Department of Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Students

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Sebastián Bartis

Sebastián Bartís is a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature. His areas of interest are 20th century Latin American Literature, Literary Theory, Film, and Music and TV Studies. He is also actively involved in the design of blended courses and the uses of technology in language and culture classes. Under the direction of Dr. Juan Carlos Quintero Herencia, he is working on his dissertation entitled The readers place in Osvaldo Lamborghini, Manuel Puig and Washington Cucurto. Sebastián is a 2014-2015 Teaching and Learning Transformation Center (TLTC) Graduate Teaching Fellow and is part of an interdisciplinary graduate student group pursuing a one-year research project focused on historically marginalized students and their experiences with and perceptions of technology in the classroom. He was a 2013-2014 fellow for the Center for Teaching Excellence’s “Summer Institutes on Teaching and Learning with New(er) Technologies.” As a teaching assistant for Dr. Roberta Lavine, he is currently part of the TLTC’s fellowship program, “Elevate Fellows: Elevating Teaching and Learning through Course Transformation.” He is a mentor for the 2015-2016 TLTC-Graduate School International Teaching Fellow program.  

In 2015 Sebastián was recognized by the UMD Graduate School as Outstanding Teaching Assistant and Outstanding Administrative Assistant.


Cecilia Battauz

Hailing from Entre Ríos, Argentina, Cecilia holds an MA in Spanish and TESOL from West Virginia University. Before studying at WVU, she worked as a Spanish instructor at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. She is interested in 19th and 20th century literature from the Southern Cone. She loves animals, short stories, and dulce de leche.



Maria de la Luz Bort Caballero

Mariluz’s field of study is 20th century Spanish literature, specifically travel and exile writing, poetry, and women’s studies. Originally from Huelva (Andalusia), Spain, she holds a BA in English Studies and an MA in European Literatures and Teaching Languages from the University of Huelva. She taught for two years in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University before coming to UMD. She loves looking at the stars, traveling, going to the beach, and “tapear” (eating tapas!).




Daniela Bulansky

Daniela is a PhD student from Argentina. She studied political science at the University of Buenos Aires, and her academic field of interest is Latin American literature. During her free time, she likes to dance the tango.






Lisa Carney

Lisa is a PhD candidate from Torrington, Wyoming. Her research focuses on Indigenous Studies and Andean Literature, and her dissertation is about Quichua-language dream narratives from the tropical forest of Ecuador. In her free time, Lisa enjoys yoga, baking, and trekking around the Amazon.







Benjamin Davidson

Ben hails from southern New Jersey and is a M.A. student in Hispanic Applied Linguistics. He currently lives in Baltimore and teaches English to Speakers of Other Languages at a middle school. His interests include classroom language pedagogy, language ideologies, multilingual education, and heritage language learning for Spanish speakers. 



Nélida Devesa Gómez

Nélida is a PhD student from Cádiz, Spain. Her academic interests include 19th and 20th century peninsular and Latin American literature, specifically the representation of female characters in fiction. She studied Journalism and Comparative Literature at Universidad Complutense de Madrid and holds an M.A. in Hispanic Literature from the Catholic University of America. She enjoys traveling and riding her bike in her hometown.



Juan Manuel Díaz

Juan Manuel Díaz is a PhD student from Argentina. Before, he studied at the National University of Córdoba and was a teaching assistant in two courses: Latin American Thinking and Argentinian Literature I. He is interested in Latin American essays that have, as their main topic, the interpretation of a nation’s reality. He participates, too, with a research team focused on literature of the south that use as main concepts ideas of nation, culture and people. He loves movies and music.





Daniela Hernandez Rodriguez

Born in Valparaiso and raised in Punta Arenas, in the south of Chile, Daniela graduate as a journalist from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso. She has worked in magazines, public relations agencies, social media management and content generation for different institutions. She has a MA degree in Edicion from the Universidad Diego Portales, her interests are contemporary Latin America literature,  female authors, gender studies and creative writing, among others.      





(Matthew) Chris Lewis

Chris is a doctoral candidate from Salt Lake City, Utah. His research revolves around the way we tell stories with our bodies, and the way official stories become embodied. He is interested in the Pan-Caribbean and its diasporas and contemporary Mexican cultural production.





Sofía Maurette

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sofia is a PhD student. She has a BA in Literature from the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) and an MA in Religion and Literature from the University of Chicago. Her areas of interest are politics, religion and literature from the twentieth century in Argentina and the southern cone. She is specially interested in the discourses they produce and how they interact with each other. When she is not reading or studying, Sofia enjoys playing with her two beautiful daughters and being outdoors.



Ofelia Montelongo Valencia

Ofelia Montelongo is a bilingual writer originally from Mexico. She received a BA in accounting and finance, an MBA, and a BA in English and Creative Writing. Ofelia is also a freelance writer and photographer and collaborates with magazines such as So Scottsdale and Phoenix Magazine. She created and led creative writing workshops in Spanish at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore and was the Editor-in-Chief for the literary journal Superstition Review during the fall of 2016. Two of her fiction stories have been published by Lux Undergraduate Creative Writing and she collaborated with the artist Rembrandt Quiballo and Four Chambers Press on the chapbook In Sight II: Literature + Art with the short story “Tarantulas.”  She taught Spanish at Arizona State University and she is pursuing her MA in Spanish at the University of Maryland. She currently reads submissions for the literary journal Potomac Review in Maryland. Her research interests include Chicano and Latin American literature, theory of translation, borderlands, creative writing, and more. 


Jackson Monzón

Jackson Monzón is a PhD student from Gaithersburg, MD. He received his BA from Hood College in Latin American Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. His MA is in Spanish language literature from Middlebury College. He is a professional photographer by trade and enjoys learning new languages, going to the movies, and traveling in his free time. 




Mariana Reyes

Born in Chihuahua, México, Nidia is interested in contemporary Mexican literature and gender studies. During her spare time she enjoys going to the movies, taking long walks, and drinking coffee.