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Dear Alumni and Friends,

Jimia Boutouba, Modern Languages & LiteraturesGreetings and Happy New Year from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures!

2019 was a busy and exciting year marked by a number of cultural events, guest lectures and faculty and student achievements. We have welcomed new colleagues, launched new initiatives and sent our graduates off into the world. Students' lives were transformed by study abroad, faculty engaged in fascinating research and innovative pedagogy, alumni shared their experience and expertise with a new generation of graduating Broncos.

I rejoice as I recall the much good news there has been in our language programs. The department successfully hired several talented faculty members among whom two tenure-track faculty who bring their expertise as scholars of languages, literatures and culture. More undergraduates are finding their way to our department and with an ever-greater sense of the value and the professional benefits of language learning in this increasingly interconnected world. Today, in the global environment of the 21st century, language competence combined with cultural literacy and critical thought are more than ever vital skills to possess.

With 92 majors and nearly 180 minors, our undergraduate programs are flourishing; more students are attracted by our new curriculum that exposes them to rich interdisciplinary frameworks, from literary studies to film and media studies, cultural studies and the environmental humanities. Our activities and achievements attest to the vitality of our language programs.

I am most grateful to my generous and indefatigable colleagues who have been mentoring our students, redesigning our courses, and supporting the excellence of our intellectual and pedagogical activities. Thank you for keeping our department and our students on track towards a bright future!

As we continue to grow, we hope you will stay in touch and will continue to support us. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us at: or

Jimia Boutouba
Chair, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Top Stories
Francis Ford Coppola and Evelyn Ferraro Italian Studies: A Coppola Story

Professor Evelyn Ferraro co-hosted a conversation with Francis Ford Coppola.

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Breaking Through performance Francisco Jiménez’s Senderos fronterizos comes to life in SCU Presents-sponsored stage adaptation

Spanish Professor Emeritus Francisco Jiménez’s Breaking Through came alive last March.

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News from our Students and Alumni
Lea Delgadillo '20 Found in Translation

Spanish Studies major Lea Delgadillo '20 begins a job as a translator.

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2019 James Wang Fulbright Scholarship Fulbright Scholarship

French and Francophone Studies minor James Wang '19 will be conducting research at the SATIE laboratory in Paris.

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Faculty Updates
Francisco Jimenez at Notre Dame San Jose Francisco Jimenez Visits Local Middle and High Schools

Breaking Through and Reaching Out ;required reading at local high schools.

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Evelyn Ferraro, Italian Studies

New Faculty Profile: Evelyn Ferraro

Italian Studies

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Jose Ortigas, Modern Languages & Literatures

New Faculty Profile: José Ortigas

Spanish Studies

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Jill Pellettieri, Modern Languages & Literatures

Featured Course: SPAN 109 Spanish and the Community

Spanish professor Jill Pellettieri partnered with Public Health professor Sonja Mackenzie to bring health education to the San José Unified School District

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Mohammed Kadalah, Modern Languages & Literatures

Mohammed Kadalah's Journey

From Homs, Syria to Santa Clara, CA  Read More

The parents of one of Mohammed Kadalah's students recently made a donation to the College of Arts and Sciences for AIMES  Read More

Julio Puente-García, Modern Languages & Literatures

Inclusive Excellent Postdoctoral Fellow

Julio Puente-Garcia specializes in contemporary Latin American literature, Mexican and Mexican-American narrative and film, social movements, and migration studies.

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Alberto Ribas-Casasayas, Modern Languages and Literatures

New Director of Latin American Studies

Professor Ribas-Casasayas named director and advisor to students minoring in Latin American Studies.  Read More

Ribas-Casasayas also advised on the creation of Spanish educational materials on Global Warming  Read More

Modern Languages & Literatures digital humanities 2019

Digital Humanities Showcase

Lower and upper-division students share their video work

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Catherine Montfort, Modern Languages & Literatures

Distinguished Service Award

Professor of French and Women and Gender Studies Catherine Montfort received the 2019 Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association’s (PAMLA) Distinguished Service Award.

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Modern Languages & Literatures co-sponsored event

The Ethics of Food

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures sponsors “The Ethics of Food Annual Speaker Series” in conjunction with the Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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2019 Student Award Winners

Congratulations to Our Language Students!

Last May, we celebrated our graduating language Majors and members of the Phi Sigma Iota Foreign Language Honor Society at our Senior and Honor Society Celebration in the Adobe Lodge. We highlighted some of our students—their accomplishments and future plans—and enjoyed some wonderful food and spirits! It was an opportunity to honor all of our graduating language majors and induct members into our Honor Society (both majors and minors), as well as announce and present our department awards. Please congratulate our 2019 Recipients of these awards:


ITALIAN: Sabina Zacco

SPANISH: Mike Gomez




Sophie Pollock


We want to hear from you. Are you a Bronco alumnus or alumna and can witness a story of interest for the Modern Languages community? Whether it is a significant career achievement, an effort in aid or community building, a project in development, or any other kind of remarkable news connected with languages and cultures, please send your stories to our newsletter editor Prof. Alberto Ribas.


Santa Clara University
Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053
Phone: 408.554.4049