Melissa L. Fiori, tenured, Associate Professor in the Modern Languages Department, received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004 with the Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese. She obtained her M.A. in Spanish Literature, Language and Culture of the Spanish Speaking World from Middlebury College in 1998 (Vermont & Madrid), and completed her undergraduate work from Bucknell University in 1997 with a degree in Spanish and International Relations (Latin American History and Politics).
Dr. Fiori holds teaching experience in the United States (Juniata College, Florida State University, Lake Forest College, W.R. Harper College), Spain (Cadalso de los Vidrios Elementary and Middle/High School), and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Near East University) teaching language, linguistics, and culture courses in Spanish and ESL/EFL.
At Daemen College she serves the Modern Languages Department as: the Middle States Assessment Liaison, the TEAC Assessment Liaison, and the Virtual Language Learning Project Director. She has served the college on numerous official and ad-hoc committees.
She has published and presented articles on Technology and Language Learning:
- Blattner, G. & Fiori, M. (2011). Virtual Social Network Communities: An Investigation of Language Learners’ Development of Sociopragmatic Awareness and Multiliteracy Skills, Calico Journal V.29,1.
- Blattner, G. & Fiori, M. (2009). Facebook in the Language Classroom: Promises and Possibilities. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, v.6, 1, ISSN 1550-6908.
- Fiori, M. (2006). Instructor-Student Interaction: Form/Meaning Chat. Academic Exchange Quarterly: Language. Spring 2006.
- Fiori, M. (2005). The Development of Grammatical Competence through Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication. CALICO Journal. 22, 3.
Rocío Giráldez Betrón is from Madrid, Spain where she studied a Certificate to Teach Spanish as a Second Language and a B.A and M.A in Filología Inglesa at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. At University of California San Diego she initially attended a Language Poetry summer course and later on completed a 1 year-long exchange program, a M.A in English Literature and a Ph.D in Literature. At UCSD Rocío taught for 13 years all levels of Spanish in the Linguistics Language Program and in the lower-division section of the Literature Department. Rocío started teaching upper division Literature courses online as early as 2009 at United States University. She completed a 1 year-long certificate to teach online with an emphasis on Pedagogy offered by Miracosta College, and the Teaching Online Certificate with Quality Matters. Her current main interest is Asynchronous Online Pedagogy and building courses with a design specifically for online learning. As a Digital Faculty Consultant for McGraw-Hill Rocío presents at universities and in webinars on the pedagogy of online teaching and learning and on how to create online courses with Connect to improve completion rates in Spanish Language, Literature and Culture courses. She trains Faculty virtually on online pedagogy and digital tools using Connect and their LMS. She also assists Faculty by rebuilding and building Spanish online, hybrid or face-to-face courses. Recordable Video Chats and Voice Boards are an important component of the Asynchronous Online Courses she currently teaches.
Rocío teaches asynchronous online Spanish courses at Foothill College. She also teaches at Chapman University and Irvine Valley College where she received the Outstanding Part-Time Professor of the Year 2017 of Irvine Valley College for her work starting, designing and teaching the first Spanish Hybrid courses offered by the School of Languages and Learning.
Rocío travels often to Spain and loves to spend time in Madrid, Málaga, Córdoba and Granada.
Dr. Ángel Ruiz Blanco teaches an intermediate course a medical Spanish course at Daemen.
He received his Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics with emphasis on second language acquisition and his master's degree in Spanish linguistics from the University of California, Davis in 2017 and 2012 respectively with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Additionally, he is a foreign attorney and remains active to practice law in Spain. Blanco received his law degree with an emphasis in public law from the University of Seville, Spain. (Five-year professional law degree admitting to the practice of law in Spain as an attorney).
Within the field of Spanish applied linguistics, Blanco's research and teaching focus are in second language acquisition, translation and interpretation studies, language for specific purposes, Spanish for heritage speakers, and service learning.
At the university level, Blanco taught at Boston College, University of Arkansas, Whitman College and the University of California, Davis.
In the public sector, he researched, drafted, developed and coordinated bilingual programs that opened the door of the American legal system to the Hispanic community located within the geographic area of Contra Costa County (California). Furthermore, he taught legal Spanish to the Superior Court of California for five years and for the CCCBA.
In the private sector, he provided consulting services to various law firms as a Spanish legal consultant to serve as a bridge between the firm and the Spanish speaking population. His dissertation focused on the interactions between attorneys and Spanish speaking clients and the effectiveness of the material currently available for these professionals.
Aacademic papers and conference presentations:
• “Desajustes entre los manuales y la metodología de enseñanza del español jurídico y la profesión legal,” VI Congreso de literatura, lengua y traducción (LILETRAD), University of Almeria, Spain, July 3 – 5, 2019.
• "Service-Learning Agreement: Reading between the lines,” Gulf-South Summit 2019, Sam Houston State University, April 3 – 5, 2019.
• "La traducción jurídica y legal," Department Presentation Series, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Davis. April 19, 2018.
• "Practical and Effective Legal Spanish for Lawyers," Faculty Forum, Whitman College, WA. November 8, 2017.
• “La enseñanza del español: ¿Una locura o una opción?” Invited speaker, presentation on the new online Spanish course, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Davis, April 26, 2017.
• “Desajustes entre los manuales y la metodología de enseñanza del español jurídico y la profesión legal,” 12th Annual Colloquium Samuel G. Armistead, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Davis, October 21, 2016.
• “A Guide for Teacher’s Assistants,” Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Davis, September 14, 2015.
• “Would you ask me in a different way, please?,” Interdisciplinary Graduate & Professional Symposium, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Davis, April 3, 2014.
Danielle Coulson teaches the second language acquisition and applied linguistics course, as well as the methods and assessments in foreign language education course.
She is a an online adjunct instructor as well as high school French teacher located in the Salt Lake City area. She has been teaching in a university setting since 2015, and a high school setting since 2017. She enjoys being able to work with both groups of students, and loves to teach both face-to-face and online courses.
Coulson received her bachelor's degree in French language and literature from The Ohio State University in 2015 and her master's degree in the same field from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. At UC, she taught introductory French courses for two years, as well as conducted private tutoring for students. Coulson also holds her Utah Professional Educator Licence in French K-12.
Coulson has had the pleasure of studying abroad in Nantes, France and hopes to one day take her future students on a trip in the summer!
In her free time, she enjoys CrossFit, and lives an active lifestyle with her husband.
Sarah Hart teaches SPA 101 online at Daemen College and also teaches High School Spanish at the Charter School for Applied Technologies. In the last 12 years, she has also taught college courses at the University at Buffalo, D’Youville College, and Genesee Community College.
Dr. Hart received her PhD from the University at Buffalo in 2014 with a focus on the history of the Spanish language as it relates to the Reconquista in Spain. She has studied the similarities and differences between the major Romance Languages and how they can be recreated into Popular Latin (Vulgar Latin).