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12th Annual ALAS Education Summit


Figures from the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian World
Ana María Matute
1925 - 2014

Ana María Matute, a novelist whose explorations of alienation and the loss of innocence children experienced during and after the Spanish Civil War made her one of Spain’s most popular and acclaimed writers, died on Wednesday, June 30, 2014, in Barcelona. She was 88.

The Royal Spanish Academy announced her death.

Ms. Matute (pronounced ma-TOO-tay) was 10 when the civil war began, in 1936, and some of her best-known novels, among them "The Dead Sons,” "School of the Sun” and "Soldiers Cry by Night,” focus on children caught in the conflict, including those from poor, rural areas she had visited as a girl....

Click here to read the complete obituary on the New York Times website.

Professor R.C. Willis, Emeritus Professor, the University of Manchester, UK
In Memoriam

On April 18, 2014, Portuguese Studies lost one of its greatest scholars, Professor R.C. Willis, Emeritus Professor of Portuguese at the University of Manchester, UK, known to his colleagues and friends as Clive Willis.

Professor Willis had as wide a circle of colleagues and friends as his equally wide range of interests and research, all spanning several continents. He was better known for his work on Camões, the Portuguese 16th-century poet, and as a specialist on the Peninsular Wars (18th-19th centuries), with a long list of publications on these and many other areas, including Brazilian and African literature, a living example of the proverbial Renaissance man. His interest in Camões extended to the poet’s close links with the Far East reflected in ‘Camões, China and Macau’ (Portuguese Studies, Vol. 17, 2001), and in his editorial and translation work in China and Macau. Portuguese Encounters with the World in the Age of the Discoveries (Aldershot, 2002). ‘The Correspondence of Camões (with Introduction, Commentaries, Translation and Notes)’ (Portuguese Studies, Vol. 11, 1995), containing letters from Ceuta, Lisbon and Goa, and including several poems, is a showcase of Professor Willis’s qualities as a skillful translator. Always attentive to the Portuguese-speaking world, he also published ‘Las principales variedades de la pronunciación brasileña culta’ (Asociación de hispanistas de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda, 1993-94), ‘The Reception of Graciliano Ramos’s Vidas Secas outside Brazil’ (Fiction in the Portuguese-Speaking World, 2000), David Livingstone, Africa and the Portuguese (Bristol, 2003), and ‘Captain Jorge Álvares and Father Luís Fróis S.J.: Two Early Portuguese Descriptions of Japan and the Japanese’ (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 22, 2012). His last major work, however, Camões, Prince of Poets, was published in 2010.

Professor Willis was also a fine linguist and grammarian having produced several English-Portuguese, Portuguese-English dictionaries, and a pioneer of modern technology in the Humanities. In the early 1980's, he was leading a team of people working on Cassell’s first computer-generated dictionary. His book An Essential Course in Modern Portuguese (London: 1965) became a requirement in most British universities and abroad, with a second revised edition and several reprints.

His international profile was equally impressive as Treasurer of the International Higher Education Standing Conference (1988-95); Corresponding Member of the Portuguese Academy of History, Lisbon (1989-2014); Leader of the British Council Mission to the Universities of Chile (1990); and President of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland (1992-94).

In the last five years, Professor Willis became a major collaborator in the Fernão Lopes Translation Project, as a translator and as the editor of the general revision that the finished product of this extensive collaborative project requires. Without the expertise he possessed in such a broad range of areas and skills, the project would not have been possible. The four volumes to be published by Tamesis in 2015 are sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, USA, the Direcção Geral do Livro, dos Arquivos e das Bibliotecas and the Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento, Portugal, among other international cultural organizations. The completion of this project will be a well-deserved tribute to Professor Willis and to Professor Teresa Amado, the Project's co-Director who, sadly, also passed away in August 2013.

Speaking for the Fernão Lopes Translation Project team and for his academic colleagues and friends, I can only say that Clive’s passing away is felt as a great loss to Portuguese Studies and to all those who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.

Submitted by Amélia Hutchinson
Director of the Fernão Lopes Translation Project
University of Georgia, USA

Carlos Fuentes
1928 - 2012

Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928 - May 15, 2012) ranks as the most acclaimed modern novelist in Mexico and one of the central figures in Latin America’s literary "Boom,” a generation that consists of Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez and, among others, Mario Vargas Llosa. Raised in a family that represented Mexico’s economic and diplomatic interests in Latin America and in the United States, Fuentes was an award-winning novelist often associated with questions of national identity, historical origins, Mexico’s capital as a megacity, and the unresolved conflicts--with Spain, with the United States, and with itself--that define Mexico as a modern nation.

From his early short stories in Los días enmascarados (1954),to novels and essays that include La región más transparente (1958), Cambio de piel (1967),Terra Nostra (1975),and Los cinco soles de México, memoria de un milenio (2000), Fuentes portrayed Mesoamerica—generally allegorized as Mexico-Tenochtitlan, therefore with an emphasis on the Nahua--as a determining force in modern Mexico, and as an integral part in the world's history of ruling transnational powers. The unresolved cultural and social conflicts between Mexico’s native peoples in relation to the Spanish conquest and colonial New Spain remain to this day a thematic constant in Fuentes’s novels and essays, portrayed as the fundamental background and condition to Mexico’s modernization and political development as a democracy. Fuentes’s novels thus mark the historical present as an artistic possibility for reflection and symbolic resolution to modernity’s most crucial questions, arguably a juncture shared by Mexico with other developing countries.

The simultaneous representation of the national and the global in Fuentes's narrative has been a determining factor in its translations to major world languages. An impressive bibliography of critical studies has recognized in Fuentes's work a will to poetry and an energetic narrative experimentation stemming from 20th-century aesthetic movements, such as Cubism and Surrealism. Consistent with his views on national origins--often defined by Fuentes as Mexico's question of being and becoming, or as the weight of the past and the spur of a desired future--Fuentes claimed a double origin for the modern novel: on the one hand,as an avant-garde poetics intent on redefining art and its function in a contemporary world; on the other, as the uninterrupted artistic heritage that Latin America's literary modernity has embraced and appropriated in Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote de la Mancha.

The death of Carlos Fuentes on May 15 thus marks the horizon that best defines the achievements, vitality, and poetic imagination of a generation of writers who ambitiously reshaped the Latin American novel into narratives where politics, art, culture, and history merge and produce novels known for their exceptional singularity, such as Pedro Paramo, by Juan Rulfo; The Death of Artemio Cruz, by Carlos Fuentes; Hopscotch, by Julio Cortazar;and, among others, The Green House, by Mario Vargas Llosa. A younger generation of Latin American writers can only benefit by the challenges posed by writers like Carlos Fuentes, who from the beginning was too big for one nation, one genre, and one literary tradition. Although now dead, Carlos Fuentes is more alive than ever.

Submitted by Roberto Cantú, Professor of Chicano Studies and English, California State University, Los Angeles


Allen Whitmarsh Phillips 


I would somehow feel remiss if I did not bring to the attention of your readers the passing of an important figure in the world of Hispanic literature and criticism. Allen W. Phillips was my professor for several memorable courses at the undergraduate and graduate level and we had maintained an epistolary relationship for over thirty-three years at the time of his death this past March of 2011.

Allen Phillips was originally from Providence, Rhode Island and received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College in 1943. He enlisted in the military in that same year and was sent to Europe where he served in many different capacities. As World War II drew to a close, he was once again free to pursue his intellectual interests. He became a student at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and completed M.A. studies there in 1948.

As fate would have it, in this same year, the great Hispanic writer and philologist Enrique Anderson-Imbert would be forced to leave his position in Argentina and become a member of the faculty at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Allen Phillips would eventually become a student of Anderson-Imbert and complete his PhD studies there in 1955. His doctoral dissertation was a study of the Mexican poet Ramón López Velarde which would eventually be transformed into his pioneering and definitive study of the poet: Ramón López Velarde: El poeta y el prosista, 1962. Indeed, he traveled to Mexico and was instrumental in organizing many of the papers of the author of Suave patria, as his daughters have recounted. In retirement, he returned to this theme once again during the centennial year devoted to López Velarde in 1988 with: Retorno a Ramón López Velarde. Soon to follow was another study: Francisco González León: El poeta de lagos, 1964.

During this time, he taught at the University of Michigan as well as at the University of Chicago and, eventually, at a conference in Oaxaca, Mexico, met a distinguished scholar who would become his life-long friend and colleague in the profession; Ricardo Gullón. Gullón had been appointed to a professorship at the University of Texas at Austin and Allen Phillips was to join that distinguished and memorable faculty a few years later. Allen Phillips’s moving tribute to Ricardo Gullón can be found in Hispanic Review 60.1 (Winter 1992): 120.

