Newsletter | Winter 2014


Irene Panke Hopkins, Writer and Editor

Despite the recent snow and the rain pelting down outside my window as I write these lines, winter has been good to Spanish and Portuguese Studies. We learned that Ana Fernández Dobao, Language Program Coordinator and Professor of Spanish Linguistics, has been granted tenure and promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. AFD earned this honor through her brilliant reformulation of the first three years of Spanish language study, through her cutting edge scholarship on second language… Read more
The view from Jill McKinstry’s light-filled office is stunning. Located on the southeast corner of the Odegaard Undergraduate Library, windows wrap around two walls overlooking the campus that has been McKinstry’s home away from home for more than 40 years. Odegaard Library, much like McKinstry herself, is open, warm and welcoming, inviting visitors to walk around, sit and read, explore. “The beauty of librarianship is that you draw on everything you have ever done in your life,” said McKinstry… Read more
Congratulations to Ana Fernández Dobao who has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with tenure, effective September 2014. Dobao, hired in 2007 as Assistant Professor and Language Program Director, said, “It’s been a long road, and a lot of work. I gave 120% and it has now paid off.” Dobao described herself as someone who doesn’t plan things. “I don’t know what I want until it is in front of me and then I make the most of opportunities that present themselves.” She added, “Once I… Read more
Cecile Kummerer is a busy woman. She provides computer support to six language departments: Spanish & Portuguese Studies French & Italian Studies Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Scandinavian Studies Slavic Languages and Literatures Comparative Literature. Kummerer provides hardware support, keeps up with operating systems, maintains awareness of teaching software programs and attends UW-IT workshops. She is a liaison between the departments she works for and the Language… Read more
Senior, Pragya Kc, will be missed when she graduates. “Pragya is the kind of student every teacher wants to have in his/her class,” said visiting professor, Pablo Carriedo. “She is smart, participative, open-minded, modest, well-mannered, and a good class-mate, always trying to understand properly and going beyond the explanations.” Professor Donald Gilbert-Santamaría agrees. “What stands out in my mind is her intellectual curiosity. She seems to be motivated by an intrinsic desire for… Read more
The sun is shining as students make their way through a market town just north of Quito. The night before they were dancing in circles with hundreds of indigenous Otavaleños as a local band played various versions of the popular San Juanito tunes. Phillip Markley, Ph.D., Lecturer and Executive Director of the Winter Quito Ecuador Program, answered a call from the Chair five years ago to begin a program in South America. “From the beginning I wanted a program… Read more
Mark your calendars! The annual Spanish play production, directed by Lecturer Anna Witte, promises romance, intrigue, good guys, bad guys, a damsel in distress and more! This year’s performance is a celebration of Federico García Lorca’s theatre, poetry and music featuring both actors and puppets on stage at the Cabaret Theatre in Hutchison Hall. As usual, students from Dr. Witte’s SPAN 449 course are responsible for all aspects of staging the play, including making the puppets, designing the… Read more
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FUNDING AVAILABLE TO UW STUDENTS We would like to highlight two special funds available to help students of the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Division accomplish study-abroad and career-development goals. David William Foster Fund The David William Foster Fund has supported advanced language training for one graduate student each year since 2005. Normally it has been used for training in Spanish in Oaxaca, but in 2011 it was granted to a department graduate student from Spain to work… Read more
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LEÓN BENSADON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND León Bensadon, longtime friend and colleague of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Division, passed away on November 4, 2012. Donations in León’s memory can be made to the “León Bensadon Memorial Scholarship Fund.” This new fund pays tribute to León’s passion for his Sephardic heritage and the students he loved to teach. It benefits UW undergraduate or graduate students interested in… Read more
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THE FRIENDS OF SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE STUDIES Changing demographics nationally and locally lend a new urgency to our mission to study language, literatures, and cultures. Join us today as we strive to create knowledgeable and compassionate citizens, and foster in them tolerance, respect for cultural diversity, a capacity for critical thinking, and a sense of themselves as responsible members of a global community. The Friends of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Fund is an… Read more
The UW’s Center for Spanish Studies, one of twelve in the U.S. and Canada, is a cooperative venture between the University of Washington, the Spanish Ministry of Education and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Education. Located in Padelford Hall, Room B-202C, the Center’s purpose is to promote and support programs that teach Spanish to K-12 students in both public and private schools. Here are just a few examples of past and future activities sponsored and made possible by the Center… Read more
The Cervantes Institute was founded in Spain in 1991 to promote the teaching and learning of Spanish and to bring to light the diverse cultures of Spanish speaking countries. The Seattle branch of the Institute, Aula Cervantes Seattle, is housed in Room B-209, Padelford Hall. Among the Institute’s offerings, available to both students and teachers, is the Diploma in Spanish as a Second Language (DELE), a certification in six levels of Spanish proficiency. Also through the center is a wide… Read more