News & Events



classroom guest speaker: holocaust survivor

March 20th, 2023 & April 12th, 2023

We had two special Guest Speakers from The St. Pete Holocaust Museum who presented via Zoom for Dr. Sandrine Savona's course: The Holocaust through a French Lens: Testimony and Literature. It was a priveledge and honor to receive Roland Levi and Ruth Wade at USF. Dr. Savona's students appreciated their presentations very much

holocaust survivor guest speaker
Ruth Wade

Roland Levi (left picture) was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1939. He was living there with his father, mother, and older sister, Nadya in 1940 when the German army conquered Belgium. In 1944 Roland’s mother and father were arrested and taken to the Dossin Barracks in Mechelen, an assembly point for Jews.

From there they were transferred to Auschwitz. Nadya and Roland remained hidden at the congregation of Notre Dame de Sion but were soon arrested by the Gestapo. They were taken to an orphanage in Wezembeek and set to be transported to Auschwitz. The orphanage director, Marie Blum Albert, was able to negotiate with guards at the train station and secured the release of numerous Jewish wards of the orphanage, including Nadya and Roland.

The children were returned to the orphanage. Roland and Nadya were liberated in September 1944 and reunited with their parents who also survived. Roland settled in the United States in the 1960s. He lives in the Tampa Bay Area and speaks to students and adults about his experiences during the Holocaust.

Student Commentary: #1:

"It was a very honorable experience to be able to listen to a Survivor. Not only was it astonishing to be able to talk to someone from the very part of history we are studying in class but it was amazing to be able to learn from such a strong and passionate individual. From this experience, I will carry on the importance of learning from the past to create a better future. Without learning from those who come from different backgrounds than ourselves, we cannot share love with those around us. That is something Mr. Levi taught us all that will stick with me from now on."

- Sofia Martinez

Student Commentary: #2:

"I feel extremely grateful that I was able to share the same space (though virtual) with a Holocaust survivor. The recounting of the survivor’s experience was extremely educational and important to hear. In addition to his story, we were given profound insight into the importance of something as simple as eliminating hate from our vocabulary. In modern times we are not immune to prejudice, discrimination, and hate; hence the obligation we have to move towards connection and love in defiance of hate, something the survivor highlighted.

With that being said, the prevalence and pervasiveness of genocide and hate crimes require us to continually share these important stories. We should always offer space and a voice to those suffering and who have suffered not only to learn but for them and their families to heal. I truly hope the University continues to amplify these voices by allowing students the opportunity to learn about the Holocaust and other important current and historical events. There are no words for my appreciation to the survivor for sharing time with us, and for Dr. Savona for planning it."

- Maria Medina-Nigaglioni

Student Commentary: #3:

"Today was a very special day for our FRW-5934 Holocaust – Through a French Lens course. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet with a Holocaust survivor: Mr. Roland Levi from the St. Peterburg’s area.

At the young age of 5 years old, his whole world changed when the Nazis entered his classroom and ordered any Jewish children to be taken away. Today, Mr. Levi recounted his experiences during and after World War II and the suffering he and his family had to endure. He is very passionate about educating everyone he can about the atrocities that occurred in his youth and about the life of many Jewish families throughout the war.

One important comment he wanted to leave with us was to never ever use the word HATE as it is too negative, nefarious, and hurtful. Instead, we should promote and more often use the word LOVE to help create a world of peace, friendship, and prosperity. I am very grateful for the opportunity I had today to listen to Mr. Levi. His wisdom, courage, and dedication were all invaluable, and I encourage us all to follow his advice."

- Martin Lalande

Ruth Wade (right picture) often discusses her own experiences as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She edited and co-wrote for a book that was published on this exact topic: The Ones Who Remember: Second-Generation Voices of the Holocaust. 

invited to tampa bay rowdies game with a meet & greet

March 8th, 2023

The German section and the German Culture Club, along with the German faculty (Dr. Puteri, Schindler and Grieb), were invited by the Tampa Bay Rowdies to watch their match against Miami FC on Saturday, March 8!

The event also included a meet and greet with Rowdies player Felix Schröter- who hails from Germany and recently joined the team. He scored his first goal for the Rowdies on Saturday and helped propel the team to a 2-0 win over Miami!

