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Congratulations to our promoted faculty!

Congratulations to our promoted faculty, who were recently featured in Penn State News

Congratulations to Professor Matthew Marr, who is this year's winner of the James Whiston Prize for his article "(Im)mobility at the Movies: el paro, Property and Prosthesis in Álex de la Iglesia’s 'La chispa de la vida' (2011)"

His article was published in the April 2019 issue of the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies. The prize is awarded by the Editors for the most outstanding article in any subject area published in the Bulletin of Spanish Studies or the sibling journal the Bulletin of Spanish Visual Studies.
The panel judged his article to be the most innovative and intellectually rigorous of those nominated, with the potential to become an essential point of reference in the field.

Congratulations to Professor Giuli Dussias, who has been awarded a 2019 Faculty Scholar Medal!

The Faculty Scholar Medal is one of the highest honors that Penn State confers on the most outstanding researchers.

Dussias approaches the study of language as a social science. The learning of language, including speed of learning, formulation of accents and depth of vocabulary, is influenced by social interactions and exposure to that language. The evolution of a language is also influenced by that process.

Dussias is a leader in creating a new field of learning, one that differs from the traditional study of linguistics, which analyzes language meaning, evolution, phonetics and grammar. Dussias’ work is changing the way we study language, nominators said.

Dussias researches people who are learning a second language because she is interested in knowing how that second language influences the use of the first. Her research shows that extensive use of a second language can change first language syntax and usage. This finding demonstrates that there is far greater brain plasticity throughout the lifespan than previously understood.

She’s also interested in learning how age affects the language learning process. Can adult second language learners achieve the same mastery of a second language as young learners? she asks in her research. “The common wisdom in the field was that the answer was ‘no,’” said a nominator. “However, Dussias has shown through her research that adults can master grammar and attain near native fluency just as younger learners can.”

Dussias also studies ‘code-switching,’ a common feature of bilingual discourse whereby bilinguals switch languages right in the middle of spoken or written sentences. Her research shows that code-switching is governed by rules that are not necessarily derived from either language. That finding “provides a fresh perspective on what bilingual speakers view as possible switch points in bilingual speech,” a nominator said. For Dussias, the multilingual speaker is seeing as a model for understanding the way that language experience shapes the mind and the brain.

“To answer questions like this, Dussias has developed experimental methods that use eye-tracking and measure brain activity while bilingual speakers undertake specific kinds of tasks,” a nominator said. “These methods have transformed the research that bilingualism scholars do, allowing much broader generalization about the bilingual brain in different social contexts.”

Congratulations to five outstanding SIP instructors for their promotion to Associate Teaching Professor

Michele Rossi- Promoted to Associate Teaching Professor of Italian
Joseph Bauman- Promoted to Associate Teaching Professor of Spanish
Rosa Osborne- Promoted to Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish
Misty Pursel- Promoted to Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish
Miguel Ramírez-Bernal- Promoted to Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish

Congratulations to Sarah Townsend, whose article "The Spectral Stage of Édouard Glissant's Monsieur Toussaint" was awarded the Modern Drama Outstanding Article prize for 2018.

Modern Drama (University of Toronto Press) is the most prominent journal in English to focus on dramatic literature.

Congratulations to Spanish Graduate Students for having passed their MA Exams!!

Spanish graduate students Ricardo Andrade, Trevor Bero, Estilita Cassiani Obeso, Lindsey Chandler, Juliana Cruz Martínez, Carlos Echeverría, Gustavo Herrera-Díaz, Victoria Jansen, Javier López Seoane, Michelle McGowan, Deyanira Moya, Ashley Pahis, Gabriela Puscama, and Sonya Trawick have passed their MA comprehensive exams. 

The Supportive Teaching Enrichment Program (STEP) Grant

Application link:

The Supportive Teaching Enrichment Program (STEP) Grant is designed to assist the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese teaching faculty in their teaching development. The STEP Grant is offered as a unique opportunity to support professional development activities and pedagogically-oriented endeavors during the academic year. This grant is intended to defray the cost of professional development experiences. Grants will be awarded throughout the year up to $1,000.

To ensure receipt, please notify the Chair of Professional Development Committee, Xin Liu (, after submitting your proposal via the Google Form. Please make sure to submit your proposal at least one month in advance of your professional development event or activity.

Congratulations to Manuel Pulido Azpíroz, whose Doctoral Dissertation Research has been recommended for funding by the Linguistics Program at the National Science Foundation.

Manuel's Doctoral Dissertation Research is entitled: "Processing of L2-specific multi-word units and the impact on representation and generalization: An ERP study ". 

Congratulations to Carla Cornette, Lecturer in Italian, who successfully defended her dissertation on Friday, August 24th at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Her dissertation is entitled: "Postcolonial Pathology in the Works of Italian Postcolonial Writers: Carla Macoggi, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, and Igiaba Scego."

Congratulations to Spanish Major Shannon Reinke, who has received the Center for Global Studies Thesis Prize Award for her thesis. Shannon is advised by Professor Judith Sierra-Rivera.

The title of her thesis is "From Central America to the United States: Youth Migratory Productions out of El Salvador and Guatemala in the 2000s."

Five Liberal Arts courses, including a new Italian course with embedded experience in Italy, sending students abroad over spring break

Congratulations to Grant Berry on receiving the College of the Liberal Arts Raymond Lombra Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Research in the Humanities.

Grant received this honor for his article "Phonetic alignment in English as a lingua franca: Coming together while splitting apart," which is published in Second Language Research. 

Penn State Search: College of the Liberal Arts Dean

The Pennsylvania State University seeks candidates for the position of Dean, College of the Liberal Arts. Penn State is the land-grant University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with the University Park campus as its administrative hub, 23 other campuses located throughout the state, and its online World Campus.  Reporting directly to the Executive Vice President and Provost of the University, the Dean serves as the principal academic and administrative officer of the College. The Dean holds the Susan Welch Dean’s Chair and is known as the Susan Welch Dean of the College of the Liberal Arts. The Dean’s Chair was named in honor of Dean Welch with an endowment gift of $5 million in 2010.

The position requires a distinguished scholar and strong proponent of the liberal arts. The new dean will work aggressively to advance the College’s position as a leader among institutions of higher education in the creation and dissemination of knowledge for increasingly diverse and global constituencies. The successful candidate will be able to lead and manage the College in a multi-disciplinary and highly inter-disciplinary research university. Prior leadership experience with responsibility for strategic management of personnel, programs, communication, and resources is required, along with an ability to inspire students to expand their knowledge and understand their impact in a multicultural, global society.  In addition, the successful candidate should be a visionary leader; have a commitment to high-quality disciplinary and interdisciplinary education, as well as diversity and inclusion; a record of accomplishment in research, teaching, and fundraising; and familiarity with national issues affecting undergraduate and graduate education, with credentials appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of professor. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

The College of the Liberal Arts, founded in 1909, has approximately 6,000 undergraduate and 850 graduate students enrolled in residence, and an additional 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in online certificate and degree programs delivered through the Penn State World Campus. The College’s faculty teach about 30 percent of all undergraduate credit hours at University Park and a higher percentage in the World Campus. The College has more than 700 full-time faculty members, about half of whom are on the tenure track, including many who are recognized leaders in their fields. Departments in the College span the humanities, social sciences, and the life sciences and many of the departments are among the top 10 of their peers in the last National Research Council rankings. Several interdisciplinary research centers and institutes, within the College and across the University, enhance the College’s teaching, research, and outreach missions.  College centers support research ranging from ethics to cognitive neuroscience, from the Civil War to human evolution, and from the bilingual brain to counterterrorism.

The 2017-18 operating budget for the College is approximately $102 million, with the World Campus generating significant additional income. In 2016-17, the College had about $30 million in research expenditures. The College has an endowment of approximately $130 million with more than 600 active funds, and an annual fundraising commitment that averages $15 million per year.

The College provides instruction and research opportunities in 21 departments and schools—African American Studies; African Studies; Anthropology; Applied Linguistics; Asian Studies; Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; Communication Arts and Sciences; Comparative Literature;  Economics; English; French and Francophone Studies; Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures; History; Jewish Studies; Labor and Employment Relations; Philosophy; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology and Criminology; Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

To apply for this position, send (cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information of four references) via the University’s employment web site at  Please send any questions to the Chair of the Dean, Liberal Arts Search Committee at  The Search Committee will review applications and nominations beginning February 1, 2018, and will continue to receive them until the position is filled.  For more information about the College of the Liberal Arts, visit our web site at     

Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. Final candidate(s) for the position will be required to complete a full background check process, including education, employment, credit, motor vehicle verifications, criminal, and child abuse as appropriate.

To review the Penn State Annual Security Report, please go to; a hard copy of the report is available on request.

Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to minorities, women, veterans, disabled individuals, and members of other protected groups. 

Penn State grad reinforces and embodies lessons learned in SIP department

A recent interview with PSU graduate, Jonathan Muth, describes how his dual degree in Spanish has been key to success in his accounting career.  

To read the article follow the link below.