A devoted mexicanist, his critical pursuits and investigations shuttled quite naturally between the literature of Latin America and Spain. Of particular interest would be Cinco estudios sobre la literatura mexicana moderna, 1974. He was intrigued with the phenomenon of modernism in Hispanic literature and poetry and had a particularly keen attraction for the works of Ramón del Valle Inclán. This seemed quite logical considering that Mexico played such a prominent role in the life and works of Valle Inclán. Those of us that were fortunate to be conducted by Allen Phillips through a study of Valle Inclán’s Luces de Bohemia, could not help but notice the particularly delightful esteem, zeal, and joy which emanated from his critique of the work and his obvious affinity for the phenomenon of "esperpenticismo”.

Indeed, his fondness for Valle Inclán spawned several more works. He was invited to write a most insightful and informative "Prologue” for the 1972 edition of the Sonatas, (Editorial Porrúa). Also soon to appear would be Alejandro Sawa: Mito y realidad, 1976, Algo más sobre la bohemia madrileña, 1985, En torno a la bohemia madrileña, 1999, and Poetas del día: El Liberal (1908-1909), 1989.

His final scholarly venture was Ruben Darío: Antología poética, 1994.

This is by no means a definitive list of all of his accomplishments. I only wish to point out some of the most significant.

Many of us that were so fortunate to study in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Texas at Austin during those years remember fondly the excitement and enthusiasm which seemed to be constantly brewing in that revered building. There were theater productions in which both students and faculty participated as the actors. Seminars and conferences on Baroja and Azorín, Ruben Darío, among others, were summoned forth with distinguished guest lecturers from around the world. Indeed, Octavio Paz and Jorge Luis Borges were in residence at various times during those years.

Allen Phillips departed from UT Austin in 1977, bound for a distinguished research professorship at the University of California at Santa Barbara. It was my pleasure to participate in a tribute concert dedicated to him for his many years of inspired teaching and contributions to the University of Texas. On that occasion, Ricardo Gullón arrived from Chicago to present Allen Phillips with the "Orden de Alfonso el Sabio” granted by the Spanish government for his contributions to the field. Dr. Phillips was also twice the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship Awards in 1960 and 1973.

I shall be eternally grateful to him for his guidance and enlightening criticism in the poetry and prose courses which I studied under his tutelage. It would have been a much different world for many of us without those inspiring and thought-provoking moments spent studying works of Fray Luis de León, Espronceda, Bécquer, Martí, Darío, Nájera and a host of others. I was always particularly fond of the manner in which he recited poetry to us; always without affectation and somehow making the words coloristic and infused with character and subtle meaning. His Spanish was impeccable and unerring and yet his corrections were gentle and kind but always strived towards a high standard. He directed and guided countless graduate students through dissertations and projects, and always made it a point to mention at the beginning of each semester: "Estoy a su disposición”.

He was blessed with a very long and productive life, and he enjoyed fully his time with his second wife Dorothy in Escondido, California. He often referred to his "second” life spent in retirement as a true gift.

Although Dr. Phillips requested no memorial service, a group of friends gathered to celebrate his life recently, framed by a beautiful California sunset. At this gathering, it was my great privilege to present a brief tribute and eulogy as his family members and others remembered his life. I felt obligated to read some of the verses from various poets which I knew were some of his favorites and which had made such a lasting impression upon myself and many other of his students. I included those immortal lines written by Antonio Machado as a tribute to his own teacher; Giner de los Rios:

…¡Yunques, sonad; enmudeced, campanas! Y hacia otra luz más pura partió el hermano de la luz del alba… 

Submitted by Charles Asche, UC Santa Barbara

Leandra Teresa Valdivieso

May 2, 2011

Beloved friends and colleagues: On May 2nd, 2011, Leandra Teresa Valdivieso, PhD, left this earth after gracing us with her presence for 87 years. A well established author, lecturer, and esteemed visiting professor at several universities around the world, for almost 40 of those years she taught at Arizona State University, finally becoming an Emeritus Professor. She was also a recipient of Spain’s Officer’s Cross in the Order of Queen Isabella the Catholic. Her dedication and passion for the humanities and women’s literature was only rivaled by her faith, commitment, and service. She leaves behind Jorge, her husband, son Jesse, granddaughters Michelle and Nicole, and great-grandchildren Carlos and Evalyn as well as her sister, Maria Lucia and her beloved Godson, David Raúl Foster.


Juan Manuel Sampere Villar, Chairman of Estudio Sampere S.A

March 4, 2011

Juan Manuel Sampere, 1955-2011

 Te comunico que mi hermano (Juan Manuel Sampere Villar, Presidente de Estudio Sampere S.A.) ha fallecido hoy viernes 4 de Marzo en Madrid, tras una larga enfermedad .El próximo viernes 11 de marzo a las 20.00 horas, organizaremos un Acto de Condolencias, en Estudio Sampere. Lagasca, 16. 28001 Madrid.Saludos,

I wish to inform you that my brother (Juan Manuel Sampere Villar, Chairman of Estudio Sampere S.A.) has passed away today, Friday 4th March, in Madrid, after a long illness.Next Friday, 11th March, at 8 pm, we will hold an Act of Condolence in Estudio Sampere, Calle Lagasca, 16 Thank you.

Submitted by Virgina Sampere, Estudio Sampere


Juan Marichal

August 9, 2010

Muere el intelectual canario Juan Marichal

Juan Marichal, el hombre que redescubrió desde el exilio la obra de Manuel Azaña y trabajó por la reivindicación histórica de Juan Negrín, su paisano canario, falleció esta madrugada en Cuernavaca, México, según ha comunicado su hijo, el profesor Carlos Marichal, con quien vivía allí desde hace siete años.

Submitted by: Stephanie Salim

Ana María Fagundo
June 13, 2010


Ana Maria Fagundo (1938-2010) Professor Emerita of Spanish in the Department of Hispanic Studies at UC Riverside

La poeta canaria Ana María Fagundo nacida el 13 de marzo de 1938 pasó a la que ella denominaba la otra dimensión el 13 de junio de 2010, víctima de un cáncer galopante. Compaginó sus años de docencia en la Universidad de California en Riverside con temporadas en Madrid y Tenerife, siempre con lápiz y papel a mano, plasmando su particular visión tan marcada por su amor a su isla natal. En 2001 estableció su residencia permanente en España tras jubilarse de UC Riverside donde había dictado clases de ficción y poesía durante 34 años. Su fallecimiento a los 72 años nos lega una profunda y gran obra poética estudiada y traducida y por estudiar y traducir. Sus aportaciones a la difusión de escritores, escritoras y artistas españoles, hispanoamericanos y latinos permanecen archivadas en Alaluz, la revista que fundó en 1969 y dirigió hasta su jubilación, y en cuyas páginas suenan voces ancestrales buscadas y añoradas así como voces nuevas abriéndose paso. A Ana María sus colegas, estudiantes, amigos y amigas la recordaremos por su generosidad, poder creativo y pasión por la vida. A los que no llegaron a conocerla o su obra invitamos a visitar la fonoteca digital del Instituto Cervantes donde podrán escuchar a la poeta Ana María Fagundo recitar algunos de sus más memorables poemas (


Submitted to AATSP by María Salgado, Professor Emerita UNC Chapel Hill, Candelas Gala, Wake Forest University Charles E. Taylor Professor of Romance Languages, and Mari Pino del Rosario, Greensboro College Professor of Spanish

Visit Letralia: Tierra de Letras for additional information.


Juan L. Alborg
May 6, 2010
Juan Luis Alborg, of Bloomington passed away Thursday, May 6, 2010 at Bell Trace Health and Living Center. He was 95 years old.
Born June 18, 1914 in Valencia, Spain he was the son of Juan Alborg and Agustina Escarti. He received his PhD from the University of Valencia. He was awarded Spain’s National Prize for Literature in 1959. Juan came to the United States in 1961 under the auspices of the Fulbright Program beginning as a professor at Purdue University and then coming to Indiana University in 1977. He was a very well known literary critic and was Knighted in 2003 by the King of Spain in recognition of his dedicated work. He was a member of the Modern Languages Association, Sigma Delta Pi and authored numerous publications including 5 volumes of the History of Spanish Literature. He lived by the phrase, ”work hard and challenge yourself”.
May 17 would have been his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife Muriel Kdan of Bloomington, IN; He had two children, from his marriage to Concepcion Carles, JuanLuis Alborg of Madrid, Spain and Concha Alborg of Philadelphia, PA; One sister, Teresa Alborg of Valencia Spain; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
No services are scheduled. Cremation has been entrusted to Allen Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Monroe County Humane Society, 3410 South Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN 47401.
Online condolences may be made to the family at
"It is strange how life gives us JOY one day and takes it away on another day”- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Miguel Delibes
March 13, 2010
Miguel Delibes se ha caracterizado siempre por poseer una producción literaria cargada de perspectiva irónica, de la que se aprovecha para denunciar las injusticias sociales y criticar a la pequeña burguesía. Sin embargo, su obra no se reduce a la mera denuncia social, sino que profundiza en la rememoración de la infancia y en la representación de los hábitos y el habla propia del mundo rural, muchos de cuyos términos ha recuperado para la literatura. Considerado uno de los grandes escritores españoles contemporáneos, su trabajo ha merecido numerosos galardones entre los que destacan el premio Nadal, el Príncipe de Asturias, el Nacional de las Letras Españolas y el Cervantes.

