BA, Spanish (Linguistics)
University of California at Davis

MA, Linguistics
University of California at Davis

Ph.D., Romance Linguistics
University of Texas at Austin


21 years of teaching Spanish and Linguistics at the collegiate level, with the last 15 being in the California Community College System

Personal Message

Teaching is one of my biggest passions in life; the sharing of information with others and learning new stuff at the same time. Language learning is a personal experience, in that everyone has their own reasons for learning a new language, and their own path that they must take. My approach is to demystify these languages, make things easier to understand, show the regularity in the irregularity of language, and encourage everyone to give it a try. My Ph.D. is in historical Romance linguistics and theories of language change--essentially, how and why Latin changed into Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Rumanian, and others. Because of this, I am a student of linguistics, history, sociology, psychology and anthropology--I truly am a social scientist.

My other passions are cooking--particularly Mediterranean food, canning and preserving, and breads--and cultures. When I’m not teaching, I’m frequently found in the garden, on the beach, or in the kitchen. The passion for food and gardening comes from my family: my father is an avid gardener and showed me the literal fruits of the labor as you work the soil, and my mother taught me what to do with those fruits of labor in the kitchen! I grew up in a multicultural family, with my Italian heritage on my mother’s side, and my American heritage on my father’s side. These, plus the multitude of cultures and languages that surrounded me as I grew up on the Peninsula, fueled my passion for languages, food, cultures, and people.

Last Updated 9/16/20