On Thursday, November 2 at 6pm please join us for the first information session for the study abroad program in Reggio Calabria Italy.

Would you like to learn Italian in Italy? Join us for the first info session for our Reggio Calabria study abroad program. The event is open to all interested students and will take place on Thursday, November 2 at 6pm in 104 Thomas. 

Please contact Professor Michael Edwards ( or Professor Carla Cornette ( for more information.

You may also visit the link below to view the informational flyer about our program in Reggio Calabria:



On November 3rd please join us for a talk by Micol Seigel (Indiana University) entitled “Always Already Military: Police, Public Safety, and State Violence.”

On November 3rd please join us for a talk by Micol Seigel (Indiana University) entitled “Always Already Military: Police, Public Safety, and State Violence.” This talk is the keynote presentation for the Second Biennial Race in the Americas (RITA) Conference to be held November 3-4 at University Park. This presentation is open to the public. Friday, November 3, 102 Oak Building @ 12:00 pm. To find more information about RITA and the upcoming conference: visit the following link :

On February 12th please join us for a presentation by Fred Kuwornu entitled, "Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema".

The film "Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema” by Fred Kuwornu will be screened and there will be a discussion with the director. His visit will be Feb. 12, times yet to be determined.

On October 10th please join us for Michele Rossi's presentation to The Committee for Early Modern Studies, entitled "Eminent Poet, Clumsy Lover: Francesco Filelfo's Commentary to Petrarch's Canzoniere (1476)".

Michele Rossi will present to The Committee for Early Modern Studies on "Eminent Poet, Clumsy Lover: Francesco Filelfo's Commentary to Petrarch's Canzoniere (1476)"

Tuesday, Oct. 10, noon- 1:15 in 211 Borland. Lunch will be provided.

On October 6th please join us for our third professional development opportunity of the semester: a SafeZone 101/102 Fusion Training.

Dear colleagues,

Please join us for our third professional development opportunity of the semester: a SafeZone 101/102 Fusion Training. 

The workshop will be held on October 6in 227 Burrowes, from 2-5 p.m. and will be taught by Sonya Wilmoth, Assistant Director of the LGBTQA Student Resource Center.

Safe Zone 101 provides a foundation of knowledge needed to be an effective ally to LGBTQA+ students. Safe Zone participants will be given the tools and resources should an LGBTQA+ student approach them to talk about LGBTQA+ related issues, or to help them find campus or local resources. 
The Safe Zone 102 program further educates participants on the LGBTQA+ community, acting as an extension of the Safe Zone 101 program. Participants will move from theory to practice through becoming more confident and empowered, learning how to self-educate, sharing their own experiences to the group, and participating in role-playing exercises.
We hope to see you all there!
Our best,
The SIP Professional Development Committee.

Congratulations to Marco Martínez has an article entitled "Rounds de sombra: el boxeo en la crónica deportiva de Tablada, Garibay y Monsiváis" forthcoming in Latin American Research Review, volume 53, no. 3 (2018)!

The department would like to congratulate Marco Martínez, who has an article entitled "Rounds de sombra: el boxeo en la crónica deportiva de Tablada, Garibay y Monsiváis"  appearing in Latin American Research Review, volume 53, no. 3 (2018).  ¡Felicidades!

Congratulations to Rosa Guzzardo Tamargo, former graduate from Spanish linguistics at Penn State, who has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at the Universidad de Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras)!

Congratulations to Rosa Guzzardo Tamargo, former graduate from Spanish linguistics at Penn State, who has been promoted to associate professor with tenure at the Universidad de Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras). Her dossier received honors!

Congratulations Rosa! We are thrilled for you y te deseamos muchísimos años colmados de éxito. 

Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Marr, who has received the Hispanex Program Grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte!

Congratulations to Matthew Marr, who has received the Hispanex Program Grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.  This grant will help him pursue his exciting research project on Spanish Cinema. Congratulations Matthew!

Congratulations to Cynthia Lukyanenko on her new teaching position at George Mason University!

Cindy has been a postdoctoral fellow in Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese and the CLS for the last three years and will be starting her new position this fall. We wish her the best of luck as she moves on to this next stage in her career. 

Congratulations to Josh R. Deckman (Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese), on the publication of his essay "Sueños utópicos: Espacios, geografías y comunidades al margen" de la sociedad española en El mapa de la espera (Ana Rossetti, 2010)"

Congratulations to Josh R. Deckman (Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese), on the publication of his essay "Sueños utópicos: Espacios, geografías y comunidades al margen de la sociedad española en El mapa de la espera (Ana Rossetti, 2010)" in Romance Notes.