Luis Leal
January 26, 2010
Con profunda tristeza les informo que el día 26 de enero murió a la edad de 102 años don Luis Leal.
En su largo recorrido por la vida don Luis recibió un sinnúmero de reconocimientos, entre los que se encuentra la Orden del Águila Azteca, otorgada en 1992, por el Presidente de México Carlos Salinas, y la no menos prestigiosa Medalla de las Humanidades otorgada por el Presidente Clinton en la Casa Blanca, en 1997. Recibió también un doctorado Honoris Causa por la Universidad de Illinois en el año 2000. Fue un escritor prolífero que publicó más de 45 libros y 400 artículos académicos sobre literatura mexicana y la literatura en lengua española en los Estados Unidos. Su trabajo intelectual y sentido humanitario le hicieron merecer la admiración no solamente de sus colegas, sino también de académicos de otras disciplinas.
A través de estas líneas queremos expresar nuestras más profundas condolencias a sus familiares, a sus colegas más cercanos y a todos los que lo sintieron como su amigo.
Announcement submitted to AATSP by Janet Perez, and written by Dra. Blanca López de Mariscal, Directora del Programa de Maestría y Doctorado en Estudios Humanísticos
AATSP Note: Dr. Leal was a long time AATSP member, joining the organization in 1942.
Read more:

Francisco Ayala
November 3, 2009
Photo Credit: Krum Krumov / Fundación Francisco Ayala,
El escritor y académico Francisco Ayala murió el 3 de noviembre a los 103 años de edad. Sus cenizas fueron trasladadas a Granada, su ciudad natal (16-III-1906), y sede de la Fundación de su nombre (, establecida hace cuatro años en el Palacete Alcázar Genil. Ayala era el último superviviente de la Generación del 27 entre cuyos miembros se contaba otro conocidísimo granadino, el poeta Federico García Lorca. Hijo de un abogado y una maestra y pintora, el joven Francisco se estrenó públicamente como escritor a los diecisiete años con un breve artículo en la prensa madrileña en torno al pintor cordobés Julio Romero de Torres. Su primera novela, Tragedia de un hombre sin espíritu, se publica en 1925 y al año siguiente sale a la luz la segunda, titulada Historia de un amanecer. Estos tempranos éxitos fueron alcanzados sin desatender a las labores de estudiante universitario que cursaba, por libre, dos carreras a la par, la de Filosofía y Letras y la de Derecho. Concluyó ambas brillantemente siendo dotado por la segunda Facultad con una beca que le permitió estudiar en la Universidad de Berlín a lo largo de un curso. A su marcha para Alemania había dejado en prensa dos libros más, la colección de relatos El cazador en el alba, y la de artículos sobre el nuevo arte del cine Indagación del cinema. Con su estancia germana y el perfeccionamiento de sus estudios de filosofía y derecho, Ayala sigue los pasos del líder intelectual de aquella generación que fue José Ortega y Gasset. En la tertulia de su Revista de Occidente, frecuentada por Julián Marías, Rosal Chacel y Benjamín Jarnés,y en las páginas de tan insigne publicación, Ayala participa de la vida intelectual más vanguardista de España. La venida de la Guerra Civil (1936-39) destruye las vidas y carreras de cientos de miles de españoles. Ayala pierde no solo su cátedra universitaria y todos sus puestos oficiales, sino a su padre y a su hermano Rafael, víctimas tempranas ambos de las fuerzas nacionalistas. A raíz de estos golpes, decide abandonar España en un periplo que difícilmente podía haber adivinado duraría poco menos que cuatro décadas. Primero en Buenos Aires (1939-49), seguidamente en Puerto Rico (1949-57) y finalmente en Estados Unidos (1957-1975), Ayala reanuda su labor como narrador, sociólogo, editor, profesor e intelectual de una cala tal que hoy, aun tras una vida tan larga como la suya, nos parece inimaginable. Su monumental Tratado de Sociología (3 tomos), las colecciones de relatos La cabeza del cordero y Los usurpadores, tan alabadas por Borges, las novelas Muertes de perro y El fondo del vaso entre otras, los numerosísimos ensayos de crítica literaria en torno a Cervantes, Quevedo, Galdós, Unamuno o Antonio Machado, la fundación de revistas como Realidad, donde aparecen juntamente el temible Bertrand Russel y el todavía desconocido Julio Cortázar, La Torre puertorriqueña que sigue vigente hoy, y las lecciones impartidas en Princeton, Bryn Mawr, Chicago y New York University--todo ello lo logra Francisco Ayala sin las lamentaciones del típico desterrado. El se guía por el poco sentimental credo que acostumbraba citar cuando alguien le preguntaba acerca de la patria perdida: "la patria del escritor es su lengua.” Un breve y discreto viaje a España en verano de 1960 insinúa un posible retorno tras dos décadas de ausencia. Poco a poco se suceden las visitas hasta que por fin vuelve a España ya abiertamente tras la muerte de Franco y se reintegra de pleno a la vida intelectual del país. Los premio literarios y culturales más prestigiosos, como el Cervantes, el Príncipe de Asturias, el Nacional de Literatura, la elección a la Real Academia Española, la reedición de sus obras por las editoriales más selectas, la creación de la Fundación Francisco Ayala, todos los mayores homenajes que una nación puede otorgar a un escritor los recibió este gran hombre. Aunque físicamente decayó en sus últimos meses, víctima de una bronquitis que no pudo superar, el escritor mantuvo su lucidez mental hasta el fin. Sus últimas palabras públicas, pronunciadas el 2 de julio, con motivo de la donación de miles de sus papeles y manuscritos a la Fundación F.A., demuestran con típico buen humor y plena conciencia del regalo que supone una vida centenaria: "Lo que no hay derecho es a vivir tanto.” Francisco Ayala había sido miembro de AATSP durante largo tiempo y la revista Hispania, en conmemoración de su centenario, le dedicó un número monográfico correspondiente a Diciembre de 2006.
Submitted by Ricardo Landeira, University of Colorado at Boulder

José María Rodríguez Méndez
October 21, 2009
Prominent Spanish playwright, novelist and essayist died in Aranjuez, Spain. Born June 6, 1925 in Madrid, Spain.
Works attributed to Mr. Mendez; Vagones de madera, 1959; Los inocentes de la Moncloa, 1960; Bodas que fueron famosas del Pingajo y la Fandanga, 1965. He was awarded the Premio Larra in 1964; Premio de Literatura Dramática in 1993, and the Premio de Honor de los Max de las Ares Escénicas in 2005.
Submitted by Robert Lima, OIC

AATSP Members

Roma Hoff

Eau Claire, WI

Roma Hoff died peacefully at home on August 28, 2015 at age 89. Her life was highlighted by worldwide travel, leadership and cultural contributions in the field of world language education, commitment to her church and other favorite organizations, and dedication to her family.

She was born on May 4, 1926 in Madison, WI to William and Esther (Hansen) Borst. She spent her childhood and adolescence in Brooklyn, WI, but through the books of adventurer Richard Halliburton she experienced travel vicariously. As a young girl she undertook a correspondence with his father, Wesley Halliburton, becoming his "adopted granddaughter" and enjoying a correspondence until his death at age 96.

Roma graduated from Brooklyn High School in 1944 as class salutatorian and class president. During her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Madison she studied journalism, editing the weekly Brooklyn Teller newspaper and winning two Sigma Delta Chi journalism awards. Her passion then turned to Spanish after being introduced to the language and Hispanic cultures by such master teachers as Professors Lloyd Kasten, Eduardo Neale-Silva, Roberto Sánchez, and Luis Crespo. Early teaching experiences included serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant and teaching one year at Edgerton High School. Her graduate studies were also at UW – Madison, culminating in a PhD in Education and Spanish in 1956 and then work in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as a lecturer.

