Hispanic Studies Graduate Student Profiles

Sarita Addy
Hispanic Studies PhD 2

Thomas Albertini

Hispanic Studies MA 2

Marithza Andagoya Maita
Hispanic Studies MA 2


Witton Becerra Mayorga
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from Universidad Santo Tomás-Colombia, M.A. in Hispano American Literature from Instituto Caro y Cuervo-Colombia. PhD. student in Hispanic Studies (Literature) at Western University. I am interested in everything from the Latino American and Colombian Literature, specially 20th Century, Digital Humanities, and Music and Literature. I investigate the Latino American Boom of literature through the Digital Humanities. The chief goal from my PhD research is to understand the Latino American Boom development across the big data.


David Brown
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Western University, where I am a T.A. in the Digital Humanities program and an R.A. at the the CulturePlex Lab.

At the CulturePlex, I form part of the core research and development team, and I am active in a wide variety of projects that range from content generation to data analysis and software development. My research focuses primarily on multi-partite cultural networks, and how the spread of objects across time and space affects the dissemination of cultural information. In my dissertation, 10 Million Spanish Books, I employ the OCLC WorldCat dataset to provide a comprehensive, data driven approach to understanding the history of Spanish language publication over the last five centuries. More generally, I am interested in network analysis, social media, graph databases, history, and the Python programming language. 


Nandita Dutta
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am a 4th year PhD student at Western University researching Hispanic Studies and Popular Culture. I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Hispanic Studies, as well as the Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Delhi, India. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I have been an instructor for Beginners Spanish, in addition to assisting in Digital Humanities courses. I am also a Research Assistant at the CulturePlex Lab. I am currently working on my thesis project which deals with mapping a networked fictional narrative through the various adaptations that fictional works undergo across cultures and media.

Diana Maria Fernandez
Hispanic Studies PhD 1

I am pursuing doctoral studies in Hispanic Linguistics at Western University. I hold a bachelor's degree of education in Foreign Language Teaching from Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia and a master's degree in Linguistics and TESOL from West Virginia University in the United States. I have been a teacher for over 18 years, and I have taught English to students from all ages and levels and Spanish to undergraduate students for the past three years. My area of expertise has to do with teaching methods and theories, second language acquisition, and applied linguistics. My research in the past has focused on teaching methods and their relevance as a means to promote L2  interaction in the classroom and, most recently, on sociolinguistic variation in different varieties of Latin American Spanish. Now, I'm looking forward to conducting research on L2 Spanish pragmatics and L2 Spanish acquisition. I chose Western University because it is an excellent academic institution and because the professors at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures are truly committed to playing an important role in their students' success.

Grace Gomashie
Hispanic Studies PhD 1

My name is Grace Gomashie, and I’m a first year Ph.D. student in the Hispanic Studies program. I come from Ghana, where I completed a B.A. (French and Spanish) and M.A. (Spanish) at the University of Ghana, Legon. During my university programs, I was fortunate to be a visiting student at both the University of Guelph and the Universidad de Carlos Rafael Rodrigues, Cienfuegos in Cuba. I am interested in studying the links between second language acquisition, creoles and pidgins, and endangered languages. I choose Western University for its excellent faculty and its resources for incisive research on contact linguistics.


Cenaida Gomez
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

My name is Cenaida Gómez, I’m a fourth year Ph.D. student of Hispanic Studies. I am from Colombia where I completed my undergraduate and Master degree in Education in the University Externado of Colombia. I chose to come to Western because it offered me the opportunity to study about my research interest which include Discourse Analysis, Semantics and Second Language Acquisition.


Ana Boller
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

My name is Ana Boller, and I started my studies at Western University in 2013. I am a Doctorate candidate in the Hispanic Studies program. Previously, I studied at Universidad Pedagogica Experimental Libertador in Caracas, Venezuela, where I graduated as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. My area of expertise is both teaching and Latin American literature. My research focuses on the study of Latin American novels and writers who do not always write about Latin America, but focus on European countries, induced by Globalization and the development of technology. I decided to study at Western University because it has a great program of Hispanic literature, leaded by well-known Professors in this field. I was also attracted by the variety of topics that I could learn about in the Department of Modern Language and Literatures, which engages any student in a multicultural environment.