Congratulations to Grant M. Berry, recipient of a Doctoral Dissertation Research award from the National Science Foundation

Congratulations to Grant M. Berry, recipient of a Doctoral Dissertation Research award (Grant #BCS1651061) from the National Science Foundation for "The long and short of linguistic variation: Dual mechanisms of cognitive control in processing phonological variation and the adoption of sound change".

Congratulations to Michele Rossi, whose book "Pedagogia e corte nel Rinascimento italiano ed europeo" has just appeared

Please join me in congratulating Michele Rossi, whose book Pedagogia e corte nel Rinascimento italiano ed europeo ("Pedagogy and Courtly Life in the Italian and European Renaissance") has just appeared. 

Congratulations, Michele!

Congratulations to Grant Berry for winning a STAR Award from the College!

Grant Berry has been awarded the Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) award from the College of the Liberal Arts. Congratulations, Grant!

Congratulations to Mike Johns for winning a STAR Award from the College!

Mike Johns has been awarded the Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) award from the College of the Liberal Arts. Congratulations, Mike!

Congratulations to Dr. Karen Miller on her appointment to Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics!

Dr. Miller has been promoted to Associate Professor of Spanish and Linguistics. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Miller on her accomplishment!

Congratulations to Dr. Sherry Roush on her appointment to Full Professor!

Dr. Roush has been promoted from Associate Professor of Italian to Professor. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Roush on her accomplishment!

Anna Torres Cacoullos receives the Superior Teaching and Research (STAR) Award in the College of the Liberal Arts

This award is to recognize graduate students who have excelled in all aspects of their graduate program and it is intended to support her research in Santiago de Compostela, Spain this summer. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement, Anna!

Congratulations to Madeline Iffert on winning 3rd place for her thesis in the Undergraduate Student Exhibition

Congratulations to Madeline Iffert (double Major in Industrial Engineering and Spanish) who won 3rd place in the Undergraduate Student Exhibition with her thesis titled Do cognates facilitate the processing of codeswitched sentences. Her thesis was directed by Prof. Giuli Dussias.

Adison Godfrey wins Fulbright to Ecuador

Congratulations to Adison Godfrey on winning a Fulbright award to teach English in Ecuador! She will spend nine months in country teaching and hopes to continue previous volunteer work there with a foundation that assists in the education of individuals with disabilities and the creation of educational programs and initiatives. Last summer, Adison taught English at La Universidad de Cuenca for five weeks and received her ESL Program Specialist Teaching Certificate. During this time, she also began studying Kichwa, an indigenous language of the Quechua family, and very much looks forward to continuing her language studies.

Safe travels, Adison!

Congratulations to Matt Carlson, who has been awarded a collaborative fellowship from the Social Science Research Institute for the project titled "Competition, conflict, and optimization: Toward a dynamic model of multilingualism”

Matt will be working in collaboration with Michael Putnam(Associate Professor of German) and David Reitter (Assistant Professor of Information Science and Technology).

Nicoletta Ventresca and Jason Laine win National University Technology Network Distance Education Innovation Award

Nicoletta Ventresca and Jason Laine whose innovation and vision in creating the World Campus Basic Italian sequence has been recognized with the National University Technology Network Distance Education Innovation Award. 

Congratulations to Nicoletta and Jason!

NSF PIRE grant to translate science of language learning to education

University Park, Pa. -- Speaking two or more languages makes minds more open to learning and more flexible, and a $5 million dollar grant over five years from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships in International Research and Education aims to translate the science of language learning for education and the classroom.

Read More Here!

¡THEMES! The convenient new way to pick your Spanish classes for next semester

Now you can choose your courses based on your interests! The Spanish faculty are now designating the courses they offer within these four themes so that you can zoom in on the topics that interest you the most. Click on the picture of your choice below to see the courses that cover topics related to each theme.*
Borders ThemeIdentities ThemeHistory ThemeWork Theme

*Note: The course requirements for majors and minors have not changed. This new organization is simply meant to help you find the courses that interest you most! 

Where in the world is John Lipski? On the CLA homepage!

SIP's own Prof. John Lipski is currently featured on the College of the Liberal Arts homepage highlighting the international research he and other members of the department conduct.

Ana Cortejoso de Andres wins 2nd place at Graduate Exhibition

Congratulations to Ana Cortejoso de Andres for being awarded 2nd place in the Arts & Humanities division at the Graduate Exhibition yesterday for her poster entitled "Born to be a Star: Representing the Writer as a Global Celebrity in Contemporary Hispanic Narrative"!!

SIP is on social media! Follow us!

