I understand my role as a postsecondary educator as being a facilitator of student learning rather than a font of knowledge. In my praxis as an educator, I see the classroom as a space for consciousness-raising, critical thinking, community building, and play.
Teaching Areas: Spanish language (all levels); Catalan language (beginning and intermediate); Spanish Conversation; Spanish Composition & Rhetoric; Iberian Literature and Culture (19thCentury -Present); Science Fiction Literature, Television, & Film (Iberian, Latin American, and/or Anglophone); Feminist Theories; Critical Theory.
Pedagogically, my research interests include inclusive teaching practices, creating effective learning environments, alternative assessment, and using popular culture in the classroom.
Recently, my scholarly interests and teaching practices have converged as I explore the benefits and challenges of incorporating comics and graphic novels into my courses. Starting in Fall 2017, I am experimenting with weaving graphic components throughout my Intermediate Spanish 2 course in the following ways: creating a “comic syllabus” to accompany the traditional one; presenting webcomics from various Spanish-speaking countries to increase intercultural competency; and using the online platform Pixton so students can engage creatively with the Spanish language and practice their skills by making their own comics.
From 2016-2018 I served as a Lead Graduate Teacher for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese through the Graduate Teacher Program (GTP). In my capacity as Lead, I conducted confidential video consultations to new and experienced graduate student instructors, and I collaborated with the German and French departments to organize a multi-department micro-teaching training session for incoming graduate students as part of their orientation each Fall.
As Lead, I also give workshops on pedagogy and professional development within my home department and for the campus-wide workshop series the GTP offers throughout the year. I have made the presentations and materials from my workshops available on the Teaching Resources page.
Courses Taught (as instructor of record)
Beginning Spanish 1
Beginning Spanish 2
Intermediate Spanish 1
Intermediate Spanish 2
Courses Taught (as teaching assistant)
Spanish Literature in Translation: Don Quijote
Spanish Literature in Translation: All about Spain and Europe – Moments of Cultural Contact in the 20th Century
Sample Student Feedback
Further evidence of teaching effectiveness available here. Originals available upon request.
As Instructor of Record
“Motivates and keeps the class interested in fun and interesting ways. Energy keeps the class light and keeps students receptive to learning. Great teaching style, easy to understand, [and] explains everything really well.”
“Really interactive and upbeat teaching style which was greatly appreciated. Also group discussions/group work helped make class more entertaining and easier to learn.”
“Phenomenal teacher. You make class exciting every day and always come with a positive attitude. You definitely made my interest in pursuing Spanish increase a ton! All of the activities we do help a lot (Kahoot, Connect, and the worksheets).”
“I enjoyed aspects of Spanish culture incorporated into class as well as how comfortable I felt asking for help and discussing difficult topics. Thanks for a wonderful semester, your enthusiasm made me love Spanish and made me excited to come to class every day!”
“I actually had a lot of fun for an 8am Spanish class. Kelly was entertaining, and […] she was very relatable, encouraged participation and kept the class fun. The textbook wasn’t my favorite, but I did like having homework every night to keep myself focused on the language.”
“Really good class! I think you do a great job encouraging learning rather than telling us the answers. You can tell that you love Spanish. I would 100% recommend you and take a class from you again!”
As Teaching Assistant
“One of the best TAs I have been fortunate enough to have class with. Very professional, courteous, and helpful throughout the entire semester.”
“Kelly is great. Definitely the best recitation of my college career. She makes sure we participate and understand!”
“Very nice, hardworking, interactive, well organized, [and] attentive to our questions.”
“Very personable and engaging. Made recitation fun. I relied sometimes on recitation to get a nuanced understanding of lecture discussion, and Kelly did a great job making the material easily understandable and relatable.”
“This class was very helpful for me when it came to clarifying confusing aspects of the reading. The instructor created a fun and productive atmosphere, and I don’t feel I would have learned as much […] with lecture alone. I very much enjoyed the class.”