- Professor of Hispanic and Latino Studies
- Co-Director of the Parkland Literacy Center
- Director of Language Resource Center
- Ph.D., Romance Linguistics, University of Washington,, 2003
- M.A., Romance Linguistics, University of Washington,, 1994
- B.A., Spanish, Western Washington University, 1991
Areas of Emphasis or Expertise
- Romance Linguistics
- Technology for Language Learning
- Linguistic Minorities
- Teacher Preparation
I am a proud native of Tacoma and first generation college student that began my formal second language study in high school. My grandparents were native speakers of Gaelic who immigrated to Tacoma, so my love of languages and cultures started early.
I stayed local for college, earning my BA in Spanish from WWU and my MA and PhD in Romance linguistics from the UW. I was fortunate to be able to study away in many locations over the years, including Spain, Guatemala, and Russia. In addition to Spanish, I have studied Latin, Portuguese, and Russian.
I’m passionate about second language acquisition and linguistics as well as supporting pre-service ELL, bilingual, and world language teachers. My service to PLU and to the profession is a big part of my lift outside of teaching and scholarship. Most recently, I’ve served as the 2020 president of our national world language teacher association of over 12,000 educators (ACTFL) and I serve as PLU’s Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs.