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Faculty from Six Colleges Will Visit ACM's Off-Campus Program Site in Costa Rica

Published: October 2, 2012

Go to ACM Notes

Each semester, ACM takes a group of faculty to one of its off-campus study program sites for several days to get an inside view of the program's curriculum and to meet the staff and current students.

This fall's destination is Costa Rica. In fact, so many faculty are interested in ACM's Costa Rica programs that a second trip has been added next spring. In all, nine professors from six ACM colleges will visit the program center in the country’s capital city of San José.

Five professors will visit the program site on October 22-24, when the fall semester Costa Rica: Language, Society, & the Environment program is in session. The other group will focus on the Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities program during their visit in spring 2013.

Visiting Manuel Antonio National Park

Students visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park along the Pacific coast in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Gillett

The Faculty Site Visits Program was established in 2011 to provide opportunities for faculty to learn about ACM program sites in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. Previous visits have taken professors to Florence and Chicago.

The site visits are designed to give faculty in-depth information and see the program "in action" so they can more effectively advise their students who are considering off-campus study programs. As part of the visit, faculty also share their expertise with students and program staff, such as by presenting a guest lecture, workshop, or master class.

"These visits have proven to be very valuable in connecting our programs – especially the on-site staff and curriculum – with our colleges' faculty," said Joan Gillespie, ACM Vice President & Director of Off-Campus Study Programs. "Several of the faculty who are going to Costa Rica have told me that they see the ACM staff and program site as a resource for developing material they'll teach in their courses on campus."

The site visits will also be a chance for the faculty to find out about the fall program's direct enrollment option with the University of Costa Rica (UCR), through which students with advanced Spanish language proficiency can take classes alongside Costa Rican students at UCR.

"We know from faculty that direct enrollment could be attractive to students majoring in Spanish and Latin American Studies," Gillespie noted, "so we're looking forward to having our visitors see what our partnership with UCR offers."

During the site visits, faculty typically observe classes, tour facilities and the local area, meet with staff and students, and participate in field trips.

ACM faculty who are tenured, tenure-track, or in other continuing appointments may apply for the program, and preference is given to applicants not already familiar with the program being visited. ACM covers expenses for transportation, lodging, and meals.

Fall 2012 Site Visit Participants

Yvette Aparicio

Yvette Aparicio

Yvette Aparicio is Associate Professor of Spanish & Latin American Studies at Grinnell College. Her academic interests are focused on Latin American poetry and contemporary Central American literature and culture, and she regularly includes material from the region in her courses. Aparicio began teaching at Grinnell in 2000, after receiving her PhD from the University of California-Irvine.


Daniel Hanna

Daniel Hanna

An Assistant Professor of French and Spanish, Daniel Hanna joined the Lake Forest College faculty last year and recently received his PhD from Princeton University. He teaches a variety of courses in Spanish, including language, advanced grammar, Business Spanish, and the history and culture of Latin America.


Cynthia Kauffeld

Cynthia Kauffeld

A specialist in historical Spanish linguistics, Cynthia Kauffeld is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies at Macalester College. She teaches all levels of Spanish language, as well as upper-level courses such as Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics, Spanish Dialectology, and History of the Language. Kauffeld received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been at Macalester since 2005.


Rita Tejada

Rita Tejada

Rita Tejada, Associate Professor of Spanish, has taught at Luther College over a span of 16 years. She received her PhD from Florida State University, and her teaching interests include Caribbean literature, Latin American literature and film, women issues, Latin American women writers, and service learning projects. Mujeres, Eros y Tanatos en el Romancero Dominicano, one of Tejada's two books written and published in Spanish, was awarded the Ministry of Culture National Award in her native Dominican Republic.


Amy Tibbetts

Amy Tibbetts

Assistant Professor of Spanish Amy Tibbits is now in her fifth year on the faculty at Beloit College. She has a PhD in Romance languages from the University of Oregon and teaches all levels of Spanish language. Her teaching and research interests include contemporary Peninsular literature as well as authority and dictatorship in Spanish cinema.


The following professors will participate in the faculty site visit to Costa Rica in spring 2013.

  • Jennifer Esperanza, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Beloit College
  • Jake Frederick, Assistant Professor of History and Co-Director of Latin American Studies, Lawrence University
  • Scott Legge, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Macalester College
  • Jeffrey Sundberg, James S. Kemper Foundation Professor of Liberal Arts and Business, Lake Forest College


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