Senior Instructor of Spanish Language and Culture; WSU Vancouver Program Leader
Cassandra joined the faculty at WSU Vancouver in 2010 and became program leader of Foreign Languages and Cultures on the campus in 2013. Her teaching focus centers on making courses both accessible and relevant for students. To that end, and with the support of two competitive internal grants, she has developed several 15-50% online courses, and has focused on aspects of translation, interpretation, and culture to provide an authentic window into Latin American lives and language as they exist today.
She has more recently developed an interest in best practices of community engagement. In 2017 she was one of nine winners of the Faculty Fellowship for Community Engagement, an award established by WSU’s Center for Community Engagement. The resulting CE-centered course, Spanish for Health Professions (Spanish 362), taught in spring 2018, earned her the “Award for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching” from the Partners in Campus & Community Engagement cooperative. Related to this work, Cassandra is a DSHS-certified (since 2010) medical interpreter, offering a first-hand window into the needs of the Spanish-speaking population in Washington state.
Additionally, Cassandra is a member of WSU’s Teaching Academy, and is particularly interested in supporting the development of fair and transparent syllabi, aligning curriculum to UCORE, and best assessment practices across disciplines.
M.A., Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish), Washington State University.
B.S., Secondary Education (Spanish, Social Sciences), University of Idaho,
Cassandra teaches Spanish to students at all stages of the Spanish minor, from 101 to 362. She particularly enjoys grammar and translation courses, in addition to literature and culture. Within the WSU UCORE curriculum, she teaches Spanish 121 (Latin American Cultures, taught in English), and For_Lang 130 (Global Literature), both HUM, and both in English.
Pedagogical Interests & Scholarship (Presentations)
- Hybrid and web-enhanced teaching
“Flip or Flop: Results of Implementing an ‘Inverted’ Model for Beginning Language Learners.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2016, Salt Lake City, UT.
“Encouraging Online Student Interaction in Language Classes: Peer-to-Peer Feedback & Forums.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2014, Boise, ID.
“Making the Most of ‘Lab’ Time: Ideas for Using Online Forums in Introductory Language Classes.” Hawaii International Conference on Arts & Humanities, Jan. 2012, Honolulu, HI. Poster session.
“Language Lab at Home: Using Online Tools for Communication and Culture.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2012, Boulder, CO.
“Online Learning Communities: Using Forums for Literature Discussion.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2011, Scottsdale, AZ.
- Translation and interpretation / Popular culture and authentic language
“Variety and Authenticity: Stimulating Student Interest in Translation Courses.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2015, Santa Fe, NM.
“Meme Me: Using Social Media Images as a Language-Learning Tool.” Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, Oct. 2013, Vancouver, WA.
- Community engagement
“Language Learners in the Community: Partnering with Safety-Net Medical Clinics in Clark County.” Community Engagement Institute, May 2018, Spokane, WA.
Academic Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate (current)
UCORE Committee (2013-2016)
Program Leader for SLCR in Vancouver (current)
SLCR Curriculum Committee (current)
FLC Executive Steering, Assessment, Curriculum Committees (1-4 years of service)
UCORE Course Conversions/Approvals (shared or full effort): Spanish 321, For_Lang 130, For_Lang 410, Chinese 121, For_Lang 110
Editor, Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature (2010-2014)
Cassandra enjoys salsa dancing (when time allows), loves classic science fiction novels and short stories (Bradbury is currently her favorite), and is a staunch defender of the Oxford comma.