Did you know that the programs offered by the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are on Facebook and Twitter? Follow us for information about events, courses and programs offered by the department and for fun cultural updates about the countries where these languages are spoken!

Spanish & Portuguese: Facebook Twitter

Italian: Facebook Twitter

Congratulations to Josh Deckman and Fernando Fonseca!

Congratulations to Josh Deckman and Fernando Fonseca for having each received a 'Latin American Studies Research and Travel Award' for their upcoming travel to Cuba! For more information on the Latin American Studies Program.

SIP announces new Study Abroad program in Ronda, Spain

The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese announces a new education abroad opportunity starting this summer in Ronda, Spain. For more information, visit the program website:

Prof. John Lipski named to the Order of Don Quijote

Congratulations to Prof. John Lipski,  who was inducted into Sigma Delta Pi's Order of Don Quijote. 

The Order of Don Quijote is the highest honor conferred by Sigma Delta Pi (the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society) to two scholars worldwide for exceptional and meritorious service in the fields of Hispanic scholarship, the teaching of Spanish, and the promotion of good relations between English- and Spanish- speaking countries. For more information about Sigma Delta Pi and the honors it confers, visit their website.

Call for Submissions to PSUxLING2 - undergraduate linguistics conference

The Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at Penn State University invites submissions for the 

2nd Annual Penn State Undergraduate Exhibition in Hispanic and General Linguistics (PSUxLING2

to be held on October 16, 2015.

Call Deadline: May 15, 2015

Invited Speakers

Anna María Escobar (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign)

Jorge Valdés Kroff (University of Florida)

The exhibition format is poster presentation and students may submit up to two abstracts for consideration. 

Abstracts should not exceed 350 words, not including references, and should be submitted through the conference website:

The deadline for submission is May 15, 2015.

Notification of accepted posters will be sent out in early July. 

Travel awards up to $500 to cover hotel costs and travel will be awarded

to the best abstracts in the call. 

Please visit the conference website for more information.

New PSU Maymester course in Cuba!

PSU in Cuba

Spanish 497: José Martí and Cuba

May 11-21, 2015

The Department of Spanish, Italian, and Porguese is offering a 3-credit, 3-week Maymester course in Cuba.  The first two weeks of the course will be taught in Cuba, and the third week online. 

As part of this course, PSU Students and professor, Julia Cuervo Hewitt, will participate in the 125thcommemoration of the death of José Martí.  For this event we will travel to the historic city of Bayamo, in the Eastern part of the island, during the weekend of May 16-18.  Classes will take place Monday-Friday at the Centro de Estudios Martianos, in Havana, during the mornings, and during the afternoon the Centro will provide city tours to important historical and cultural sites.  The last day of the two week-stay will be at the famous beach of Varadero.

There will be a meeting for students interested in registering for this course: 

February 18, at 5:30 p.m.

Thomas Building 222

At this meeting we will be talking about the process of registration, the cost of the course, flight, and room and board in Cuba, as well as the process of obtaining the visa, which must be done at least 6-7 weeks in advance, as a group.  Students interested must have a passport by the first week of March since we must send the names and passport numbers to Cuba that week so that the Centro de Estudios Martinos can apply for visas for the entire group. 

For any further inquiries contact:  

Apply for a FLAS fellowship to study Portuguese in Brazil - review of apps starts February 15!

Interested in studying Portuguese? Apply for a Foreign Language & Area Studies fellowship to study in Brazil on a summer or year-long program. Both undergraduates and graduate students are eligible. Review of applications will start February 15 but will continue until all funds are allocated.

Summer Research Opportunity for undergraduates -- act fast! Deadline Feb. 10

The Summer Research Opportunities Program, a Committee on Institutional Cooperation Opportunity

The Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP) is a gateway to graduate education at CIC universities. The goal of the program is to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue graduate study and research careers. SROP helps prepare undergraduates for graduate study through intensive research experiences with faculty mentors and enrichment activities. By participating in SROP, you will gain valuable research experience on a CIC campus and enhance your qualifications for admission to graduate school:

  • Study in your field of choice
  • All-expenses paid plus stipend
  • Housing and transportation included
  • Top faculty-mentored research experience
  • Enrichment workshops and opportunities
  • Participation in academic research conference

Get more information and complete program details on our website:

Summer 2015 deadline: February 10!

Congratulations to Grant Berry on his forthcoming paper in 'Probus'

It is with great pleasure that we announce Grant Berry's forthcoming article in Probus titled "Structural autonomy and aspectual import: A new(er) Spanish Progressive". Congratulations, Grant!


