Department News

LLC News

French is again offering FRE270-Business French spring 2023, helpful for anyone interested in working internationally!  The course is also good preparation for the internationally recognized Paris Chamber of Commerce Business French certification exam offered every summer at UAlbany (we are a certified testing site).  If questions, contact French Professor, Veronique Martin ([email protected]).

Listen to our student podcast series:  Meet UAlbany students where they are, what has shaped them to date, inspired them, how they've handled struggles and grown through them. Spanish students working with Professor Carmen Serrano capture oral histories of UAlbany students who often find themselves on the periphery of higher education and/or society, students for whom English is not their primary language, immigrants, minoritized communities, non-traditional college students, Dreamers, undocumented students, LGBTQ community members and allies, students with disabilities and military veterans. Hear what they have to say in their own words.

2022 News

LLC Spanish lecturers and University in the High School liaisons Leonardo Correa and Dora Ramirez organized this year's Annual UHS Spanish Teacher Workshop 11/4/22 in the Campus Center, attended by 40 Spanish teachers (in-person and virtually) from NYS high schools participating in the UHS Program. LLC faculty Patrick Lawrence, Leonardo Correa, and Dora Ramirez presented on to teaching Spanish as a foreign language and Billie Franchini from ITLAL spoke on teaching strategies to minimize cheating. The day ended with a resource sharing session of teachers discussing pedagogical matters with their colleagues. The event was also sponsored and supported by Jeanette Altarriba, CAS Dean and Debernee Privott, CAS Assistant Dean for Public Engagement.

Congratulations to Nicholas Figueroa (SPN PhD) for receiving a $25K grant to further his community work in his Latinos Urban Book Club which focuses on LatinX authors! Read more:

Professor Ilka Kressner is hosting a talk with her COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) collaborator José Luis Jiménez from Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas on "Neoselva:  Ecological Activism and Ancestral Knowledges in Venezuela" Wednesday 10/12/22 11:40am in Zoom (contact [email protected] for the link).  Professor Jiménez researches and teaches in online collaborative learning, journalism, human rights and human ecology.  He has been a nature photographer, filmmaker and environmental activist for 30 years.  His talk will give an overview on the history of spaces of environmental conservation efforts in Venezuela form the late 1980s to today.

LLC seeks a FULL-TIME LECTURER OF FRENCH: 2-3 course load and directing the French program (including: curriculum development, supervision of adjuncts, course scheduling, advisement and recruitment of French students, minors and interdisciplinary majors, coordination and oversight of extracurricular activities, and the French honor society, contribution to activities in the department). Requirements: a PhD in French/Francophone Studies or related discipline from a college or university accredited by the US Department of Education or an internationally recognized accrediting organization completed by June 1, 2023, native or near-native French and English, training in foreign language pedagogy. Preferred: experience supervising teaching staff in foreign languages. Application must include CV, cover letter stating candidate’s required minimum qualifications and preferred qualifications, 15-page writing sample, teaching philosophy statement, statement of candidate’s contributions to diversity, 3 letters of recommendation (one addressing the candidate’s teaching experience). THE UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY IS AN EO/AA/IRCA/ADA EMPLOYER. Review of applications begins 10/17/22. For complete posting and to apply: .

Read about Prof Ilka Kressner's ecology focus in her ASPN 443/ASPN 516 Ecology and the Arts in Latin America course this fall in the most recent issue of UAlbany's Sustainability Bulletin (page 3) at Fall 2022 - OneDrive (

Congratulations to Rocío Leguisamon (SPN PhD student) who has won the Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund Award from the Initiatives for Women (IFW) program.
Congratulations to Nerisha Padilla Cruz (SPN PhD student) who recently won an Initiatives for Women (IFW) Endowment Award.
Congratulations to Ethan Sims (ABD in Spanish linguistics) for accepting a full-time lecturer position at Binghamtom University starting this fall. 
Congratulations to Stephen Bocksay (VAP Portuguese) whose article "Samba and Surveillance: Censorship and Black Music during Brazilian Military Rule (1964-1984)," has been accepted by Latin American Perspectives, one of the leading journals in the field of Latin American studies.
Congratulations to Dr. Marina Bonilla Conejo our newest PhD in Spanish! She successfully defended her PhD dissertation “Entre la cuidad y la provincia: variación sociolingüística en Málaga” on 7/11/22.
RUS Professor Timothy Sergay is giving two lectures on Ukraine this summer, 7/18/22 6PM at the Bethlehem Public Library with Prof David Rousseau (UAlbany College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity) "Ukraine Crisis in Context" and 7/23/22 4PM at the Berkshire High Peaks Festival in Sheffield MA "Russian Art and Culture after Mariupol." 
Student podcasts air on WCDB Albany 90.9FM this summer!  Listen on the radio live 10AM June 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 14, 21, 28, or online.