Roma's life in this period also included international travel and stints of living abroad. Her first two trips to Europe were to Spain, where she spent the summers of 1949 and 1950. Through a stroke of good fortune she was invited to serve as tour director for Eur-Cal Travel's (University of California – Berkeley) 88-day grand European tours during six summers, 1952 to 1957. She taught on the island of Aruba for Standard Oil between master's and doctoral studies, and she studied in Madrid in 1954-55 on a Fellowship from the Institute of International Education.

In 1958 she was married to Donald E. Hoff, M.D. at St. Paul's University Chapel in Madison, WI and moved to Eau Claire, where her husband practiced at the Midelfort Clinic. Roma and Don were blessed with 57 years of marriage. In her initial years in Eau Claire she dedicated her time to her role as wife and mother of Peter, Anne, and Paul. When the children were older, the family began to travel, including memorable trips to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, and to Germany and Switzerland, where her husband shared his heritage and family connections. Roma enjoyed seeing her children study and live in other cultures. Peter teaches Spanish at UW – Whitewater, speaks many languages, and advises students on study abroad. Anne studied and worked in Japan for 15 years before moving to Maui, HI, and later Seattle, WA, where she practices Rolfing Structural Integration. Paul is Professor of Spanish at UW – Eau Claire and a veteran staff member at the Concordia Language Villages (Concordia College, Moorhead, MN). Roma took great pleasure in seeing Paul marry Nuria Ibarrechevea Deó of Spain, who also teaches Spanish at UW – Eau Claire; and she also welcomed into the family Peter's partner Paul Patenaude, whose international adventures include foreign medical missions and hiking the St. James pilgrimage routes in Spain and France. Roma's life was lit up by grandchildren Clara, Ana, and Alex, who nicknamed her "Nomi," and they too are growing up multicultural and multilingual. Roma hopes to be remembered in the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum as "Wife of Don; Mother of Peter, Anne, and Paul; and Grandmother of Clara, Ana, and Alex."

Roma returned to teaching Spanish at the then Wisconsin State University – Eau Claire in 1965. Besides teaching several generations of world language educators, she authored dozens of articles, gave papers and workshops, and had hundreds of color slides published. Starting in 1974 she organized Spanish Travel Seminars, the university's nearly annual offering for students and interested members of the community. These took participants on three-week summer trips through Spain, often including other locales such as Portugal, Morocco, France, and the Canary Islands. After first visiting Central America in 1975, she also nurtured growing interest in that region by organizing tours to Costa Rica, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and Belize. She helped establish the UW – Eau Claire study abroad program at the Universidad de Valladolid (Spain) and eight times directed the Madrid orientation for the groups.

The trips Roma led were true cultural exchanges. Tour participants met the Hoffs' friends in these countries, visited their homes and shops, and got off the beaten path to experience the cultures close-up. Travel occurred in both directions, and the Hoff residence became home to people from many countries over the years as friends visited Eau Claire or came to UW – Eau Claire to perform – the case of Blanca Bartos, a Czechoslovakian lutenist; Joaquín Díaz, a Spanish guitarist and folk singer; and Feliciano y Salva, Spanish folk musicians. The depth of these exchanges intensified in 1986 when Roma was named cultural adviser for the first CAMPUS (Central American Program for Undergraduate Scholars) group of 16 young people from various countries in Central America who came to study at UW – Eau Claire. They were followed by four more groups, 72 students in all, who called Don "Papa Hoff" and Roma, well, just "Roma," which backwards spells amor – Spanish for "love."

Roma was many times honored for the passion and dedication that characterized her career. In 1985 she was named Distinguished Foreign Language Educator of Wisconsin by the Wisconsin Association of Foreign Language Teachers (now Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers). In 1989 she received the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages – National Textbook Company award for developing Community Interest in Foreign Languages. In 1990 she was named Outstanding Teacher of Spanish – College-University Level by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. In 1991 she received the Founders Award of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The UW-EC Center for International Education and the Honors Week Steering Committee honored her on campus, and the national office of Sigma Delta Pi, national Hispanic honor society, gave her its Premio de Mérito in 1992. In 1993 the North Central Council of Latinamericanists gave her its Award of Merit for Promoting an Awareness of the Countries, Peoples and Cultures of Latin America. In that same year she won UW – Eau Claire's Excellence in Teaching Award and subsequently was Grand Marshal of the Homecoming Parade, "cover girl" on The View and speaker at the August 1994 graduation.

Roma served as adviser to the UW-EC chapter of Sigma Delta Pi for 30 years and the chapter won six national awards between 1987 and 1994. She saw 448 students initiated into the local chapter, which sponsored many cultural programs for the university and the community.

While serving as President and Secretary of Phi Kappa Phi, she and Dr. Ormsby Harry were co-founders of Honors Week in 1972, and she remained active on the Steering Committee each year. She served again as President in 1999-2000. She was an honorary member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Phi Eta Sigma (the men's freshman honor society).

Roma was also active in various endeavors with her husband. The Hoffs were charter members of the Newman Parish, where Roma served as a reader for many years. Their long-time commitment to the Concordia Language Villages earned them a place on the National Advisory Board and the Soli Deo Gloria award. The road to the new Spanish Village has been named for her: Paseo de Roma. In 2000 Roma and Don were recognized for their lifetime of dedication to UW – Eau Claire international students.

In retirement Roma continued to lead travel tours abroad (including seven Alumni Association cruises) and to travel with her husband and various family members. As foreign travel became unfeasible, she enjoyed hearing of the adventures of her children and grandchildren; participating in events closer to home at the Newman Parish and the Concordia Language Villages; and receiving visits from friends and former students. She felt that her life was a great trip!

A funeral mass for Roma will take place at the Newman Parish (110 Garfield Avenue) at 12:00 noon on Saturday, September 5, 2015, with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. and special music at 11:40 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Concordia Language Villages (for the "El Lago del Bosque Museo-Tienda fund"), 901 8th St. S., Moorhead, MN 56562, or the Roma Hoff Scholarship (Valladolid, Spain study) at the UW – Eau Claire Foundation, Schofield Hall 214, UW – Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI 54702.

David J. Viera, 72
June 9, 1943 - September 11, 2015

Dr. David John Viera, age 72, a resident of Oak Ridge, passed away, September 11, 2015, at NHC of Oak Ridge.

Dr. Viera was born June 9, 1943 in Warren, Road Island. 

Dr. Viera received his bachelor’s degree from Providence College in Education-Foreign Languages. He graduated with a master’s degree in Spanish and a doctorate in Iberian Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. During his graduate studies he received diplomas from the Universities of Barcelona, Lisbon, and Coimbra. His scholarship led him on numerous and extensive travels to the Azores, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Canada and Great Britain. 

Dr. Viera has published more than ninety articles, six books and twenty five book reviews on Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and Italian language and literature, as well as English as a second language and Portuguese immigration to the United States. He is also an expert on Iberian culture. 

Dr. Viera ranks as an internationally recognized authority on the literary works of the 14th century Franciscan priest Francesc Eiximenis, a major philosopher and medieval writer, and Valencian friar and renowned preacher Vincent Ferrer. 

One of three scholars in North America engaged in extensive research on Eiximenis, Dr. Viera was honored with the Ferran Soldevila Prize, a rare award given by the Salvador Vives Casajuana Foundation in Barcelona for his book, "An Annotated Bibliography of the Life and Works of Francesc Eiximenis.”

A first-generation Portuguese-American, Dr. Viera collaborated with other scholars to update Leo Pap’s authoritative source for researchers on Portuguese in the United States. Dr. Viera’s supplement to Pap’s work took 14 years to research and write.

Other widely recognized works by Dr. Viera include the pioneering "Medieval Catalan Literature: Prose and Drama.” He also co-edited "English in Specific Settings,”a collection of articles dealing with teaching English to university students of business, economics, computer science, nursing, medicine and the physical sciences. 

"He is a prolific researcher, a fine teacher and a superb colleague in the area of humanities,” said Phillip J. Campana, professor of German.

"He is one of the rare members of the teaching profession who combines immense knowledge with humble bearing.” said Peter Cocozzell, professor of Spanish at State University of New York at Binghamton.

Dr. Viera is preceded in death by his parents: John Viera who was killed in action in World War II, and by his mother Josephine Viera. 