The current study analyzes distributional frequencies of the Spanish Progressive construction (ESTAR+Gerund) in a corpus of late twentieth century conversational speech in order to assess changes in structure and meaning. The analysis incorporates structural priming as a measure of analyzability and autonomy, and utilizes both lexical and contextual measures of aspect to assess the construction's preferred environment relative to its competing gram: the simple Present. Results of a multivariate analysis (N=1017) indicate that over the last one hundred years, the construction has lost analyzability, further coalescing into a single grammatical unit. This new unit has also acquired the ability to express limited duration (progressive, continuous) aspect with stative as well as dynamic verbs, indicating the consolidation of the construction's aspectual import. At the same time, its presence in extended duration contexts is attributed to strong effects of Progressive-Progressive priming and, to a lesser extent, licensing by a co-occurring temporal adverbial. By situating these results within the construction's diachrony, it is concluded that the increased grammaticalization of the Spanish Progressive in the twentieth century, as assessed quantitatively, is markedly distinct from previous centuries.

"Language Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory", co-edited by Prof. Rena Torres Cacoullos, now in press

Prof. Rena Torres Cacoullos has co-edited the volume Language Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory (Routledge), which is now in press. 

From the publisher:

Edited by Rena Torres Cacoullos, Nathalie Dion, André Lapierre, Linguistic Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory honors Shana Poplack in bringing together contributions from leading scholars in language variation and change. The book demonstrates how variationist methodology can be applied to the study of linguistic structures and processes. It introduces readers to variation theory, while also providing an overview of current debates on the linguistic, cognitive and sociocultural factors involved in linguistic patterning. With its coverage of a diverse range of language varieties and linguistic problems, this book offers new quantitative analyses of actual language production and processing from both top experts and emerging scholars, and presents students and practitioners with theoretical frameworks to meaningfully engage in accountable research practice.

Congratulations to Pablo Requena for forthcoming paper in 'Language Acquisition'

It is with great pleasure that we announce Pablo Requena's forthcoming article, in collaboration with Astrid Román-Hernandez and Prof. Karen Miller titled "Children’s knowledge of the Spanish copulas Ser and Estar with novel adjectives." Congratulations, Pablo!

Read the full article here: Requena, P. E., Román-Hernández, A. I., & Miller, K. (in press). Children’s knowledge of the Spanish copulas Ser and Estarwith novel adjectives. Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics.

New STEP Grant established by the SIP Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese is pleased to announce the establishment of the STEP (Summer Teaching Enrichment Program) Grant. This grant is intended to help defray the cost of summer programs of study directly related to instruction, travel expenses and accommodations. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded annually based on the merits of the proposals submitted. Deadline: January 31, 2015. The committee is now accepting proposals.

Application information is available to instructors in the ANGEL group, "SIP Professional Development Committee", and on our web site at

Find the Penn State SIP Professional Development Committee on Facebook:

Questions may be sent to

Joshua Deckman to present at MACHL

Graduate student Josh Deckman will be presenting at the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature (MACHL) at U Wisconsin this October. His paper is entitled "Hijas de la chingada: Queering Chican@ Identity and Language in Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands/La frontera"

Penn State among top national public schools in 2015 U.S. News' 'Best Colleges'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- U.S. News & World Report released its 2015 "Best Colleges" rankings today (Sept. 9), with Penn State ranking No. 14 among national public universities.

In addition, the University ranked No. 2 nationally among "Best Colleges for Veterans," schools that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active service members apply, pay for and complete their degrees.

In the "National Universities" category, which includes both public and private institutions, Penn State placed No. 48 overall. According to U.S. News' methodology, schools in this category emphasize faculty research and offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master's and doctoral programs.

In the Big Ten, Penn State ranked No. 4 among public nationals, and No. 5 in the overall nationals. Penn State also ranked No. 4 among Pennsylvania universities.

The Smeal College of Business' supply chain management program ranked No. 5 in "Best in the Specialties," with Smeal ranked No. 21 overall in "Best in Undergraduate Business" programs, up one spot from last year. Additional business programs ranked include production/operations management (No. 14), management (No. 14), marketing (No. 14) and accounting (No. 22).

The College of Engineering at University Park ranked No. 18 among the "Best in Undergraduate Engineering" programs for institutions whose highest degree is a doctorate, rising one place from last year. Additional engineering programs ranked include industrial/manufacturing (No. 7), materials (No. 10), aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical (No. 11), biological/agricultural (No. 11), mechanical (No. 13), civil (No. 17) and chemical (No. 18).

At Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, the School of Engineering ranked No. 47 among the best engineering schools whose highest degree is a bachelor's or master's.