Congratulations to Carmen Serrano for winning both the high honor of the 2022 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching and for the recognition of her constant excellence in earning the 2021 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching!

Congratulations to LLC's 2022 Awardees! 
Maurice J. Westmoreland Award – Rocio Leguisamon
Teaching Assistant Excellence Award – Sarah Rubio
Frank Carrino Memorial Scholarship – Jalibeth Sepúlveda
Guy A. Enfanto Memorial Award for Excellence – Barbara Buck
Marcia Goldman Mayer Award – Rian Davis & Aaron King
Anthony M. Gisolfi Memorial Award – Jessica Dandrow
The Eleanor Rosalie Bazzoni Class Of 1906 Fellowship – Aaron King
LLC Award for Excellence in Arabic – Rachel Swald
LLC Award for Excellence in German – Anders Iaconelli
LLC Award for Excellence in Italian – Michael Gatto
LLC Award for Excellence in Latin – John Healy
LLC Award for Excellence in Portuguese – Valerie Goris
LLC Award for Excellence in Russian – Leanna Weston

Congratulations to this year's honor society inductees:
PI DELTA PHI (French):  Rosemary Avila, Nicholas Charnley, Gabriel Formica, Erika Hernandez Rodriguez, and
SIGMA DELTA PI (Spanish):  Emily Fronk, Michelle Monaco, Sharon Monaco, Claudia Pique, Donna Rivera, Brenna Schilling, Darlyn Tapia!

Congratulations to this year's Cynthia A. Fox Awardees
Elizabeth Lansing & Geneviève Oliveira for exemplary service to the department!

We are saddened to share that French Professor Emeritus Ray Ortali passed away March 22, 2022. A French native, Prof Ortali earned a law degree in Dijon, a degree from the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris, and his PhD in Romance languages from the University of Michigan. After a teaching assignment at Yale he moved to UAlbany, becoming Professor and Chair of the French Department. Following his successful teaching career, he created Prime Technologies, a high-tech company, and published We Love Books, Films & Company, a monthly e-magazine. See also: his obituary and an article from Times Union Grondahl: Au revoir, bon vivant Ray Ortali, 94.

Baratynsky Day – March 5, 2022 – Celebrating Russian Poetry
LLC’s Professor Timothy Sergay, St. Rocco’s Readings for the Dispossessed, and the Ugly Duckling Presse co-hosted the 3rd Annual Baratynsky Day on March 5, 2022. Russian and Russian-American poets, scholars, translators, and poetry enthusiasts enjoyed readings of Russian poems from all periods. For more information email Alexis Bhagat of St. Rocco’s at [email protected] or Professor Sergay at [email protected] Watch a recording of the event (Passcode: p1QHyhH* -- Prof Sergay reads at 3:18-3:25); last year’s recording: (Prof Sergay reads at 1:30-1:41). 

Jean-François Brière's New Book
The fourth edition of Les Français (Les Français (Fourth Edition) - New in Modern Languages - New & Forthcoming (, edited by Julie Fette, Assoc Prof of French at Rice University, and our own Jean-François Brière, Prof Emeritus of French, was recently published. Fette and Brière were interviewed by France-Amérique about the book.

New Arabic course
ARA250-Arabic Culture, taught in English, is being debuted spring 2022!  The course introduces students to different cultures of the Arabic-speaking world across the Middle East and North Africa. 

2021 News

Congratulations to Robert Maisel
(SPN BA) on his new book “Transform Through Travel: Connecting Across Cultures” which has become a #1 International Best-Seller!

Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Henryk Baran
(RUS) just published, "Roman Jakobson and American Slavic Studies: The First Postwar Decade!"