Tampa Bay Rowdies x USF German Culture Club

Quoting Taylor Swift is an Actual Linguistic Thing

February 3rd, 2023

Our faculty member, Dr. Camilla Vasquez, talked to WIRED Magazine about Taylor Swift lyrics showing up in the Judiciary Committee meetings about Ticketmaster!

Taylor Swift- WIRED

"Camilla Vásquez, an internet linguist at the University of South Florida, says the art of quoting Swift is more accurately described as an 'intertextual discourse phenomenon.'"

"Vásquez also points to Swift’s carefully constructed persona as belonging to a young woman who knows how to use her platform and tap into the times." ...

FALL 2022

2022 usf global excellence award recipients

October 20th, 2022

Congratulations to our professors! Célia Paula-Davies, instructor of Portuguese and Spanish, received the USF Virtual Global Exchange Early Adopter Award! 

And Roberto Jiménez Arroyo, Senior Instructor of Spanish, received the USF Global Student Success Award!


Senior Instructor, Célia Paula-Davies, receiving her award


Senior Instructor, Roberto Jiménez Arroyo, receiving his award

global excellence awards

2022 USF Global Excellence Awards


2022 USF Status of Latinos (SoL) Award recipients

October 6, 2022

We would like to congratulate our professors, Dr. Martine Wagner and Roberto Jiménez Arroyo, on receiving 2022 USF Status of Latinos (SoL) Faculty Awards! Thank you for all that you do for the LatinX community.

martine wagner

        Dr. Martine Wager

roberto arroyo

        Roberto Jiménez Arroyo

THE HUB: New Multilingual Writing Center

November 10th, 2022

the hub article on multilingual writing center

The HUB has published an article about our brand new Multilingual Writing Center! Our LALS doctoral student, Sean Farrell, and Dr. Matt Kessler discuss the importance of the services offered to USF international/multilingual graduate students through the writing center.

A VISIT FROM M. Édouard Philippe, current mayor of le havre and FORMER prime minister of france

October 27th, 2022

On Thursday, October 27th, faculty members from USF World Languages, Dean Michael, and a group of about twenty students welcomed former prime minister of France and current mayor of Le Havre, Édouard Philippe.

The French delegation, in town with M. Philippe to commemorate the thirty-year sister city bond between Tampa and Le Havre, also included Consul general, Raphaël Trapp and Cultural Attaché, Anthoni Dominguez from the consulate in Miami.

We were honored to have such a prominent group of French visitors to our campus and encouraged by their expressions of ongoing support for French studies in Florida.

Edouard Philippe visit
Edouard Philippe visit
Edouard Philippe visit

M. Philippe and the French delegation with our faculty members

Édouard Philippe visits USF French

M. Philippe and USF students

Édouard Philippe and our French MA students

M. Philippe and USF students


the international adda3 conference is held in the u.s. for the first time: hosted by Applied Linguistics faculty and students at the usf st. pete campus

May 13th - May 15th, 2022.

ADDA Conference
ADDA Conference
ADDA conference

Our Applied Linguistics professors and LALS Ph.D. students (from left to right): Dr. Bridges, Dr. Vasquez, Yuxuan Mu, Oxana Sidorova, Nafla Alshahrani, and Francesca Marino.

ADDA Conference

ADDA3 guests enjoying refereshments!

Featuring a number of exciting talks on a range of topics related to digital media, the 3rd international Approaches to Digital Discourse Analysis (ADDA 3) conference was held on May 13-15, 2022.

Convened for the first time in the United States, ADDA 3 was hosted by Applied Linguistics faculty and students from the University of South Florida and took place at USF's waterfront campus in downtown St Petersburg.

Similar to prior ADDA conferences held in Valencia (2015) and Turku (2019), ADDA 3 provided a welcoming, inclusive, intellectually stimulating and convivial atmosphere for digital discourse scholars interested in sharing their work, learning from others and making meaningful professional connections.

ADDA 3’s conference participants came from 17 different countries and the conference program included 67 presentations given by early, mid and late career researchers.

 SPRING 2022

Dr. Camilla Vásquez Ranks Top 2% Cited Researcher in the World by Stanford University

February 8th, 2022


Congratulations to Dr. Camilla Vásquez on ranking among top 2% cited scientists in the world by Stanford University!

