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Learn with Our Spanish Faculty

Marcela Cinta, M.A., CMI

Instructor of Spanish and Spanish Medical Interpretation Program

Marcella CintaMy background is in Philosophy, International Languages and Translation. Therefore, I have spent my whole adult life teaching Philosophy and International Languages, and translating Philosophy of History books, as well as business and medical documents. These are my passions, but, above all, the pleasure of having alumni tell me, many years after graduating, how much they learned in my class, both as theoretical knowledge and as practical professional worldview.

I have been teaching upper-level Spanish classes at UP for 11 years now:

  • SPN 301-302 (Advanced Spanish Composition, Conversation & Culture)
  • SPN 380 (Latino Social & Health Issues)
  • SPN 480 (Medical Translation & Interpretation)
  • SPN 481 (Business Spanish Culture and Terminology)
  • SPN 901 (Guidelines for National Certification for Medical Interpreters)

My translations from English into Spanish include Help is Here, when someone you know has dementia, by Marian Hodges & Anne Hill.

Maria Echenique, Ph.D.

maria-echenique_bio.jpgI was born in Bolivia and came to the United States as a 17-year-old exchange student so I could improve my English language skills. It proved to be a transformative experience, one that allowed me to see the world from a completely different perspective. I realized the power of language as a way to open doors to cultures. Mastering a different language for me was as exhilarating as reading a novel about a distant land or time. And now, I teach Spanish language and Latin American literatures and cultures.

My research focuses on Latin American writers whose voices have been ignored or silenced for a long time — women, working class, indigenous peoples — and the stories they have to tell. As a teacher, I feel like an ambassador of Latin America to this side of the world. It is a mission I take seriously since there is a great need to better understand the cultures and history of our neighboring countries to the south, whose influence becomes ever more important in this country.

Lora Looney, Ph.D.

Director of the Spanish program

Dr. Lora LooneyA Spain specialist for over thirty years, Dr. Looney is known for teaching Spanish through projects like theatre, travel ads, food fairs, music festivals, blogging, and digital posters that explore fictional characters in literature and film. She is developing a website to engage students in her research on Spain’s historical memory of its civil war and dictatorship through the representation of juvenile protagonists in fiction and film. Dr. Looney directs the Spanish program and particularly enjoys developing curricula, advising current students, and alumni outreach.


Traci Schick

Adjunct Instructor of Spanish

Traci SchickA Portland native and Pilot alumna, I graduated from the University of Portland with a double major in Spanish and History, where I participated in the Study Abroad program to Granada, Spain.  Deeply committed to study abroad and experiential learning, I have studied in Granada, Sevilla, and Barcelona; completed a portion of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Northern Spain; and have lived in Southern Spain while working for a university study abroad program in Sevilla. 

In all my classes, I strive to incorporate a wide variety of culturally-relevant materials, such as film, visual art, music, literary texts, or newspaper articles that connect students with language in authentic contexts, while also integrating activities that encourage students to engage in fun, meaningful communication. 

A PhD candidate at the University of Chicago, I am currently completing my dissertation entitled “Pieces of the Past: Objects, Art and Memory in Contemporary Peninsular Literature.”  My research explores the role of material objects in contemporary Peninsular novels that deal with the theme of historical memory. When not in the classroom or library, I enjoy cooking, running, cheering on my favorite local sports teams and trying to keep up with my two energetic children.

Matthew Warshawsky, Ph.D.

Chair of International Languages and Cultures

Dr. Matthew WarshawskyI teach all levels of Spanish language courses, especially our SPN 301-302 sequence, Advanced Spanish Composition, Conversation, and Culture I and II. My upper-division classes focus on the literature and culture of the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras in Spain, as well as on Jewish Latin America. I enjoy this opportunity to teach such a wide variety of classes, because doing so enables me to continue growing as a teacher, scholar, and colleague. For example, I continually introduce new readings into all my courses and experiment with different types of classroom activities. I have also served as department chair since 2015, during which time I have learned a lot about how the University functions and helped ILC continue to be a unit that is flexible, embraces opportunities for growth, and broadens the worldview of our campus. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my increasingly far-flung family; keeping active as a runner, cyclist, and walker; and reading as much as possible.




Teaching that Inspires