Congratulations to Professor Cynthia Fox
who just received the UAlbany Emeritus Center's "Three Voices" Grant for her project “Franco-American French in New York State Digital Archive.“

It is with sadness that LLC shares the loss of UAlbany scholar, Hans Pohlsander 6/26/21. A professor of Classics at UAlbany starting in 1962 and chair of the Classics Department, he retired in 1995. His most recent work was in German-American studies and German history.

LLC is saddened to share the loss of UAlbany Professor Emeritus of German, John Spalek, who passed away 6/5/21. He chaired the German Department and pursued his passion here many years working on the German emigre project at the university library, where he documented German emigration to the US rom 1933-1945. He is remembered as a good man and a significant scholar.

Russian Professor Timothy Sergay
was interviewed by the TASS News Agency. Expert: Geneva Summit Means a Chance to Renew Behind-the-Scenes But Effective Diplomacy. UAlbany Associate Professor Timothy Sergay Hopes the Summit Will Restart What He Would Call "Deep Diplomacy." TASS News Agency, 26 May 2021.

to Denise Osborne, Lecturer of Portuguese and Janna Harton, LLC’s Department Manager on being the inaugural recipients of the Cynthia A. Fox Award for Excellence in Service to LLC 2021.  Thank you Denise and Janna for your exemplary work and tireless efforts to promote our languages and support faculty, staff, and students.

Congratulations to Arabic instructor, Rana Alsaedi
who just published a co-authored article in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research. 
A Pragmatics-based Appeal to Saving Face so as to Save Lives: On Intercultural Pragmatic Awareness (or rather: Lack thereof) in a Handbook for US Soldiers Deployed for Iraq (2021) Journal of Intercultural Communication Research.

to our newest Spanish PhD, Dr. Jaime Mundo, who successfully defended his dissertation 5/14/21.

Congratulations these LLC faculty for their recent research awards:   
-    Ilka Kressner for “Ecocriticism in Colombian Literature Today: The Writings of William Ospina” 
-    Carmen Serrano for “Student Stories: Season 2”
-    Sara Zahler for “Testing the phonological/executive hypothesis: The relationship between working memory and grammatical gender in second language Spanish” 

Congratulations to Michaela Kirwan
recipient of the Center of Undergrad Research and Creative Engagement Summer Stipend Program award for research this summer! Undergrads and their faculty mentors (Professor Lotfi Sayahi in this case) submitted collaborative applications. Per CURCE “Competition was stiff,” but hers was an “outstanding example of the high quality of research conducted by undergraduate students at UAlbany.”

Congratulations to Samantha Pappalau
who has been selected to be a North American Language and Cultural Assistant in Spain, sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain (NALCAP)! She will be working as an English teacher in a K-12 school in Spain.

Congratulations to Sana Effendi
Spanish/Biology double major, who is one of only three UAlbany winners of the 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence!

Marina Bonilla and Elsa Cembrero
(PhD students in Spanish Linguistics) are participating in the 10th Annual Hispanic & Lusophone Linguistics Conference March 2021 organized by Arizona State University.
Variación de /s/ final en la Provincia de Málaga: un cambio en curso - Marina Bonilla Conejo
Las perífrasis "haber de + infinitivo" y "tener que + infinitivo" en la prensa de la región bilingüe de Ibiza - Elsa Cembrero Bonet

Professor Timothy Sergay
and 50+ Russian and Russian-American poets, scholars, translators, and Russian poetry enthusiasts celebrated Baratynsky Day 3/6/21, an international and multilingual celebration of Russian poetry.   Professor Sergay performed and read his translation of World War II poem, “I Was Killed Close to Rzhev” by Aleksandr Tvardovsky (Professor Sergay is at 1:30-1:41), which will be published in a bilingual anthology in early 2021 in Moscow.

French-Canadian French Podcast
Dr. Cynthia Fox sits down with Jesse with this for a really interesting episode, for multiple reasons. We’ve talked about the differences between Quebec French and France French but this week we’re studying French-Canadian French and how it can be different within the same state. Also she’ll touch on the Franco-American story of New York.

Congratulations Mirna Álvarez and Fiordaliza Ippolito!
SUNY Buffalo Romance Studies Journal has published articles by two of our Hispanic literatures and cultures PhD students in the Special Edition "Belonging in Worlds: Occupying Spaces and Forming Relationships".