From the USF College of Arts & Sciences website:

"Stanford University released a study in October 2021 that placed 54 faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Florida among the top 2% of cited scientists in the world. This ranking, which is considered globally prestigious, is based on the bibliometric information contained in a citation database and includes more than 190,000 researchers from the more than 8 million scientists considered to be active worldwide. 

'Of the almost 200 researchers from University of South Florida (USF) who appear on the list, I want to specifically recognize the faculty members from our college,' said Eric Eisenberg, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at USF. 'Recognition in this ranking underscores the impact their research and scientific work has on a global scale. I wish to congratulate them on this fantastic accomplishment.'"


Congratulations to Dr. Hedrick, Recepient of the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award!

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Hedrick III, who was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award! 

Dr. Christine M. Probes, Professor of French Literature and Culture delivers the plenary address at the 50th anniversary international conference 

Dr. Christine M. Probes, Professor of French Literature and Culture, delivered the invited plenary address at the 50th anniversary international conference (virtual) of the North American Society for French Seventeenth Century French Literature on May 28, 2021. Attendees included scholars from Great Britain, Canada, Iceland, France, Russia and Switzerland as well as the USA. Dr. Probes’ address, “Individuation à la Cour de France: La Refonte d’une Princesse du Palatinat, de la ‘conversion religieuse’ à la ‘conversion culturelle’”, focused on the “individuation” or self-discovery of Louis XIV’s sister-in-law as revealed in her letters to Leibniz and others.

Recognizing the Angel of Bordeaux: USF professor helps promote the life of a Holocaust hero

Dr. Martine Wagner, associate professor of French, organized a session around Aristides de Sousa Mendes at the 20th & 21st Century French & Francophone Studies International Colloquium in March 2021. She presented a paper on the biographical novel Le Consul (2015) by Algerian writer Salim Bachi. Aristides de Sousa Mendes was the Portuguese Consul in Bordeaux in June 1940 and was recognized by Israel in 1966 as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for saving thousands of refugees during the Nazi occupation and the Holocaust. 

Spanish graduate student association (SGSA)

The Spanish Graduate Student Association (SGSA) represents graduate students currently enrolled in the Spanish MA program at the Department of World Languages at USF. SGSA is committed to the well-being of not only its members but also the USF community at large. Each semester, we sponsor a variety of academic and cultural events as well as professional development workshops and social gatherings. Our mission is to advocate for the importance of Hispanic languages and cultures in an intercultural, global context. SGSA is an open-enrollment association and therefore invites all interested students to join. We strive for diversity, equity and inclusion. Welcome! 

SGSA Instagram

SGSA Facebook



Here is Troy Della Pietra, a student in the Italian program (Facebook and Twitter @ITALIANatUSF) at the University of South Florida, chosen to open a video of the Italian Embassy Italy in US.

You can watch the video through the link here:


Congratulations to Dr. Matt Kessler and his colleagues, whose research involving technology and language learning was recently featured by USF media. Their research explores the effectiveness of an online learning platform (TalkAbroad) and how it can be used to support different facets of L2 Spanish learning, among other languages. 


On October 23, 2020, Arwen Puteri defended successfully her dissertation "The West knows Best: East Germans left behind after Unification." Arwen was a student in the History Department at USF, but she has also been part of World Languages, since she has been teaching for our German Program. 

We congratulate Dr. Puteri on her achievements. Well done!  


The faculty and staff at the Department of World Languages at the University of South Florida understand the difficult circumstances under which students must attend class and complete assignments during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are here for you, and we are all in this together. Please use the resources included here and don’t hesitate to contact your professors to talk about any issues regarding class performance.


Elizabeth Jaquez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, but spent most of her life in New York City. After high school, she served in the US Navy which allowed her to travel through South America and fall in love with the diverse Latin American cultures. She holds a BA in business administration and is currently an MBA and Spanish MA candidate. She also works as a Fiscal and Business Analyst at USF. For the past year and a half, Elizabeth has served as president of the Spanish Graduate Student Association in the Department of World Languages. As president, she actively recruits new members with the intent of expanding the sense of community; in addition, she established the SGSA’s internal library, and leads the organization’s events committee. Additionally, Elizabeth served as moderator of the 20th Century Spanish Literature session during the 2019 USF World Languages Colloquium and has also presented her research during the 24th Southeast Conference on Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Film. 


