Born in Colombia, South America, I attended an all boy boarding school until I graduated. I was then given a scholarship to attend the Universidad Pedagógica and Tecnológica in Colombia where I studied linguistics, languages (Greek, Latin, French, English, etc), literature and humanities in general. After graduation, I received a scholarship from the Fondo Universitario to attend the Andrés Bello Seminar of the prestigious Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogotá where I received my first Master’s degree in linguistics and teaching. After a very brief teaching experience at the University level (Universidad de los Andes and Universidad Javeriana), I was given a Fulbright Travel Scholarship to attend the University of Rochester in New York. I transferred to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana where I finished my second Master’s degree. I continued on for the Ph.D. with a teaching assistantship while working under the direction of the well-known critic, Dr. Luis Leal, my thesis advisor. I started my teaching career in Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor. I was offered a full time position at Marquette University where I have been ever since, except for nine non-consecutive years when I served as resident director of the Marquette in Madrid program.
As for scholarly activities outside of Marquette, I have always been involved with Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society as advisor to our chapter, later as a regional vice president and then as National President since 1999 to the present day. I am the first Hispanic president of this organization that started in 1919 at the University of Berkley in California. I am proud of our chapter here at Marquette because it has been consistently ranked as a chapter of honor and merit nationally mainly due to our service to the community. I have also been recently asked to serve in three permanent committees of ANLE, the North American Academy of the Spanish Language based in New York City as a correspondent and contributor. I read papers at national and international conferences in my field at least twice a year and I enjoy meeting other colleagues and learning about recent developments in the field of Spanish.
I deeply enjoy teaching, advising as well as doing research. My favorite time period of literature is the 20th century both in Spain and Latin America in all genres, particularly the novel, the short story and poetry. I have always enjoyed interdisciplinary fields and recently I had the opportunity to teach a Senior Experience seminar on the representation of the dictator in Hispanic literature as part of the general subject of chaos and complexity. Nothing could be more chaotic than a dictatorship! I have also studied other subgenres such as the detective story, the nouvelle, literature of the fantastic, including magical realism, in authors such as García Márquez whose works I have studied extensively throughout my career. Recently, I was invited to teach a graduate seminar in the famous Summer School of Middlebury College in Vermont.
In addition and because of my interest in interdisciplinary matters of all sorts, I became involved with developing the Spanish for the Professions Major as it applied to the business and economic world. Therefore, I have been also teaching courses in international business Spanish.