Penn State also ranked highest among national universities on the list of "A-Plus Schools for B Students," featuring schools that accept students without straight A’s but rank highly among the 2015 Best Colleges.

In addition, Penn State ranked 45th in a nationwide survey among high school counselors who rated national universities and liberal arts colleges that they felt offered “the best undergraduate education to their students,” receiving a score of 4.1 out of a possible 5.

U.S. News & World Report surveys nearly 1,800 colleges and universities annually and ranks them in different categories by measuring such factors as graduation and retention rates; assessment by peers and counselors; faculty resources; student selectivity; alumni giving rate; and financial resources. Details of the "2015 Best Colleges" methodology and rankings are available at online.

Read the original article here

Congratulations to Ana Cortejoso de Andrés

It is with great pleasure that we announce Ana Cortejoso de Andrés’s forthcoming article “Triunfo y derrota de la cursilería en la sociedad burguesa decimonónica: Insolación y Morriña, de Emilia Pardo Bazán” in the journal Decimonónica. Congratulations, Ana!

Congratulations to Guada Martí-Peña

Congratulations to Guada Martí-Peña for the publication of her book Ilusionismo verbal en Elogio de la madrastra y Los cuadernos de don Rigoberto de Mario Vargas Llosa (Purdue University Press)

Prof. Maria Truglio wins Outstanding Teaching Award

Congratulations to Professor Maria Truglio, who is the recipient of the 2014 Malvin E. and Lea P. Bank Outstanding Teaching Award for the College of Liberal Arts.

Penn State among Top 50 universities in the world

Penn State has moved up four spots among the top 50 of the Center for World Universities Rankings (CWUR) list of global higher education institutions, advancing its placement for the third consecutive year. Penn State, No. 46, is 29th among all U.S. colleges and universities.

CWUR describes itself as “the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.” It released its annual list on Tuesday (July 15), including eight U.S. Ivy League and other private schools and two British universities in the top 10.

In the United States, 229 institutions were honored among the world’s top 1,000 universities. Eight Big Ten universities placed in the top 50, along with the University of Pennsylvania, the only other school in the commonwealth to achieve the top 5 percent, at No. 14. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are No. 53 and No. 54, respectively.

The Center for World University Rankings’ methodology, as listed on its website, uses seven indicators to produce its rankings: quality of faculty, publications in top journals, highly influential research, citations, patents, academic training of students and professional future of alumni. Its aim is “to measure the quality of education and training of students as well as the prestige of the faculty and the quality of their research.”

The complete list and detailed methodology can be found at

Originally reported by Penn State News on July 26, 2014.

Certificate of Excellence Awards

Congratulation to the following graduating seniors for receiving Certificate of Excellence Awards:

Ho Kwan Cheung 
Isabelle Kayal 
Emily Battaglia 
Rebecca Vickery 
Jay Mathias 
Cortlyn Hagman 
Rachel Wozniak 
Samantha Krone 
Kayleen Notchick 
Emily Sabo

Graduate Placements

Congratulations to Colleen Balukas, Antonia Delgado-Poust, Hiram Smith, Jorge Valdés Kroll, Katie Vater and Alvaro Villegas, who accepted tenure-track offers at the following institutions:

Colleen Balukas (Ph.D., 2014) --Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Ball State University

Antonia Delgado-Poust (Ph.D., 2011) --Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at University of Mary Washington 

Hiram Smith (Ph.D., 2014) --Department of Spanish at Bucknell University

Jorge Valdés Kroff (Ph.D., 2012) --Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Florida 

Katie Vater (Ph.D., 2014) --Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Alvaro Villegas (Ph.D., 2014) --Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Central Florida

Funding Awards

Congratulations to our undergraduate students Melinda Dennis, Daniel Magerman and Mary Beth Spang, who were the recipients of NSF PIRE grants awarded through the Center of Language Science to travel to San Basilio de Palenque (Colombia) to conduct research on Palenquero.

Teaching Awards

Congratulations to Tomás Hidalgo Nava, Adriana Linnebur, Rosa Osborn, Lauren Perrotti, Romà Rofes Herrera, Borja Gutiérrez and Emily Wiggins, who received certificates of recognition for their outstanding work in the classroom

Funding Awards

Congratulations to John Lipski, who was awarded an NSF Grant for his project “Determining the suppressibility of functional categories in second-language acquisition: from Spanish to Palenque”

New Dual-Title Doctoral Degree in Spanish and Language Science

Graduate students with research and educational interests in Hispanic Linguistics and Language Science may apply to the dual-title doctoral program in Spanish and Language Science. The dual-title program enables graduate students from Spanish to acquire the knowledge and research skills of their major area of specialization in Hispanic Linguistics while at the same time gaining the perspective and methods of the language sciences. For further information click here.