LALS Ph.D. student, Antonella Gazzardi (pictured above) & faculty member, Professor Camilla Vásquez, recently published their research ("A Taxonomic Approach to the use of English in the Italian Media") in the journal World Englishes.

LALS Ph.D. students, Yaqian Jiang (pictured above) and Dacota Liska will be presenting their research on Thursday, Oct 29 at the annual conference of the Association for Business Communication.  Yaqian’s presentation is on “Commodification of English and linguistic creativity on Douyin: Translanguaging, language ideologies and humor.” Dacota’s presentation is about “Anonymity, Expertise and Trustworthiness: The Credibility of Redditors in r/books Recommendations."

In addition, Dacota will deliver a preview of her talk during our October 2 LINGO meeting at noon.  All members of the USF community are welcome to attend!  Contact Dr. Matt Kessler ( to get the Zoom invite.


Current MA Applied Linguistics student, Ennis Cruz Gonzalez (pictured above), and recent MA alumna, Jennifer Rives, will present “Critical Pedagogy in EAP: Promoting Social Justice and Advocacy in Small/Large Classes” at the annual Sunshine State TESOL conference.

Please join us for a preview of their talk during the October 30 LINGO meeting at noon. All are welcome – please contact Dr. Matt Kessler ( to get the Zoom invite.



On Friday, December 13, 2019 our Academic Services Administrator Ms. Claudine Boniec received the Individual Award, which is given to the most effective members of the Staff of the College of Arts and Sciences. Even more importantly, Ms. Boniec received the coveted CAS Award, which was selected from the Individual Award pool by the Dean’s Office. In other words, Ms. Boniec is the CAS Administrator of the Year! As one of the supporting letters noted: “Everything Claudine does is of high quality, precise, and punctual. She is the best kind of colleague and an outstanding source of support to the faculty.”


PhD student Yaqian Jiang and Applied Linguistics Professor Camilla Vasquez have just had their article, “Exploring local meaning-making resources: A case study of a popular Chinese internet meme (biaoqingbao),” published in Internet Pragmatics.  Their article focuses on multiple iterations of one popular Chinese meme.  It is one of the first studies in the field of Linguistics to explore the textual and visual resources mobilized by Chinese social media users to comment on a range of social issues.


Prof. Brescia was interviewed as part of a documentary titled "Juan José Arreola. El actor del conocimiento" about the life and works of Mexican writer Juan José Arreola in September 2019. 


Dr. Huensch was selected for her proposal for national collaboration with Dr. Charlie Nagle from Iowa State University titled "Intelligibiligy, comprehensibility, and accentedness in second language Spanish". As a UNI award recipient, Dr. Huensch will be a valuable ambassador for USF and advance our reputation as a research university with global impact.


Research Grant Awarded

Dr. Amanda Huensch was awarded a Language Learning Early Career Research Grant to fund her project, ‘A longitudinal investigation of the intelligibility, comprehensibility, and accentedness of beginning learners of Spanish’. This work will contribute to a better understanding of second language pronunciation development. Congratulations Dr. Huensch!

Multicultural Community Faculty Advisor of the Year awarded to Dr. Olga Oleynik

We are proud to announce WLE’s Russian Instructor Dr. Olga Oleynik was recognized as Multicultural Community Faculty Advisor of the Year. Congratulations Dr. Oleynik!

Mark Lane-Holbert Selected by U.S. Department of State for Prestigious English Language Teaching Fellowship

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Mark R. Lane-Holbert (MA Applied Linguistics), a current adjunct instructor German in WLE, for a 10-month fellowship project conducting teacher training for English teachers in Colombia at the Bi-National Center Centro Colombo-Americano. He is one of only 172 U.S. citizens selected for the 2018-2019 English Language Fellow Program, spread across 110+ countries. Congratulations Mark!

