Skip to main content

A Note from the Desk of the Chair

| Alaina Guns

To all our friends and colleagues, students and alumni,

The new year is off to a fast start, the usual chaos of the first couple weeks gradually setting into a routine – predictable, but no less manic in light of that. We’re seeing more results of our department’s generational shift… Three of our staff have become mothers in the last few months, all Spanish instructors, and all on-leave for the Fall term: Sara Echarri-Recarte and husband Neil welcoming daughter Lucia, Dr. Bibi Fuentes and husband Andrew welcoming daughter Eloise, and Meghan Licon and husband Gerardo welcoming son Diego. Congratulations to all!

Last year we completed significant upgrades to the celebrated Roma Hoff Language Lab (aka the Instructional Resource Center), command central for hundreds (if not thousands) of students taking our language classes every year. Along with that project, the so-called “Viewing Room” (Centennial 4612) was also renovated to provide greater utility in serving as a regular classroom, now in much more frequent use by our staff and students.

We have some new faces in the department this Fall. Dr. Elena Casey is a new Assistant Professor of Spanish, focusing (among other things) on reinforcing and expanding our offerings in Spanish for the Health professions; her fiancé Alex has also signed-on as a Spanish instructor. The new power couple joins us from Middlebury College in Spain via UNC-Chapel Hill, from where Dr. Casey earned her Ph.D. Debra Taylor Banov joins us in Spanish section as well, she from Texas by way of Hawaii, of all places – the WI winters offering another challenging learning curve.

We acknowledge and wish well our colleague, Dr. Pat Day, Professor of French, who retired at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

This newsletter is packed with interesting updates on Languages students, faculty, and alumni, I hope you enjoy reading about their accomplishments and adventures. We here on the 4th floor of Centennial Hall continue to enjoy hearing about what is going on with Languages alumni, esp. as you move onward and outward from your time at UWEC. Similarly, we very much appreciate our alumni and friends’ continued interest in, and support of, our efforts. Happy reading! 

Best wishes,

Matt Waters

Chair, Department of Languages