Dr. Viera is survived by sons, John M. Viera and Robert Hampton Viera, by daughter in law, Megan Viera, by sister, Diane Viera Giggey, by nieces, Dana Giggey Pappas and Joanne Giggey Cherian, by granddaughters, Madeline Viera and McKinley Viera. Dr. Viera is also survived by a cousin, Eugene Barboza and wife Beverly Barboza, by friends, Evelyn Collopy and Marie Overstreet, by brother in law, Richard E. Giggey.

Receiving of friends will be held, Tuesday, September 15th between the hours of 6:00pm & 8:00pm in the chapel of Sharp Funeral Home. The funeral will be held Wednesday, September 16th at 1:00pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oak Ridge. Burial will follow at Anderson Memorial Gardens. Sharp Funeral Home is serving the Viera family and we invite you to share your messages and condolences at

John M. Fein, 92

1922 - 2015

PORTLAND - Dr. John M. Fein, 92, died at home on August 18, 2015 in Portland. He was born on Dec. 23, 1922 to Louis and Lola Fein in East Chicago, Indiana. He married his high school sweetheart, Lucyle Blumenthal, in 1946, a marriage that lasted 53 years until her death in 1999.

He received his B.A, magna cum laude, from Harvard in 1944, and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1950, moving into a long and distinguished career as a faculty member (Spanish and Latin American Studies) and administrator at Duke University. He served three terms as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages, and also a term as Vice Provost and Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences at Duke, and published two important books and many articles on Latin American literature.

He was awarded a Fulbright Lectureship to Chile, and also held visiting appointments at several institutions including Indiana University, Stanford, and Dartmouth. Throughout his teaching career and well into retirement he maintained a passionate love of literature. His other interests included travel, contemporary Latin American art, and gardening. He had a special love for the family summer house on Thompson Lake in Maine, the site of many happy family reunions. He will be especially missed and remembered for his wit, sense of humor, intelligence, as well as the encouragement he generously shared with his children and grandchildren, and the pride he took in their achievements.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lucyle, and his brother, George. He is survived by son, David, and wife, Rita, of Greensboro, N.C., his daughter, Judith, of Durham, N.C., daughter, Jody, and husband, Robb of West Gray and daughter, Laurie, and husband, Dave, of Portland; as well as grandchildren, Aaron, Dana, Margot, Sarah, Nathan, Jack, and Luisa, and six great-grandchildren.

Please visit to sign John's guestbook and leave memories and condolences for the family.

Click here to read more. 


Lynn A. Sandstedt

Long-time member, Past President, and previous Executive Director of the AATSP, passed away yesterday, Thursday, October 30, 2014 at the age of 82. The AATSP would like to express condolences to his family including his beloved wife Phyllis, his two sons, his daughters-in-law, and the grandchildren.

Lynn A. Sandstedt (October 19, 1932) was a native of Colorado and spent most of his life and career in that state. He received his PhD in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He taught at the University of Northern Colorado for 22 years where he also served as the Chairman of the Foreign Language Department and the Department of Hispanic Studies. Dr. Sandstedt co-authored several textbooks for use at the university level including the popular intermediate series comprising the textbooks Conversación y repaso, Civilización y cultura, Literatura y arte.

Lynn was very active in the profession and served on committees and boards of numerous organizations and associations. He was elected to the ACTFL Executive Council and later was elected as the 1991 ACTFL President. Lynn served the AATSP in various capacities. He was elected as the 1984 President of the AATSP and several years later was selected as the Executive Director of the Association; he served in that position from 1993-2001. Several years later Lynn stepped in to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the AATSP from June 2004 to August 2005.

Lynn received several prestigious awards for his work in foreign language education. Two of the most recent honors have been the Robert G. Mead, Jr. Award for Distinguished Leadership and Scholarly Contributions to the Profession given by the AATSP and The Cross of Alfonso X given by King Juan Carlos and the Ministry of Education of Spain for outstanding contributions to the teaching of Spanish.

Lynn had a long and illustrious career within the field of foreign language education and Hispanic studies but always took the time to help others with their own careers. He served as mentor to many pre-service teachers and in-service faculty members and guided many individuals as they served on organization boards and committees. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues.


Fred Pittman Ellison

Fred Pittman Ellison was born January 11, 1922, in Denton, Texas, the son of Lee Monroe Ellison and Hixie Pittman Ellison and brother of the late Edith Lanier Ellison. Early on he pursued an interest in foreign languages, starting with Latin, Spanish, and French in high school and continuing with German and Portuguese, principally at the University of Texas at Austin. Upon graduation with a bachelor's degree in Spanish in 1941, he went to New York to work for the FBI as a translator and later as a special agent with foreign language specialization until 1944. To be part of America's effort in World War II, he joined the U.S. Navy as an ensign, serving two years as a communications officer. After World War II he earned his master's and Ph.D. degrees in romance languages and literatures from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1952.

While stationed in California during his time in the Navy, Fred met his future wife, Adeline Story, a fellow officer in the Navy. Family lore has it that Fred's marriage proposal was greatly influenced by the fact that Ad owned a set of The Great Books, she outranked him, and as a payroll officer, she toted a side arm-a special kind of woman, indeed. They were married for 65 happy years.

Though primarily involved in literary studies, Fred also worked to develop, with others, methods and materials for the teaching of foreign languages. He received awards from his professional organization, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) in recognition of 30 years of pioneering work in the field of Portuguese. As an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, he taught experimental classes in Spanish at both elementary and high school levels in a research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education. In 1962, on arriving at the University of Texas, he initiated the teaching of Portuguese in Austin, at Saint Edward's High School and was coordinator, with a Brazilian colleague, of a major project involving four other writers that eventuated in Modern Portuguese, an influential textbook used in U.S. universities for many years. In the sixties he founded the Portuguese Language Development Group of the AATSP, a nationwide group that continues to meet every year.

Throughout his career Fred was especially drawn to Brazil, its people and its literature, a little-studied area which he had begun to explore in his dissertation on the Brazilian novel. As a way to make that country's novelists and poets better known in the English-speaking world, he contributed translations of contemporary Brazilian works such as The Three Marias by Rachel de Queiroz and Memories of Lazarus by Adonias Filho, as well as books and articles on literary history and criticism. In 1964 he was invited to the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson to attend a luncheon honoring the president of Brazil. He was elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1982. After his retirement in 1991, the Brazilian government decreed him a special distinction accorded non-Brazilian honorees, membership in the Order of Rio Branco, with the rank of Commander. This honor was conferred upon him in a ceremony at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

With all of the accomplishments of our "Commander of Letters," the Ellison clan would argue that his most prestigious achievement is the unconditional love he had for his family and the people around him, always concerned about the wellbeing of others over his own even in his final days.

Fred will be greatly missed by his friends and family who appreciated his love of the arts, valued his wise counsel, and treasured his unwavering support. He was a life-long Democrat whose sense of social justice was shaped when, as a young boy, he witnessed violence against and unfair treatment of African Americans in his community. His love of poetry was legendary in our family. The highlight of Easter and Thanksgiving meals was Fred reading a poem he had created especially for the occasion. His poems at base were about the love he had for his dear wife, setting for all of us an example of strength in family, love, and marriage.

Professor Ellison was preceded in death by his wife, Adeline Story Ellison. Survivors include their five children, six grandchildren, and three great grandchildren: daughter Carol Lanier Ellison and her partner Clark Boykin of Austin; son, Thomas F. Ellison, his wife Pat, their two daughters, Paige Ellison Lasley, her husband Toby, and their children, Ellison Lauren and Thomas Michael of Austin, and Taylor Ellison, also of Austin; Jamie Ellison Krieg and her husband Gregory of Richardson, Texas, and their four children, Amanda Krieg Voith, husband Patrick, and their daughter, Kennedy Claire, Daniel Ellison Krieg, Kaylynn Emily Krieg, and Meryl MacKenzie Krieg, all of Richardson; Cynthia Lee Ellison of Austin; and son John Story Ellison and his wife Debbie, of Colleyville, Texas.

A memorial service for Fred will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2014, at 2 p.m. in the Garden Room of the Summit at West Lake where Fred has resided for the past four years. Donations may be made in Fred and Ad's name to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin or the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Carolyn J. Harris

September 20, 2014

A Western Michigan University faculty member since 1985, Harris served the Department of Spanish as a teacher, advisor and researcher.

She was undergraduate advisor to Spanish students from 1987 to 1999 and became a co-advisor for its 300 Spanish majors and 275 minors in 2003. Harris was still serving in that capacity at the time of her death. Her classroom duties included coordinating the Spanish Composition 3160 class since 2009.

Harris served on several dissertation committees and from 1999 to 2001, before the Spanish department was formed in 2003, headed what was then the Spanish section of today's Department of World Languages and Literatures.