Research Grant Awarded

Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura, with Dr. Joe Moxley (English Department) and Dr. Philip Durrant (Graduate School of Education, University of Exeter), were successful in receiving a University of Exeter/ USF World Research Catalyst Fund grant for the 2018-2019 academic year for their project ‘My Reviewers Doctoral Exchange’. This grant will support the exchange of a University of Exeter EdD TESOL student who will spend the fall semester at USF and a USF PhD student in the Linguistics and Applied Language Studies program who will spend the spring semester at the University of Exeter. Both students will be working with Drs. Tracy-Ventura, Moxley, and Durrant on the MyReviewers corpus which was created at USF. Congratulations Dr. Tracy-Ventura!

Faculty Lecture Series: Luther's Legacy in Germany's Culture

As a part of the Department of Religious Studies Faculty Lecture Series,Dr. Stephan K. Schindler, Professor of German and Chair, USF Deparment of World Languages will present his lecture "Luther's Legacy in Germany's Culture". Please join us for this thought-provoking lecture Thursday, February 8th 2018 7pm in CWY 206. This event counts as a pre-approved, on-campus event for the Global Citizen Award.

A Visit from the Greek Ambassador to the U.S., Haris Lalacos

On January 30, 2018, the Greek Ambassador to the United States, Haris Lalacos, accompanied by the Consul General in Tampa, Dimitrios Sparos, visited the University of South Florida. In their meetings with the Dean and a group of professors who teach Greek-related subjects, they discussed ways in which the Embassy and the Greek state could benefit our Programs (Study Abroad, etc.). The World Languages Department participated in the discussions with its Chair, Dr. Stephan Schindler, and Drs. Eleni Manolaraki and Ippokratis Kantzios.


Research Grant awarded

Dr. Jason Nethercut was awarded a grant to spend three weeks at the Fondation Hardt in Geneva Switzerland to work on his book project "Lucretius and Ennius' Annales: Revisionary Poetics." The Foundation is one of the most prestigious venues in the field of Classics to work, and their grants are highly competitive. Congratulations Dr. Nethercut!

Visiting Scholar, Dr. Lourdes Ortega

Dr. Lourdes Ortega visits USF from Georgetown University to help celebrate the inauguration of the Linguistics and Applied Language Studies Ph.D. program in the Department of World Languages. Dr. Ortega is pictured (far right) with Applied Linguistics faculty members (right to left) Drs. Camilla Vasquez, Nicole Tracy-Ventura, and Wei Zhu after her talk entitled SLA, Multilingualism, and Social Justice.

Visiting Scholar, Dr. Àngels Llanes

The Department of World Languages was delighted to host Dr. Àngels Llanes (University of Lleida) for two months during the Fall 2017 semester. Her research focuses on the effects of learning context and age on second language acquisition, and she has carried out a number of studies comparing the learning of English as a foreign language in study abroad and at-home contexts, and between children and adults. During her stay she gave two presentations for faculty and students, and visited some of the applied linguistics classes.


More archived news from previous years (2010-2017) of our department can also be found here and here.

Faculty Awarded Grant

Dr. Nicole Tracy-Ventura and Dr. Amanda Huensch have been awarded a prestigious research grant from Language Learning’s Small Grants Research Program for pursuing their collaborative study: “Investigating foreign language attrition, maintenance, and development post-instruction and study abroad.”  They will be continuing a longitudinal study that began in 2011 to examine the long-term evolution of foreign language proficiency. Congratulations Dr. Tracy-Ventura and Dr. Huensch!

Faculty Honor

The Classical Preparatory Academy, a successful charter school focused on a Classics curriculum, honored Dr. Eleni H. Manolaraki for her service and her commitment to a pre-college education in Classics. She was presented with the award at the school’s annual fundraising gala on April 9th. Dr. Manolaraki spoke on the enduring value of Classical antiquity as a school subject. You can read her address here. Congratulations Dr. Manolaraki!

Faculty TESOL Honor

The TESOL Association (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) is honoring Dr. Amanda Huensch as one of their 30 Up and Coming, which “recognizes individuals who represent future leaders in the profession of English language teaching and learning”. Congratulations Dr. Huensch!

Faculty Publication Award

Dr. Anne Latowsky has won the annual award for the Best First Book written by a member of the Southeastern Medieval Association for Emperor of the World: Charlemagne and the Construction of Imperial Authority, 800-1229 (Cornell UP, 2013). Congratulations Dr. Latowsky!