Mirna L. Álvarez: Discurso tergiversado en los tribunales del caso de Ricardo Aldape Guerra

Fiordaliza Ippolito: Los medios de comunicación mediados por las masas: ¿Evolución o revolución?

Congratulations to Ricardo Estremera
(ABD, Spanish Linguistics) who will be starting his new full-time position in January in the Department of Global Languages and Cultures at Penn State Behrend. Ricardo is currently finishing up his dissertation titled "A Sociolinguistic Study of Dominican Spanish Spoken in Urban Puerto Rico: Dialect Convergence of Second Generation Dominicans". Ricardo is also an accomplished athlete who is training hard with an eye on the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers to represent Puerto Rico!

PhD Foreign Translation Exam
The PhD Foreign Language Translation Exam

Check out our Student Resources page for more information about the exam.


Congratulations to Professor Carmen Serrano
who received the 2020 Dean’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching. A very well deserved award for an outstanding professor!

Spanish PhD student Fiordaliza Ippolito
has been very productive over the last few months, despite the pandemic! 

1) Her article "The Media: Culture Mediated by The Masses ¿Evolution or Revolution?" has been accepted for publication in SUNY Buffalo Romance Studies Journal.

2) Her paper “Marginación en la representación y la autorepresentación del lenguaje dominicano” has been accepted for presentation at the 2020 Dominican Studies Association Conference. “Crisis of Truth, State of Emergency, and Social Responses: The Urgency of Dominican and Ethnic Studies in the Present Hour” .

Congratulations, Fiordaliza, and keep up the good work!

Congratulations to Michael Wilk
(FRE BA, 2007) who just received the Peter J. Murrett III Pro Bono Award from the Upstate NY chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Assn, their highest award!  Following graduation at UAlbany Michael became an immigration lawyer. Per Michael, “I also serve as Board President for RISSE, a local refugee/immigrant support center. I take pro bono immigration cases from RISSE, from Albany's Legal Project, from the UDC Law Alumni Association, and from community referrals. My biggest pro bono case was stopping the deportation of - and winning asylum for - a survivor of the Burundian genocide. We often communicated in French while preparing for the court date.  Thankfully I am in a position where I get to read, write, and speak French almost every day.  I consider myself lucky to be able to serve such a fine community, and for the education I received at UAlbany that made my path possible.”

The PhD Foreign Language Translation Exam
Please be advised that the next foreign language translation exam, testing doctoral students’ reading knowledge in a foreign language, is scheduled for Friday, November 13, 2020 from 12:30pm to 2:30pm. (English PhD students wishing to take the Advanced Competency Exam should indicate this when registering to schedule an extra hour).  Due to covid-19 the exam will be administered remotely (more information will be provided to students who register).  Frequently asked questions about the exam and Guidelines for the exam are available at these links.

Club de Cocina/Spanish Cooking Club
All UAlbany Spanish majors and minors are invited to join the new Spanish Program Cooking Club!  Students will hone their Spanish skills as a variety of Spanish faculty provide cooking tips and great recipes online in Spanish, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.  Trying something new, growing Spanish skills, visiting with friends and faculty, enjoying a great meal!  Interested Spanish majors or minors should contact Prof Carmen Serrano for the Zoom address.

Congratulations to alumna Sherez Mohamed
(Spanish BA, 2013) for finishing her PhD degree in Spanish linguistics at Florida State University. Dr. Mohamed defended her dissertation in the summer: "Language Contact in Puerto Rico: Realizations of vowel sequences in Arabic-Spanish bilinguals." Professor Sayahi served as an external member of her committee. Dr. Mohamed has just started as an assistant professor of Spanish at Mercyhurst University. During her time at UAlbany she competed for the Track & Field team as well. Presently, she continues to hold the America East Conference record in the 500m dash, and school records for the 4x400m and 4x800m relays.

LLC’s Latin instructor
Charles Giglio, gave a TED Talk!

Congratulations Anthony Scalise
(SPN) who won the presidential award for undergraduate research for his project “A diachronic study of Iberian leismo from the 13th to the 20th centuries”!