Ayelet Ishai
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

Aya is a third year PhD student in Hispanic Studies. She completed her B.A. at Western, with an honors specialization in Spanish Language and Literature and a minor in Comparative Literature. Her current research interests include Latin American art and literature, women and gender studies, translation theory, autobiography, and narrative theory.


Aikaterini Kodopulos
Hispanic Studies MA 2


Raul Manuel Lopez Bajonero
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

Hola! Me llamo Raul Lopez vengo de la UNAM de Mexico. I'm PHD student and I'm interested in the History of Writing Culture, I love the travel's literature especially maritime stories. I like Western because it's cool and the people are very nice. 

Vanina Machado
Hispanic Studies MA 2

My name is Vanina Sofia Machado and I am Uruguayan and Canadian. I have completed at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo my Bachelor Degree (licenciatura) in Linguistics and an Associate degree in Proofreading of Spanish. My interests focus in sociolinguistics, languages in contact, semantics and lexicography. I have worked with English borrowings in Uruguayan Spanish, Guarani borrowings in old spanish dictionaries of the River Plate (Rio de la Plata), observation of digital literacy events and practices, among others. I am currently coursing the MA in Hispanic Studies (linguistics track) and fortunately working as a TA of Spanish for undergraduate students at Western. At the moment, my goal is to study the contact between Spanish and English in Canada, as my intention as a linguist is to understand and contribute to knowing and analyzing the relation between these languages in this multicultural country.


Meredith Mcgregor
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

I am a PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies at the University of Western Ontario. My research focus includes second language acquisition and sociolinguistics, with a special interest in language study abroad. I have taught both Spanish and English as a second language both domestically and overseas since 2004. 


Vivian Milliken
Hispanic Studies MA 2

I am a second year Master’s Degree candidate in Hispanic Linguistics. I have a BA in Spanish from the University of Waterloo with a specialization in translation.  I am half Canadian and half Brazilian but I have spent a significant amount of time living abroad in Spain which is what steered my interest to this area of study. My interests include evolutionary linguistics, linguistic variation, and second language acquisition. I chose Western because of the unique teaching opportunities offered through the TAships as well as the community of people whose research interests match my own. As a TA, I hope to excite my students and to contribute to the promotion of the study of the Spanish language in Canada.


Rafael Monroig
Hispanic Studies MA 1

I am Rafael Monroig an incoming student of Hispanic studies. I am from Mallorca, Spain and I am very excited to start next year. I am interested in different things: reading, playing sports (basketball, football, tennis), sailing, politics or history. I would like to accomplish two things with my grad studies: learn about my passion since I was a kid and have diverse skills to use in my professional life. The reason why I am choosing Western is because I went to Ivey and I loved it so I thought that Western was the best and most obvious choice. I have always had passion for reading and languages so MLL was already among my interests.


Itziri Moreno Villamar
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I'm a 4th year Ph.D. student in Hispanic Linguistics. I completed my B.A. from the University of Oregon with a double major in Linguistics and Spanish literature. My heritage is Mexican, but I was born here in London and raised in both Eugene, Oregon and Mexico City. I came to Western 3 years ago to do my Masters in the Hispanic Studies program because I wanted to focus on Hispanic Linguistics and Western's program was a good fit. My research interests are experimental linguistics, second and third language acquisition, heritage languages, comparative romance, and linguistic contact with an emphasis in Amerindian languages.


Spencer Moyes
Hispanic Studies MA 1

I studied philosophy at the University of Victoria and later developed an interest in Hispanic Studies while teaching English in Mexico and Spain. I’m especially interested in the history of theCamino de Santiago pilgrimage from the Middle Ages to the present day. I want to research the pilgrimage and learn more about its cultural significance. Western’s program in Hispanic Studies is great because it welcomes students from a variety of different backgrounds. 

