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Jul, 2017

Chad M. Gasta

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Magdalena was selected for the position of Lecturer of Spanish in our department from a broad and deep pool of applicants. Her background as a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Salamanca (Spain) provided her with excellent training in Spanish language, literature, and culture, which she has successfully taught in our department. Indeed, to date, she has taught 200-level Spanish courses (Spanish 201 and 202) and key courses in grammar and composition (Spanish 301), and Spanish Conversation for Professionals (Spanish 303B). The latter is a difficult course to teach given that most faculty are not trained in this area and there is a lack of appropriate materials. Undaunted, Magdalena often created her own materials for the course, some of which were based on her professional experience as a translator. Other resources she adapted from online formats such as videos, audio segments, games, and other worthy and helpful pieces. Indeed, with respect to teaching at the 200-level, our curriculum utilizes several different multi-media and online formats integrated into the in-class and out-of-class experience. Magdalena is very adept with technology in teaching and quickly was able to not only learn but also master the different tools we were using. Overall, her abilities with computer-aided language learning are very high and she has even sought out additional training through the Center of Excellence in Learning and Teaching by attending relevant workshops.

Magdalena came to Iowa State from Brown, a fine institution with a respected undergraduate program in Spanish. Before that, Magdalena was undertaking PHD research in Salamanca. However, Magdalena is eager to improve in all instances. As I am sure she will inform you, she has voluntarily observed others’ classes and invited senior professors into her classroom in an effort to constantly improve. As a whole, Magdalena is a confident, innovative, and dedicated instructor who cares deeply for her students and seeks excellence in their work. We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work with her.

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