Modern LanguagesWestern Arts and Humanities

Hispanic Studies Graduate Student Profiles

Mohammed Afana
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

I am a 3rd year Ph.D. student originally from Palestine. I have completed both my BA in Architecture at the University of Seville “Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura”, Spain. I decided to study at Western because I wanted to work within the CulturePlex Lab. One of the things that I like most about UWO is how multicultural it is and one of the things that I dislike on this campus is the coffee. My general research interests are in architecture, specifically digital architecture. One thing you should know about me is that I am a very open-minded kind of guy. Academics: Conferences Attended: THATCamp at the University of Western Ontario, 2011. Words of Wisdom for the new CulturePlex Members: For fun (and everything else): go downtown. School wise: you should have a clear idea about what you want and you should respect the others. 

Witton Becerra Mayorga
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Diana Botero
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I have a B.A. in Psychology from Universidad San Buenaventura-Cali, Colombia. My field research was carried out from The Systemic Theory, and the Psychodynamics approach in the area of Clinical and Abnormal Psychology. I decided to take the great opportunity that Western University offered me to continue my studies and combine my background in Psychology with Linguistics. My M.A. is in Hispanic Studies (Linguistics) at Western. Currently, I am in Third Year of PhD in Hispanic Studies (Linguistics). My Research interests include Counterfactuals, Semantics, and syntax-morphology-semantics interface in Language Acquisition. Other interests are Discourse Analysis, Philosophy of Language, Language Attrition, and Thought Disorder.


Jaime Brenes Reyes
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

I am a PhD student in Hispanic Studies. In my current research, I explore the aura that arises when reading good literature. I argue that an analysis of literature as an epileptic episode may give us some clues. Based on my research on Latin American literature and literary theory (as well as my own experience of living with seizures), I aim to explore whether the act of reading Argentine writer and essayist Julio Cortázar’s fiction can be understood as epileptical. My research may have important implications for the understanding of Cortázar’s oeuvre and the contextualization of neurological malfunctions from the viewpoint of literature. For more information on my research and other interests, please visit my blog:


David Brown
Hispanic Studies PhD 3


Dagoberto Caceres Aguilar
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

My name is D. C. Aguilar and I am a second year PhD student in Hispanic Studies. Currently, I am a T.A. at Modern Language and Literatures in Western University Canada. My dissertation project is on literature and ideological constructions. I completed two Masters Program: at Universidad del Valle (Colombia) in 2008; in Europe Union at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Université de Perpignan via-Domitia (France), and Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) in 2010. Personal Website:

Joice Camacho-Machado
Hispanic Studies MA 2


Ana Chiarelli Acosta
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am currently in my third year of the doctoral program in Hispanic Studies. I also participate in the Collaborative Graduate Program in Migrations and Ethnic Relations at Western. I am originally from Venezuela where I pursued studies of Journalism. I am interested in the literature of immigration of the 21st century, particularly the Hispanic Canadian literature from this period. I am also have special interest in literature and film as history and identity depiction media.

Javier de la Rosa
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

I am a 4th year Hispanic Studies PhD student at Western University, where I am also a member of the CulturePlex Lab for Cultural Complexity and Digital Humanities. He has completed both his Master in Logic and Artificial Intelligence and his Engineering in Computer Science at the University of Seville in Spain. Western gave me an opportunity to combine the fields of Humanities and Computer Science. My general research interests are in graphs, graph databases, query languages, complex networks and temporal ontologies and my thesis topic is in Network Theory and Cultural Borders.


Dorismel Diaz-Perez
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

Dorismel is a fourth year Ph D student in Hispanic Studies. He earned a B.A. in Modern Languages from Universidad del Atlantico as well as an M.A. in Education from Universidad del Norte. He also completed a Masters in Hispanic Literature at the University of Arkansas. His research interests include: Travel Writing, Migration and Ethnic Relations, Spanish Golden Age Literature, Film Studies, Diaspora and Orientalism / PostColonial Studies.For his dissertation,he is interested in exploring the depictions of Afro Latinos through visual arts and literature in XIX century travel accounts. Other interests are Ruben Darío's poetry, learning languages, mythology, train travel and hiking. He can be easily distracted by a cup of a well made hot chocolate, but that's about it.


Nandita Dutta
Hispanic Studies PhD 3


Cenaida Gomez
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

My name is Cenaida Gómez, I’m a third 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 Gonzalez
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Ayelet Ishai
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Antonio Jimenez-Mavillard
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

My name is Antonio Jiménez Mavillard. I'm a 3rd year Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies. I come from Seville (Spain), where I completed my undergraduate degree as well as my Masters in Computer Science at the University of Seville. I decided to come to Western because it gave me the opportunity to combine my knowledge in Computer Science with Humanities.


Aikaterini Kodopulos
Hispanic Studies MA 1


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. My personal web page is:


Meredith Mcgregor
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Itziri Moreno Villamar
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

Ricardo Munoz Castiblanco
Hispanic Studies PhD 4


Camelia Nunez
Hispanic Studies PhD 5


Jaime Ontiveros
Hispanic Studies PhD 4


Marcela Otalora
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

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.


Yolanda Pangtay Chang
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

Born and raised in Mexico, from a family of Chinese origins, and having studied English as a second language in a non-immersed environment, it was natural for me to develop a curiosity on the diversity of languages. I hold a BA in Education with a specialty in the English Language from the Escuela Normal Superior del Sur de Tamaulipas, an MA in Education with a specialty in Applied Linguistics, from the Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), and an MA in Hispanic Studies in Applied Linguistics from the University of Western Ontario (UWO). My MA research thesis: Misunderstandings in Instant Messaging Conversations in Spanish Currently, I am in my fourth year of PhD in Hispanic Studies, studying Spanish Linguistics and Language Acquisition. My areas of interest include Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis and Second Language Acquisition. My PhD research, in progress, is on input and Focus on Form in the acquisition of Double Negation structure in Spanish.

Ana Perez Alfajarrin
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Esperanza Ruiz-Pena
Hispanic Studies PhD 2

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.


Manuel Sanchez Lopez
Hispanic Studies PhD 4


Javier Sepulveda
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

Diego Sevilla Luzuriaga
Hispanic Studies PhD 1


Elkin Sierra Rios
Hispanic Studies PhD 3

My name is Elkin Sierra. I am a Colombian who loves linguistics, literature and learning languages. I am in my first 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 1


Roberto Ulloa
Hispanic Studies PhD 2

Ivan Vazquez Clavellina
Hispanic Studies MA 1


Mary Carmen Vera
Hispanic Studies PhD 1

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.


Edgar Yanez
Hispanic Studies PhD 4

In the PhD in Hispanic studies I’ve found great opportunities to develop my work, which combines visual arts, literature and architecture. My focus is the Latin-American city as a cultural phenomenon. I consider cities as laboratories in which the collective memory and special events create opportunities for human interaction. In my current research about my home country, Venezuela, I trace aesthetic changes in the city through the study of the language of artists and authors who build a repertoire around the urban landscape and human interaction. Urban art, graffiti, performance, installations, novels, poetry, storytelling, lyrics, net art or soap operas are current references in semiotic or phenomenological analysis of the complexity of a subjective city, that is hard to find on maps or urban planning. My Website:


Jimena Zambrano
Hispanic Studies PhD 3