the United States and The Netherlands. As part of a collaborative, multi-institutional planning group, he also helped organize the inaugural South Carolina Conference on Innovative Teaching and Learning at the Medical University of South Carolina, 14 Jul. 2017, where he presented a workshop on the challenges of teaching millennials. He continues to serve as a member of the NCHC Professional Development Committee, as an editorial board member of Honors in Practice, and as a consulting reviewer for the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching and the Learning Communities Journal, two peer-reviewed professional publications. His book on Breaking Barriers in Teaching and Learning is at press and expected for publication in 2018.

Fall 2016 

Prof. Fernández SánchezDr. Paloma Fernández Sánchez (Spanish) was invited to serve as part of the Fulbright National Screening Committee. The Institute of International Education (IIE) annually conducts scholarship competitions for U.S. graduate students wishing to pursue study, research or professional training abroad under the Fulbright-Hays Act sponsored by the United States Department of State and for other awards offered by foreign governments, universities and private donors.  To assist in the selection of candidates, the Institute convenes a National Screening Committee comprised of area specialists and authorities in various fields to review applications and nominate candidates to the award sponsors. In November 2016, Fernández Sánchez attended the AATSP conference of the Carolinas. This year the conference focused on the development of programs centered on Spanish for specific purposes.

Prof. NewmanAdjunct Prof. Betsy Newman (Writing for Print and Digital Media) was a 2016 recipient of the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities for her work as an award-winning documentary and web-content producer for South Carolina Educational Television. According to the program’s website, “the Governor’s Awards in the Humanities recognize outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in community-based programs that promote public understanding of ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs.” Newman and the other recipients were honored on October 20, 2016.

Prof. WardProf. Emily S. Ward (Public Relations) will serve as the Professional Development Conference Chair for the South Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Ssociety of America (SCPRSA) in 2017. She was invited to participate in the SCPRSA Master Practitioners roundtable on Sept. 20, 2016 in Columbia, S.C. The 2016 national PRSA chair led the discussion on the future of public relations. Prof. Ward also accompanied two PR minor students, Kamayah Porter (‘16) and Ashley Fleming (‘18), to a session for students and young professionals.

Prof. Zalba

Dr. Rocío Zalba (Spanish) was invited this fall by the Spanish program at the University of South Carolina to give a lecture on gender, women, and memory in the film La Historia Oficial (1985). In addition, her article titled“¿Memoria u Olvido?: Negociando la identidad presente con los fantasmas del pasado en Té de tías de Cristina Escofet” is part of a December 2016 special edition on trauma, memory and theater in the refereed journal Caracol.


Summer 2016

Prof. Emily S. Ward, senior lecturer in public relations, Writing for Print and Digital Media, and English, was interviewed in August 2016 by WLTX-TV, Columbia, for an investigative reporting segment about the historic floods in the midlands in October 2015. As one of the many victims of the flooding, Prof. Ward spoke about deferred maintenance of storm drain systems, which led to amplified damage for homes and contents.

Prof. Fernández SánchezIn the summer of 2016, Dr. Paloma Fernández Sánchez presented her research paper “Hispanic Fairy Tales: Cinderella in Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street” at the 11th international Conference on Chicano Literature and Latino Studies. Cultura y Herencia Hispana: Construyendo una identidad, held at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain. In the picture, Dr. Paloma Fernández Sánchez in the middle.

Dr. Nancy Lewis Tuten (English) conducted writing skills training seminars for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., in July 2016.


Fall 2015 and Spring 2016

Dr. Rapoport’s Liberal Arts 201 students are continuing to teach the Healing Species lessons to students in Eau Claire at the Grace Academy and are using the Healing Species literacy program. This program expands the Healing Species violence prevention and compassion education model program to help students gain confidence in reading and improving comprehension and vocabulary skills.

Prof. HeidariDr. Melissa Walker Heidari, Edens Professor of English, presented a paper entitled “ ‘Such a Horror in Our House’: Fitz-James O’Brien and 19th-Century American Gothic Fiction” as part of a panel The Irish Novel – Haunted Genres at “The Worlding of Irish Studies,” 2016 International Meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame, March 30th-April 3rd, 2016.

Prof. MannDr. Corinne (Coco) Mann, associate professor of French, French Program Coordinator, and co-director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, serves as president of the Eau Claire Rotary Club and contributed to the 30th Annual Eau Claire Thanksgiving Celebration. On November 23rd, at College Place Methodist Church, the Rotary Club of Eau Claire/North Columbia honored 54 students from the Eau Claire Cluster (9 schools). Over 450 community members were present for the celebration. This year the Eau Claire Rotary club, aided by a district grant, was able to give Kindle Fires to all student award recipients. The event was featured through numerous media resources. WLTX aired an interview with Dr. Mann on the 11:00PM news and during a morning news show the following day.

Prof. ZalbaDr. Rocio Zalba has served as a board member for My Amigos Bilingual Education Center since 2012. She also serves as the Columbia College faculty representative for Student Action with Farmworkers She also leads and organizes a literacy program in the Spanish immersion program for Lexington 1 at Pleasant Hill Elementary. In March 2015 Dr. Rocio Zalba presented a paper titled “La deshumanizacion y la memoria en la Argentina del siglo XX” in the Transatlantic Studies Conference at the University of South Carolina. That same March, she also presented a paper titled “Caos en la representacion de la memoria teatral y cultural argentina” in the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS). Recently, she was invited by the Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia as the guest speaker for a post-discussion on the film “Gabo: The creation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez” (Feb 2016).