The journal Mi Biblioteca: La Revista del Mundo Bibliotecario has published an interview with Jesús Alonso Regalado, the Romance Languages Librarian and a winner of the 2020 I Love My Librarian Award.

to our newest PhD in Spanish linguistics, Dr. Juanita Reyes, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation 8/17/20! Dr. Reyes will be starting her new position at Dominican College this fall.

to LLC’s Kaya Rifenberg-Stempel Albany's Tulip Queen 2020! A student-initiated interdisciplinary major in French and Political Science with minors in Russian and Chinese Studies, she plans to raise support for wildlife conservation projects and to spread knowledge about music, art, and foreign languages throughout Albany.

UAlbany Podcasts
Join UAlbany students as they share their stories! New podcasts continue to be uploaded.

Congratulations to Marina Bonilla
(ABD in Spanish linguistics) who has been selected for a Karen R. Hitchcock New Frontiers Fund Award made available through UAlbany’s Initiatives for Women. The award is to support her dissertation research on sociolinguistic variation in Málaga, Spain.

It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of Charles Rougle, UAlbany Russian Professor, colleague, friend and so much more.

Congratulations to Juanita Reyes
ABD in Spanish linguistics, who has just accepted a full time position at Dominican College in Orangeburg, New York!

LLC shares our heartfelt congratulations to all our graduates and best wishes for their future success!
Please join UAlbany in celebrating our graduating seniors Saturday 5/16/20 at 7pm. While we must do this virtually for now, the University anticipates an in-person event later (more info to follow). 

Congratulations Anthony Scalise
(SPN) who won the presidential award for undergraduate research!

Congratulations to Patricia Keyes
(ITA lecturer) who was among the select group of 80 faculty members from the entire campus who were nominated by a graduating senior for the 2020 Faculty Student Engagement Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who has had a positive impact on their academic and personal success.

Congratulations to Mary Beth Winn
on her latest publications, Tristan, chevalier de la Table Ronde Roman printed in 1489 by Jehan Le Bourgois for Anthoine Vérard, Volume I and Volume II!

Congratulations to graduate student Juanita Reyes
who just published a book chapter co-authored with Cecily Corbett (PhD Spanish, 2017) and Professor Lotfi SayahiUse of the Present Perfect Indicative in New York Dominican Spanish. In: Hispanic Contact Linguistics: Theoretical, methodological and empirical perspectives, Edited by Luis A. Ortiz López, Rosa E. Guzzardo Tamargo and Melvin González-Rivera, pp. 164–178. 

Spanish Professor Lotfi Sayahi
just published a new post on the Oxford University Press blog.

Congratulations to Carmen Serrano
on receiving tenure and being promoted to Associate Professor!


Congratulations to Jesús Alonso-Regalado
UAlbany's Romance Languages Subject Librarian, on his well-deserved national award.

Dr. Veronqiue Martin’s French conversation class
utilizes videoconferences with native speakers in France to fine tune skills.

Congratulation to Professor Alejandra Aguilar
whose article “Activismo, literatura y cambio social en el Caribe hispano: aproximación en tres movimientos” was awarded the 2019 Adela Zamudio Prize for Best Published Article by a member of Feministas Unidas in the areas of feminist studies, gender studies, queer studies and studies related to works of literature and cinema by female authors. The award will be presented at the 2020 MLA Annual Convention in Seattle.

Congratulations to Dr. Cecily Corbett
(PhD in Spanish Linguistics, 2017) who has just published an article in the Journal Spanish in Context, "Short-term accommodation as a function of addressee language proficiency".

Congratulations to Lotfi Sayahi
for the new edition of his book Diglossia and Language Contact  Language Variation and Change in North Africa.

Congratulations to Elise Bouhet
(UAlbany FRE MA and PhD) who won the 8th Annual Lawrence R. Schehr Memorial Award competition! The prize is awarded to the best conference paper submitted by a junior colleague in the field of contemporary French and Francophone civilization and cultural studies. Her essay investigates the role of dance performance and choreography in the representation of the French revolts of 2005 through JR’s ballet performance and subsequent short film Les Bosquet and argues that JR’s works of art offer a different perspective on the French riots.

Congratulations to Averill Park High School Students
Frédéric Meni of CLIC serves as judge on Averill Park High School Seal of Biliteracy committee for French-speaking seniors