I. RESEARCH AND TEACHING
As part of our commitment to excel in research and teaching as one of the top Spanish programs in the U.S., we have made two recent tenure-line hires in the area of Spanish in the US, that complement our current faculty and build in existing areas such as Latin American and Iberian Studies, Brazilian Studies, Latinx Studies, Second Language Acquisition, and research on Heritage Speakers.
We are known for our combination of expertise and outstanding support of faculty and students, with close mentoring at all stages of their careers, and with particular emphasis on underrepresented students and faculty.
II. DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
We seek to actively recruit and train students of diverse racial, ethnic, socioeconomic backgrounds, origin and able-bodiedness as we partner with campus offices and resources to promote and support our programs.
We also maintain and build strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with our local Latino community, thereby promoting a diverse and inclusive vision of immigrants in the US, and of Spanish speakers in the US and in the Champaign-Urbana region.
We are committed to hiring and mentoring women and underrepresented faculty, in order to prepare them for leadership positions.
III. STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
We have redesigned our BA undergraduate curricula to enhance the undergraduate experience and meet the demands of the 21st-century global concerns. We place emphasis on (a) linguistic fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, Basque and Catalan (b) disciplinary knowledge in literary/cultural studies and linguistics, and (c) fostering intercultural competence, with increased emphasis on participation in Study Abroad programs, particularly for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. This triple emphasis is combined with our close contact advising as well as our campus’ recruitment efforts. Our goal is to prepare our students to better meet the professional needs and social awareness of a 21st-century global citizen, potential leader, and/or teacher-scholar.
At the graduate level, we have created an enhanced and streamlined student curriculum. Our graduate program fosters strong links between Spanish and Portuguese in the area of literature and culture, as well as linguistics through the Romance Linguistics concentration. We combine rigorous disciplinary knowledge with broader portable skills that will serve our students well in a wider variety of professional environments.