Prof. HeidariDr. Melissa Walker Heidari, Edens Professor of English, is collaborating with Dr. Brigitte Zaugg, associate professor at Université de Lorraine, France, to co-edit a selection of essays from the International Conference at Université de Lorraine, Ile du Saulcy, Metz, which took place October 9-11, 2014. The book, Grace King of New Orleans: Beyond Local Color Fiction, is currently under contract with a publication date anticipated for 2017. Essays in the book are original scholarly papers which explore gender, genre, race, sexuality, the color-line, myth, history, region, cultural milieus/cultural landscape of New Orleans, southernness, language (in particular King’s use of the vernacular and of French), intertextual connections, modernity/modernism, and southern Gothicism. This book will be the first collection of essays on King’s work published in a single volume.

Dr. ReevesDr. Amy Carol Reeves participated in the 2016 South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference at Myrtle Beach March 2-4 as a member of an author panel; she discussed her young adult historical fiction trilogy–Ripper (Flux, 2012), Renegade (Flux, 2013), and Resurrection (Flux, 2014)–with South Carolina school librarians.

Prof. RapoportDr. Helen Rapoport is a member of the Animal Law Committee of the South Carolina Bar Association. The committee provides education, updates and analysis on relevant issues, and regular meetings that discuss changes and new directions in animal law. It also studies and makes recommendations on legislation as appropriate as it relates to animals in the law. For example, the committee recently discussed the South Carolina bill pending in the S.C. legislature in which private veterinarians want to limit where their nonprofit competitors can set up mobile veterinary clinics.

Dr. Fernández Sánchez published three articles in the fall 2015. Her  co-authored methodology and best practices essay “Buenas prácticas para la creación de una comunidad de aprendices en el aula de español y la aplicación de la metodología de clase invertidaDr. Fernandez Sanchez(“Good practices in the creation of a learning community in the Spanish classroom and the application of the flipped classroom methodology”) has been published in RedELE: Red Electrónica de Didáctica del Español como Lengua Extranejra. Fernandez-Sanchez’s essay “Racial Ideology of Mestizaje and its Whitening Discourse in Memin Pinguin” has been published by the Revista de Lenguas Modernas (Modern Languages Journal); a peer-reviewed and international academic journal by the University of Costa Rica. The article analyzes how the comic strip Memín Pinguín, applying Vasconcelos’ Cosmic Race framework of mestizaje, presents an apparent harmonious yet deceitful image of racial democracy which ultimately reveals a whitening discourse. Her third essay, “Imagenes corporales: Construciones del cuerpo femenino en las hermanas Aguero de Cristina Garcia” (Body images: Female body constructions in the Cristina Garcia´s Aguero Sisters), has been published by Diálogos (Dialogues); a peer-reviewed and international academic journal by the University of Costa Rica. Dr. Fernandez Sanchez attended the Southern Conference on Language and Teaching (SCOLT) in February 2016. She joined presentations dealing with the implementation of technology in the classroom, and its effect on second language acquisition.

Drs. Zubizarreta and Israel and Pres. DinndorfDr. Charles Israel, retired professor of English, was a recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Awards in the Humanities, recognizing his “outstanding achievement in humanities research, teaching, and scholarship; institutional and individual participation in helping communities in South Carolina better understand our cultural heritage or ideas and issues related to the humanities; excellence in defining South Carolina’s cultural life to the nation or world; and exemplary support for public humanities programs.” Dr. Israel joins other noteworthy recipients, including James Dickey, William Price Fox, Ron Rash, Senator Ernest F. Hollings and our own Dr. Jerold Savory. President Dinndorf and many of Dr. Israel’s colleagues, both current and retired faculty members at CC, gathered to share in the celebration of this high honor at the annual award luncheon on October 22, 2015, at the Hilton Columbia Center.

Dr. ZubizarretaDr. John Zubizarreta, Professor of English, Director of Honors and Faculty Development, and Carnegie Foundation/CASE U.S. Professor of the Year, serves on the editorial and consulting review boards of Honors in Practice and The Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, both top-tier, refereed journals in higher education. In the fall of 2015, he attended and presented several sessions and led workshops at professional conferences such as the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education and the Lilly Conference on College Teaching. At the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council, he made several presentations with honors students and led an invited workshop on the characteristics of honors teaching and learning, also serving on the organization’s Board of Directors. In December, he was invited to lead professional development workshops for Teikyo University in Tokyo, Japan, and for the Association of Japanese Private Nursing Colleges and Universities; while in Japan, he was interviewed on the topics of active learning, professional and student portfolio development, and honors education for national distribution by MediaSite Inc. in collaboration with the Central Council for Education in Japan. He is currently working on a book-length manuscript titled Breaking Down Barriers between Teaching and Learning, a volume for expected publication in late 2016. He continues to serve as a keynote speaker, conference presenter, and workshop leader in higher education across the United States and abroad.

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