She also was the first faculty director of the University's study abroad program in Burgos, Spain. She directed that program from 1999 to 2001 and again from 2005 to 2007.

Harris was recognized for her superior classroom skills when she was selected as a recipient of a WMU Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award in 2002. At the time, she was one of only 129 University scholars to have received the honor in the award program's 35-year history.

A specialist in contemporary peninsular literature and women's studies, Harris focused her research on 20th-century and current Spanish theater with an emphasis on women writers. In addition to receiving numerous scholarly honors and research awards from WMU, she wrote one book and co-wrote another as well as wrote numerous bibliographies, journal articles and reviews.

Her professional activities included work on the editorial board for Estreno, a journal of contemporary Spanish theatre; as a reader for the Spanish Advanced Placement Exam; and as a chair or member of numerous departmental and College of Arts and Sciences committees at WMU.

During her career, Harris taught at the University of Richmond in Virginia; the University of Iowa; the Instituto de Politécnico in Toledo, Spain; and Bryan Junior-Senior High School in Omaha, Nebraska. She received a bachelor of science degree from Iowa State University; licenciatura from the Universidad Zaragoza in Zaragoza, Spain; and both a master's degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Iowa.

Daniel DiBlasi
Whitestone, NY

Seymour Menton
March 8, 2014

March 6, 1927 - March 8, 2014 Distinguished scholar and professor of Latin American Literature at UC Irvine, and beloved husband, father, brother, and mentor to several generations of students, Seymour Menton passed away peacefully at his home in Irvine, surrounded by his loving family. A memorial "Celebration of Life" is being planned. In a long and distinguished career, Seymour traveled widely throughout the world, meeting authors and lecturing on the literature of Latin America. After teaching at the University of Kansas, he came to UC Irvine in 1965 as founding chair of the department of foreign languages, recruiting faculty and creating a lasting legacy of excellence at the university. His published works include book-length studies on the literature of Guatemala, Colombia, Cuba, and Mexico, all of which were revised and updated in later editions. Other books cover the Historical Novel in Latin America, Magic Realism in painting, and the literature of Brazil and Costa Rica. He also published a textbook, two critical editions, two translations, and a book of original short stories. His anthology of the Latin American short story, first published in 1964, was republished in its tenth updated edition in 2010. His numerous awards and honors include the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest award from the Mexican government to a foreigner, for his contributions to the world-wide understanding of Mexican literature; the Order of Miguel Angel Asturias, given by the Guatemalan government, and the Order of Andres Bello and the Order of Francisco de Miranda from the government of Venezuela. His outstanding teaching was recognized by the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Award. The UC Irvine Spanish Department Conference Room is named in his honor. His passions for tennis, singing, and story-telling were well-known. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Cathy, sons Tim and Allen, and many loving relatives, friends, colleagues, and students.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2014

Margaret Ramirez
February 2014
Mays Landing, NJ

Angel Julian Valbuena
February 5, 2014

A memorial service will be held Thursday, February 20 for A. Julian Valbuena. Click here for more information.

Ruth Eloise Metzger
January 28, 2014
Peoria, IL  

Paul W. Seaver, Jr
October, 2013
West Chester, PA


Margaret Mistry
September 2013

Margaret "Maggie” Egan Mistry, of Penrose, transitioned on her celestial journey on Friday, September 13, 2013. She was born to Margaret (Ferenci) Egan and Joseph Egan in New York. Margaret was always full of life, had a positive attitude, loving and kind to all people and animals, and had a unique ability to make everyone feel special and loved. Margaret earned her first Masters Degree in Spanish while attending university in Seville, Spain. Her second Masters, in English, was earned at the University of Michigan. In 2012, she achieved her professional and personal dream of achieving her PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation. For 29 years, she was a high school Foreign Language teacher at Mitchell High School in Colorado Springs, instructing students in Spanish, Russian and Latin. She was chairperson of the Foreign Language Department for many years. She started at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 1984 teaching Foreign Languages, which included Spanish, Russian and Latin. Most recently, she was employed by UCCS as a Senior Professor of Spanish. She was a life long learner and always sought ways to improve her life. She was an announcer on KCME for classical and jazz music which contributed to artistic self-growth. Margaret was instrumental in building the online radio station at UCCS. Her love of music was diverse and eclectic. She is survived by her husband of 26 years, Hoshedar "Hoshi” Mistry; family George, Gail and Lauren Frizzell, of New Jersey; Fred and Barbara Bunce, of New Jersey; Adil, Korshed, and Xerxes Mistry, of Houston, Texas; Kernaaz, Kersi, Rayomand, and Aiesha Engineer, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; Brenda and Patrick King of Canon City, Colorado Margaret will be missed by her numerous family members, friends, and colleagues. She managed to touch so many lives. An Irish Wake will be held Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at the family home in Penrose. Please plan to visit between 6:30-8:30 p.m. A Celebration of Life Funeral mass will be held Thursday, September 19, 2013, 9:45 a.m. at St Michael's Catholic Church in Canon City. Interment will follow at Union Highland Cemetery, Florence, Colorado. The family requests flowers be purchased from The Garden Wall in Penrose, CO. Arrangements are under the care of Holt Family Funeral Home. Online condolences @

Published in The Canon City Daily Record on September 18,2013

See more at:

Mari Haas
April 17, 2013
Click here to view the complete obituary.

Ida Grober
March 2013
Information submitted by Bernie López, President, New York Metropolitan Chapter
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of long-time AATSP member Ida Grober. Ida passed away March 18, 2013 at Staten Island Hospital at the age of 83.
Ida began teaching Spanish in the 1950s at McKee Vocational and Technical HS on Staten Island, NY. Ida served on the board of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the AATSP since the 1970s and stepped down in the 1984. She retired from teaching in 1991.
Ida was a lover of languages and history and was licensed to teach both Spanish and Russian. She learned Russian as a recipient of an NDEA (National Defense Education Agency) Program scholarship in the early 1960s; the NDEA gave scholarships to individuals to learn and teach critical languages such as Russian. Ida began the Russian program at what is now known as Staten Island Tech. Over time her program increased in size and eventually became the largest high school Russian program in the United States.
We ask you to please keep Ida and her family in your prayers.


Ana Martínez-Lage
January 2013

The following is the official Middlebury College obituary:

To the Middlebury College Community:

I write with the sad news that Ana Martínez-Lage died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

A member of the Spanish and Portuguese Department, Ana arrived at Middlebury in the fall of 1996 and retired from the College last fall so that she could spend more time with her family. During her years on the faculty, Ana proved to be a gifted teacher and scholar of language pedagogy. Her research in linguistics and curricular development brought her national recognition and had a significant impact on the teaching of languages at Middlebury. She was also a pioneer in the use of digital courseware materials and led the development of the online Spanish immersion program for Middlebury Interactive Languages, a contribution that may well have a lasting influence on language education far beyond Middlebury.

Born in Pamplona, Spain, and educated at the Universidad de Navarra and at the Université des Sciences Humaines in Strasbourg, France, Ana received her Ph.D. in 1992 from Penn State University in Spanish Applied Linguistics/Second Language Acquisition. Before taking a position on theMiddlebury faculty, she taught at George Mason University and directed their Spanish Basic Language Program. She was first introduced to the College through her teaching in the Spanish Language School. When Ana did join the Middlebury Spanish Department, it was, one of her senior colleagues noted, "with the understanding that she would try to look at our teaching methods and work with us in introducing new teaching strategies." Ana accomplished this goal with skill and diplomacy, and soon became known on campus as an invaluable resource for language faculty. She received tenure in 2002, and was promoted to full professor in 2011. She served as Chair of the Spanish Department, Director of European Studies, and Associate Dean of the Language Schools, and was a member of several important College committees, including the Educational Affairs Committee. When she was appointed to the MIIS Program Task Force in 2002, it was with the hope she would help develop a linguistics program for Middlebury, which she did. Teaching was an essential part in Ana's life, the classroom a space that brought her and her students much happiness. She taught a full range of courses in the Spanish Department, and was an active scholar, publishing articles in scholarly journals, book chapters, and several textbooks. Her first year Spanish textbook, Tú dirás, co-authored with several colleagues, has been used over the years in more than 200 colleges and universities nationally.

Ana had a deep love of languages and, most of all, loved teaching language to others. She made language learning an adventure--for her children, her friends, and herself. During one of her academic leaves, she studiedBasque, with moderate success, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When she went to dinner parties at friends' homes, the night often ended with dictionaries out and everyone looking up the etymology of words. She was a generous colleague and mentor; one year, she organized a session at her home in Shoreham to demystify the tenure process for faculty coming up for review. Ana left her mark on Middlebury, and she will be remembered.

