Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Romance and Classical Studies
Welcome, New Faculty!
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Home > Newsletter > Newsletter 2018 > Faculty > Welcome, New Faculty!

The RCS is incredibly excited to welcome so many new members to our team! Learn about our amazing newcomers below!

19-Silvina Bongiovanni.jpegSilvina Bongiovanni
PhD Indian University
Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics

Professor Bongiovanni earned her Licenciatura in Letras from the Universidad de Buenos Aires (2008), an M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics (2012) and a dual-PhD in Linguistics and in Hispanic Linguistics (2018) from Indiana University. Her main research area is experimental phonology where she studies the phonetic underpinnings of phonological variation. Her primary focus of inquiry explores variation in nasality (i.e. sounds that are produced with air passing through the nose as well as the mouth), both in vowels and in consonants. Additionally, she has carried out corpus studies examining sociolinguistic distribution of phonological variants (e.g. aceptar vs. ace[k]tar vs. acetar ‘to accept’), the link between frequency of phonotactic collocations (i.e. combinations of consonants) and phonological variation. She is also interested in the acquisition of phonological systems by second language speakers and have examined the impact of learning context (study abroad vs. at-home) on development of L2 sound systems.

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Charles Moulding
MA Michigan State University
Instructor of Spanish

He received a B.A. in Spanish an Geography from Weber State University (2015) an an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures from Michigan State University (2017).  Charles is originally from Utah and learned Spanish while living in Mexico for over two years. His passions for study and investigation include immigration literature and film as well as foodways and cultural studies. He has held teaching positions in Weber State University (2015), Michigan State University (2015-2017) and Lansing Community College (2018) where he has developed an implemented online educational resources.

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Hannah Olsen
MA Michigan State University
Instructor of French

She earned  a B.A. in Physics and a minor in French Language and Literature (2015) from Kalamazoo College, and an MA in French Language and Literature (2018) from Michigan State University. She spent 2015-2016 studying at the Institut international d'études français at l'Université de Strasbourg and was the recipient of the Jean et Marie-Louise Dufrenoy fellowship. During the summer of 2017, Hannah assisted a study abroad program for finance students in Namur, Belgium. 

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Will Reyes-Cubides 
MA Boston College
Spanish Language Coordinator

Mr. Reyes-Cubides earned a Licenciatura in Spanish and English (1988) and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics an Education (1990)  from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá, and an M.A. in Romance Languages, Hispanic Studies from Boston College (2005). He has held teaching and Spanish language supervising positions in Boston College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University an the University of Denver, among others. Will joins us as the new Spanish language coordinator and is a member of the Basic Language Instruction team in our department.

19-Victor Rodriguez-Pereira.jpgVíctor Rodríguez-Pereira
PhD Indiana University
Assistant Professor, FT, Medieval Spanish and Colonial Latin American Literatures

Originally from Puerto Rico, Professor Rodríguez-Pereira earned a B.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras; an M.A. in Romance Languages from the University of Notre Dame (2007), an a PhD in Spanish with a minor in medieval studies from Indiana University (2017). He has held teaching positions at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College, Indiana University and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In his work, he explores Iberian monstrous an hybrid bodies that respond to anxieties related to sex, ethnicity, and religiosity while discussing medieval and early modern notions of hybridity, change an monstrosity. During his teaching career, he has taught a wide variety of courses of Spanish literature and cultural studies.

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Jena Whitaker
PhD John Hopkins University
Assistant Professor, FT, French Language and Literature

Professor Whitaker earned her BA from Rollins College in 2009 with a concentration in French and Music, her MA  in French literature from Florida State University (2011), an her PhD in French Studies from John Hopkins University (2018).  Her MA thesis “Bergson, Baudelaire, et la temporalité” explores the ways in which Henri Bergson’s distinction between scientific time and durée corresponds to Baudelaire’s spleen and ideal. Her PhD dissertation studies the relationship between translation and poetic creation in the works of three 19th-century century poet-translators: Nerval, Baudelaire, and Mallarmé. She also studies the poems, translations, and theories of more recent poet-translators such as Michel Deguy, Yves Bonnefoy, Henri Meschonnic, and Philippe Jacottet. Jena is especially interested in the sonorous material of poetry: rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, and onomatopoeia. In addition to her own research, in 2013 Jena created an inventory of JHU’s collection of rare and ephemeral pamphlets from the French Revolution. 

Mark E. Davis
PhD Michigan State University
Assistant Professor, FT, Early Modern Spanish and Colonial Latin American Literatures

Professor Davis enjoys teaching a variety of Spanish courses at all language levels.
Professor Davis received his B.A. in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin (1987), an M.A. in Hispanic Literatures (2009) and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Cultural Studies (2015) from Michigan State University. He specializes in the early literature and culture of the Iberian world – from the medieval period through the Golden Age (the 16th and 17th centuries). His work explores festival behavior and its relationships to culture in the broadest sense of the word. This field of inquiry has led him to examine a wide variety of works in Spanish and other Iberian languages, including Portuguese and Valencian. He is also engaged in looking into the ways celebratory activity and literature represent and define the social organization of the Spanish and Portuguese empires of the early modern period, on both sides of the Atlantic—and beyond. He is especially interested in the way ethnicity, race, nationality and gender intersect with fiestas.
Professor Davis is also a great believer in study abroad and has more than 15 years of experience in study abroad program development and leadership.