Ricardo Munoz Castiblanco
Hispanic Studies PhD


Marcela Otalora
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am from Colombia and received my master's degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Western Ontario. I started my PhD in Hispanic Linguistics few years ago. I am currently in my second year and I am interested in sociolinguistics, Spanish variation, varieties of Spanish language globally, and the teaching of Spanish as a second language.


Esperanza Ruiz-Pena
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

My name is Esperanza Ruiz-Peña Sánchez de Ibarguen. I am from Spain (Seville). I am in my second year in Spanish Linguistics. My research focus is in phonetics and phonology, however, my backgroud is in Childhood Education, Special Education and in Expression Tecquiques Pycomotor and Psychomotor Rehabilitation. I chose Western to do my Master in Linguistics because the academy and the quality of the program is excellent. The professors are recognized in their field of study. Also, they offer you the opportunity to find what you love in the program and they help you to realize it.


Javier Sepulveda
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Hispanic Studies program at Western University. I’m from Chile where I completed a B.A. in Communication Studies. I also completed a Masters in Educational Technology at Azusa Pacific University, California. My research interest are: discourse analysis, indigenous literature, journalism and literature and literature of exile in South America.


Elkin Sierra Rios
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

My name is Elkin Sierra. I am a Colombian who loves linguistics, literature and learning languages. I am in my fourth year of the P.h.D in Hispanic studies in the Modern Languages and Literatures department in The University of Western Ontario. Here in Western I have found amazing teachers who have guided me through the path of knowledge, teaching me how to think in a critical way and how to be an academic with soul and discipline. I chose the UWO because of its commitment to humanities and its wonderful campus which is a marvelous combination of nature, architecture and technology. In the department, more specifically in linguistics, I feel I am not a human resource but instead a human talent that is ready to share his ideas and the most important and my favourite part: exploit imagination in an endless way.


Adriana Soto-Corominas
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

My name is Adriana Soto-Corominas and I am a 3rd year PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics. I graduated from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in English Philology and got my specialization in Linguistics from UCLA. My research focuses on two main aspects, on simultaneous and successive bilingual acquisition of morphosyntax and on pedagogy. I have been part of the CulturePlex Lab since early 2015. I will be the Lead TA  for the MLL department in 2016-17.


Ivan Vazquez Clavellina
Hispanic Studies PhD 2

Iván Vázquez es un apasionado de las Letras, la Cultura y el mundo Hispanoamericano. Cursó estudios en Historia en la UAMI, México. Actualmente se encuentra en el primer año de doctorado en la Universidad de Western en London Ontario, Canadá. Trabaja como Profesor Asistente de español 1030 y Asistente de Investigación en el departamento de Estudios Hispánicos.


Mary Carmen Vera
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

Mary Carmen Vera es una estudiante de literatura en el primer ano de maestría en Estudios Hispánicos. Es originaria de la Ciudad de México en donde obtuvo el grado de licenciatura en letras hispánicas por la Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana. Allí fue distinguida con la medalla al mérito universitario. Su especialidad es la investigacion literaria y está interesada en la literatura hispánica medieval, barroca y novohispana. Sus tendencias de investigación la condujeron a continuar sus estudios en Western University, ya que su programa de maestría es uno de los que incluyen exitosamente esos periodos como campos de investigacion; por lo tanto, el programa es reconocido internacionalmente por su competencia.

Owen Ward
Hispanic Studies MA 2

In the first year of his M.A. in Hispanic Studies focused on Linguistics.  Completed his B.A. in Spanish with a specialization in Spanich/English translation at Waterloo.  Currently teaching Spanish 1030.


Sergio Zapata
Hispanic Studies MA 1

My name is Sergio Zapata, I am from Colombia and have lived, worked, and studied in Colombia and South Korea. I have earned a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from EAFIT University, as well a Master in Public Policy from KDI School of Public Policy and Management. I have also completed a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Korea University. In addition, this year (2016) I will start coursing the MA in Hispanic Studies at Western University. I strongly believe that the Master of Arts in Hispanic Studies at Western University is the best program to reach my academic and professional goals as the interdisciplinary nature of this program gives me the opportunity to study a subject that has fascinated me throughout all my life which is Hispanic literature and poetry.