She is survived by her daughters Amalia Herren-Lage and Marina Herren-Lage; her father, José Manuel Martinez-Lage; and her siblings Pablo, Pedro, Juan, Jaime, María and Belén.

A Celebration of the Life of Ana Martínez-Lage will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 19 in Mead Chapel. A reception will follow at 12:30 p.m. in Crossroads Cafe in McCullough Student Center. All are welcome.


Charles Ahnert
July 2, 2012
Charles H. Ahnert, 81, of Buchanan, Michigan passed away at Lakeland Medical Center in Niles on July 2, 2012. He was born on April 20, 1931 in Peru, Indiana to the late George C. and Terresa (Radel) Ahnert. Charles is survived by a daughter Valerie (William) Hill of Marietta, GA, a granddaughter, Emily Ripley and a great-granddaughter Lila Ripley. His wife Opal Ahnert preceded him in death in 1980.

Charles was married to Opal Curtis on May 29, 1955 in Muncie, IN. He was a Navy veteran serving as a Corpsman during the Korean War. Charles graduated from Ball State University with a Master of Arts Degree in Foreign Languages. He taught at Dowagiac Junior-Senior High School, Buchanan High School, Southwestern Michigan College and Benton Harbor High School. Charles was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Peru to teach English at the Gran Unidad Escolar San Miguel, where he also served as the Director of the Ministry of Education Teacher Training Institute. Charles has received many awards and honors including the MIWLA's Barbara Ort-Smith Award, an Instructions Grant with MIWLA in his name, he also received commendations from the American Theatre, the United States Navy, the Michigan Department of Education and the Governor of Indiana. Charles was dedicated to his community and served as a member of the American Legion, the BPO Elks, the Knights of Columbus, as lector and on the Liturgical Worship Committee at St. Anthony's Church, Michigan Education Association, AATSP, AATF, Michigan Classical Conference, as a founding member of the MIWLA and ACTFL and as a member and Executive Treasurer of the MIWLA. Charles also enjoyed visits with his daughter, her husband and his grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Thursday, July 5, 2012, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Swem Chapel, 301 W. Front St., Buchanan. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, 509 W. Fourth St., Buchanan with Father Carl Peltz officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus or Saint Anthony Catholic Church both at 509 W. Fourth St., Buchanan, MI 49107. Those wishing to sign his guestbook or leave a condolence message may do so by visiting our website

Gilberto Paolini
March 3, 2012

Gilberto Paolini, Profesor Emerita Tulane University y miembro de la AATSP por más de cincuenta años, nació en S. Pio Fontecchio (L' Aquila), Italia. Asistió al Liceo Classico "D. Contugno" en L' Aquila donde obtuvo el título de "Maturità Classica." En vez de seguir los estudios de medicina en la Universidad de Roma, continuó sus estudios en los Estados Unidos en la Universidad de Buffalo (NY) donde recibió los títulos de Bachelor of Arts y Master of Arts con especialización en literatura española. También completó estudios avanzados en literatura italiana en la Escuela Italiana de Middlebury College (VT). Después, asistió a la Universidad de Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN) donde obtuvo el título de Ph.D con especialización en literatura española e italiana, con énfasis en el Naturalismo/Verismo.


Empezó su carrera académica enseñando literatura italiana y latina en la Universidad de Massachusetts (Amherst). Se trasladó a la Universidad de Syracuse (NY) donde enseñó literatura española e italiana. Por treinta años fue catedrático de literatura española en la Universidad de Tulane (New Orleans, LA). Su campo de especialización es la literatura del siglo XIX en cuanto se trata de psicopatología, antropología criminal, y Naturalismo/Verismo.


Ha participado en congresos literarios nacionales e internacionales en España, Italia, Méjico, Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos. Es autor de muchos ensayos críticos, y sus contribuciones han sido significantes en el estudio de la interrelación entre la literatura y las ciencias sociales.


En 1977 fundó el capítulo local de AATSP en Nueva Orleans y un capítulo de la Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica Sigma Delta Pi en la Universidad de Tulane. En 1979 fundó LA CHISPA, un congreso bienal internacional sobre la literatura hispánica y las relaciones literarias italo-hispánicas. Publicó nueve tomos (1981-1999) de actas selectas del congreso LA CRISPA.


El 24 de junio, 1984, el Rey Juan Carlos I de España le otorgó La Cruz de Caballero de

Isabel la Católica, el honor más alto que un individuo que no sea español puede recibir.


Entre sus libros publicados se encuentran los siguientes: Bartolomé Soler novelista:

Procedimientos estilísticos (Juventud, Barcelona, 1963); An Aspect of Spiritualistic Naturalism in the Novels of B. P. Galdós: Charito (Las Américas, NY, 1967); La Vita Transe colare del Contado Aquilino: Villa S. Pio, Fontecchio e Familia Paolini di Aquila (Andrómeda Editrice, Colledara (TE), Italia, 2003); Chiesa e complesso monástico Santa Maria Agraiano in S. Pio Fontecchio, Extra et intus moenia Aquilae, sec. X-XXI (Gruppo Tipografico Editoriale, L' Aquila, Italia, 2007) y Fisiología del Naturalismo en Evolución en España: Materialismo hacia el Mejoramiento Moral (Gruppo Tipografico

Editoriale, L'Aquila, Italia, 2009). En 1996, un tomo, Studies in Honor of Gilberto Paolini (Mercedes Vidal Tibbits, Universidad de Howard), fue publicado por Juan de la Cuesta Editions (Newark, DE).

Lillie Belle Hamilton

October 2, 2011

Lillie Belle Hamilton (July 15, 1919 – October 2, 2011), a lifetime member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, was born at the time when Congress had just passed the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote…the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. Lillie upheld the principles of the movement through her own involvement in the political scene as a voter as soon as age permitted and later as a poll worker. She even attended both a Democratic as well as a Republican Convention and was pleased to have heard both Claire Booth Luce and Herbert Hoover speak. This was also a time when Edmund Walsh of Georgetown University had been appointed by the War Department to a board of five educators who designed the studies for the Students’ Army Training Corps. His experience led to his conviction that education in the United States did not provide adequate studies in diplomacy, international relations, and foreign languages. Again, Lillie took his findings to heart in her own pursuit of languages, Spanish and Latin, and served a two-year stint at a Woman’s Teacher Training College in Tripoli, Libya. She was very proud of the letter (partly in Latin) from Adlai Stevenson, written when he was the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, regarding his opinion of the value of foreign language study. A graduate of Agnes Scott with a Master’s Degree from Middlebury, Lillie shared her language skills and love of learning with countless students over her teaching career-from elementary school, junior high, to high school in the Fulton County School system—retiring in 1981 from College Park High School, the same year she was inducted in to the Georgia Teacher Hall of Fame. She had previously been selected as the Foreign Language Association of Georgia (FLAG) Latin Teacher of the Year in 1968 and the FLAG Spanish Teacher of the Year in 1973. As a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Nu Chapter for key women educators, she held various offices and spearheaded many projects. She headed up a delegation that helped found a sister organization in Great Britain and received the Delta Kappa Gamma State Achievement Award in 1996. She was a firm believer in professional participation and served also a s a president of the National Spanish Honor Society, Co-Chair of the Georgia Junior Classical League, Contest Chair for the National Junior Classical League (participating in 32 NJCL national conventions), and was one of the original founders and a past president of the Foreign Language Association of Georgia from whom she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding service and contributions to foreign language education in Georgia. For a woman who never drove a car, she visited over 116 countries endeavoring to bring back and share cultural and historical insights with her students inspiring many to follow in her footsteps as teachers. She is survived by her two daughters, Cynthia and Hillary Hamilton.

Donald Bleznick
July 5, 2011

From the Cincinnati Enquirer, July 24, 2011

HYDE PARK - Dr. Donald W. Bleznick was a distinguished scholar, author and mentor who taught at the University
of Cincinnati for 28 years. For five years, he headed the department of Romance Languages and Literature at UC.

He will be remembered for his dedication to his students and family, as well as for his special interest in helping
the visually impaired. For more than 20 years, Dr. Bleznick read the sports news over the radio for the Cincinnati
Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired as a volunteer.

Dr. Bleznick, who was 86, died on July 5.

Dr. Bleznick was known globally as one of the foremost American scholars in Spanish literature. He specialized in the
16th-century, specifically Cervantes' novel, "Don Quixote." Among his many honors, he was knighted by Juan Carlos,
King of Spain, in 1977 in Madrid for work in his field.