Remembering Erik D. Steindl

A Heart of Gold Lives On

In September, 1997, Erik D. Steindl, certified personal fitness trainer at Restek, a senior at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), a Staff Sergeant in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and son of Eric Steindl (also an employee of Restek), was diagnosed with a germ-cell cancer. The initial prognosis was excellent.

At the time of diagnosis, the softball-sized tumor had already invaded Erik's left bronchial tube, restricting air  and blood flow to his left lung. It also was believed to be dangerously close to his heart. Surgery at this point  was not an option. The doctors moved quickly to begin a very aggressive chemotherapy treatment, which they  hoped would shrink the size of the tumor and restore blood and air flow to Erik's left lung. Then they would  remove the remaining cancerous tissue by surgery. While Erik's family and friends struggled to accept that a  strong, otherwise healthy 24-year-old could have developed such a serious medical condition, Erik continued with  his studies at PSU and planned for his future.

Initial chemotherapy treatments appeared to have a positive effect, and although chemotherapy would exhaust Erik, he never lost sight of his dreams or forgot his family and friends. He continued to write, phone, and visit people whenever possible. Too sick and tired to drive himself, his family would take him to visit his friends. Erik would always say "I need to walk in and show people I'm OK so they don't worry so much." At Restek, Erik would walk throughout the entire facility, talking to people about his hopes and plans for the future. To many, he would say "I'm going to beat this cancer and write a book about it."

In October and November, Erik's condition became more complicated. His heart rate would suddenly and dangerously increase, requiring him to be flown by Life Flight helicopter to Hershey Medical Center, PA. He developed severe headaches, and it was discovered that blood clots had formed in several major veins in his brain. While in the hospital, family and friends from across the country came to visit. Each time a person entered Erik's hospital room, Erik would sit up, try to relieve the visitor's worry, and entertain them as if nothing was wrong. Despite his declining health, Erik maintained contact with friends at Restek and PSU. In December, Erik's younger brother Greg graduated from PSU. Too sick to attend the graduation ceremony, Erik stayed at home with several friends, talking and planning for 1998.

After four chemotherapy treatments and numerous tests, Erik's doctors felt the cancer was finally operable. During surgery, the doctors found the cancer had spread into the heart tissue itself, part of the left lung, and the chest wall. The night after surgery, Erik suffered a stroke from the blood clots in his brain. Gravely ill and unable to speak because of the ventilator, Erik was still fighting and writing notes to ask if his family and friends were alright. On February 14, Valentines Day, this young man who touched so many hearts, lost his fight against cancer.

On June 19, on what would have been Erik's 25 birthday, a memorial ceremony was held at Restek. Over 100 family members and friends attended from across the country. Erik's parents and brother were presented with several awards for Erik. Restek presented its highest honor posthumously, "The President's Award," to Erik for his courage and strength, which was an example to us all. Also, Restek dedicated an outdoor memorial and renamed the fitness center "Corazon de Oro," meaning "Heart of Gold" in Spanish, a language Erik had studied for many years in the Air Force and at PSU.

PSU presented Erik's posthumous diploma, awarded because of Erik's fight to continue with his studies in spite of his illness. The Pennsylvania Air National Guard, 112th Air Control Squadron, by order of the President of the United States, awarded Erik the "Air Force Meritorious Service Award." This is the highest award given by the Air Force to a non-combatant servicemen. The members of the squadron also presented Erik's family with a shadow box containing all the awards, rank insignia, and unit emblems Erik had earned during his military service.

To ensure Erik's dedication and spirit lives on, a memorial scholarship fund has been established at Penn State University. This scholarship, the "Erik D. Steindl Spanish Scholarship Fund" is awarded to a student in the Spanish Department who demonstrates outstanding academic excellence and community spirit. If you would like to make a contribution to this fund, please send your tax-deductible donation to:

Erik D. Steindl Spanish Scholarship Fund,

The Pennsylvania State University,
College of Liberal Arts,
101 Sparks Bldg.,
University Park, PA 16802.

Penn State's Doctoral Programs Gain Top Outcomes in National Rankings

For more information on Penn State's Doctoral Programs and National Rankings click here.

Download the summary of changes to the Spanish Major/Major requirements for 2012-2013.

Download the summary of changes to the Spanish Major/Major requirements for 2012-2013.

For more information on Penn State's Doctoral Programs and National Rankings click here.