"The most outstanding thing is that a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx was knighted by the King of Spain," said his
wife of 59 years, Rozlyn.

He wrote more than 200 academic articles and at least 20 books. He was selected to co-write a two-volume Spanish
college textbook that is still in use today.

Editor-in-chief for a decade of the academic journal Hispania, the journal of the American Association of Teachers of
Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP), Dr. Bleznick was influential at the national and international level, modernizing the
journal and expanding its circulation. Dr. Bleznick served as president, vice president and on the executive council of
AATSP for 19 years. In 1997, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, the organization's highest award.

Dr. Bleznick was born in the Bronx, N.Y. in 1924. A graduate of City College of New York majoring in Spanish, he
was talented in languages and aspired to be a high school teacher in New York City.

But when he returned from serving in the U.S. Army's Counter Intelligence Corps. (1946-47), he was unable to
find a teaching position. A City College scholarship and the GI Bill enabled him to pursue a master's degree at the
Universidad Nacional de Mexico.

After returning to New York to pursue his doctorate at Columbia University, he answered an ad to be an instructor at
Ohio State University.

"He went for the interview out of desperation. He needed a job. We were poor. We lived through the Depression," his
wife said.

He won the job, and for several years, Dr. Bleznick drove back and forth between Columbus and New York
to complete his Ph.D. At Ohio State, he taught Spanish classes live on WOSU radio, and directed theatrical
performances that were attended by hundreds of students, said his daughter, Susan Bleznick, of San Jose, Calif.

After six years in Columbus, he was appointed professor at Penn State University, where he taught for 12 years.

Dr. Bleznick came to Cincinnati to become department head at UC in 1967. In 1974, he was a visiting professor at
Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He retired from UC in 1995.

"He personified the American dream and the ideals of public education. He often said he exceeded his own
expectations," his daughter said.

Dr. Bleznick was devoted to his many students, one of whom visited him last year to thank him 40 years after he had
helped her pursue graduate work.

He learned patience and empathy as a high school student, when he tutored and read to another student who
was blind, his wife said. Years later, when looking for volunteer work, he decided to volunteer for the Cincinnati
Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

During his tenure at UC, Dr. Bleznick worked to bring students from Spain and Latin America to do graduate
work, including the most important poet of Honduras, Roberto Sosa, said Nicasio Urbina, the department's current

He was also instrumental in starting the Cincinnati Conference on Romance Languages and Literature, the oldest
Graduate Student Conference in the country.

He is also survived by a son, Jordan L. Bleznick of New York, and three grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to Freestore Foodbank, 1141 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202; Crayons
to Computers, 1350 Tennessee Ave., Cincinnati OH 45229 or Cincincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually
Impaired, 2045 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Robert Austin Hunter, Jr.
July 13, 2011

Dr. Robert Austin Hunter, Jr. (Bob), 67, was born to Robert Austin Hunter and Mary Bessie Huling Hunter in Freeport, TX, on Feb. 4, 1944. He spent his life there until 1958. It was then he enrolled as a freshman at Schreiner Institute. After graduating in 1962, he completed 2 more years at Schreiner College, making him the only 6 year man on the Schreiner Campus.

It was while at Schreiner that Bob became an accomplished musician, and shortly before he died he wrote, composed and published.

Despite being blind and suffering from diabetes, he completed a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish and German at Southwest Texas State University, a.k.a. Texas State. Then, continuing his education, he received a Ph.D. at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

While working on his degrees, Bob worked as a counselor at the Gary Job Corps in San Marcos, and later he taught Spanish and German at Bandera High School for 10 years.

Upon completion of his doctorate, Bob accepted a position at his Alma Mater, now called Schreiner University. As an Associate Professor, and later as a Professor, Bob fulfilled his dreams as he traveled extensively throughout Latin America delivering his papers and fully dedicating his life to academic excellence and higher learning.

Never allowing blindness to deter him, Bob made the most of what his life had to offer.

Always active playing his guitar, conquests on the racquetball court, traveling, exercising at his favorite gym, Ultrafit, he always made time for others.

He married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Pagel, in July, 1964 and they had three children.

Those left to honor and cherish his memory are his three children, Bobby Austin Hunter, and his wife, Laura, of Austin, Joey Maldonado, and her husband, Joel, of Hondo, and William Hunter of Lubbock; 4 grandchildren, Jolianne, Christian, Jobe, and Lucinda, and another upcoming blessing, a granddaughter due in November.

His life will be celebrated in a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 18, at the First United Methodist Church on Thompson Drive, Kerrville.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers a donation may be made to either the Lion's Camp of Kerrville or the American Diabetes Association.

Vladimir Honsa
May 8, 2011

Vladimir Honsa, 89, passed away on May 8, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona, where he lived for
the past five years. He was born on December 28, 1921 in Netolice, Czechoslovakia to the
late Frantisek and Marie (Eiblova) Honsa. Vladimir is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vlasta
Petrova Honsa, daughters Patricia and Eva, and grandchildren David and Elizabeth.

Vladimir received his BA degree in Romance Philology from Charles University, Prague
in 1947. His advanced graduate studies were at the University of Paris (1948-49) and at the
University of Madrid (1948-51). He received his MA and PhD in Romance Linguistics from the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1953-57).

His teaching career in the Unites States and Latin America began as an assistant professor of
Spanish at Marquette University, Milwaukee from 1956-58. He became an assistant professor
of Spanish and Linguistics and Acting Chairman of Linguistics at the University of Southern
California, Los Angeles from 1958-62. While serving as Associate Professor of Spanish
Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington from 1962-70, Vladimir received a Fulbright
Professorship of Spanish Linguistics at the Instituto Caro y Cuervo in Bogota, Colombia from
1964-65, and the University of Uruguay, Montevideo in 1965. He was also a Visiting Professor
of Spanish and General Linguistics at Florida State University, Canal Zone Branch, Panama in
1970. From 1970-1988, he served as Professor and Chairman of Linguistics and Latin American
Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Vladimir retired in 1988.

His extensive research was in the areas of Dialectology of Romance Languages, Modern Spanish
Linguistics and Dialectology, Spanish Historical Linguistics,Medieval Spanish Literature,
and General and Implied Linguistics. Vladimir collected samples of Spanish in every Spanish
speaking country.

His books include Old Spanish Grammar of ‘La Conquista de Ultramar’, Lang, 1986; An Old
Spanish Reader: Episodes from ‘La Conquista de Ultramar’, Lang, 1985; Six Books of Sonnets,
1st Books, 2000; Papers on Linguistic and Child Language, Ruth Hirsch Weir Memorial Volume,
CoEd, Mouton, 1978. Other publications and articles include: Peripecias en el Camino del
Espanol, Scripta Philologica, 1992; Linguistic Acculturation and the Dialects of Spanish in
the Dominican Republic, Mouton, 1978; Clasificacion de los Dialectos Espanoles de America
y la Estructura de los Dialectos de Colombia, Actas del Simposio de Montivideo, Mexico Ed
Galache, 1975; The Inter-American Program in Linguistics and Language Teaching and Its Four
Symposiums, Language Sciences, 1968; Alois Richard Nykl (1885-1958), Arabist and Hispanist:
A Biography and Bibliography, Orbis, 1967; Romance Linguistic Studies at Major Universities
in the United States, Orbis, 1965; The Phonemic Systems of Argentinian Spanish, Hispania,
1965; La Extension de la Influencia Francesa Sobre la Estructura del Castellano Medieval,
Annuario de Estudios Medievales, 1965; Old Spanish Paragogic ‘e’, Hispania, 1962; A Study

of the Contamination of the XIIIth Century Spanish Prose by Dialects and Foreign Languages,
Orbis, 1961; Teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language in the XVIIth Century, Hispania, 1960;
Gabriel Richard. A Biographical Essay, Orbis, 1957; Linguistic Studies at the University of
Michigan, Orbis, 1955.

Honors include: Offices of Chairman, Vice Chairman or Secretary in congresses and annual
meetings of professional and learned societies in the USA and Latin America, 1954-86; two
Fulbright Grants by the US Department of State for teaching Spanish Linguistics in Colombia
and Uruguay, 1964-66; three Ford Foundation Grants, 1967-69 and six Indiana University
Grants, 1965-68. He served as a member of the Advisory Board of Hispanic Journal, Indiana
University of Pennsylvania, 1981-88 and is listed in several biographical dictionaries.
Submitted by Eva Honsa-Hogg

Marilyn V. J. Barrueta
November 4, 2010

Marilyn V. J. Barrueta died November 4, 2010 of pneumonia as a side complication to stage IV breast can
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