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Alumni Corner

Welcome to the Alumni Corner! Here you'll find out what our alumni are up to since they graduated. We're proud of all of them and are happy to share their accomplishments with you. If you have any news you would like posted for yourself or other alumni, please let us know.

Rebecca Janzen

Dr. Rebecca Janzen

Dr. Rebecca Janzen is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on Mexican literature and culture, with special attention to religion, gender and disability studies. Janzen’s first book, The National Body in Mexican Literature: Collective Challenges to Biopolitical Control, was published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan. Her second book, Liminal Sovereignty: Mennonites and Mormons in Mexican Culture, is published by SUNY Press, and was supported by the DF Plett Historical Research Foundation, the C. Henry Smith Peace Scholarship and the Kreider Fellowship at Elizabethtown College.
Natalia Mazzaro

Dr. Natalia Mazzaro

Natalia Mazzaro, Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics at the University of Texas in El Paso, completed her Ph.D. in 2011. She specializes in Spanish sociolinguistics, phonetics, quantitative and laboratory approaches to the study of sound variation and change and morphosyntactic variation in Spanish. She is currently working on a project in collaboration with Laura Colantoni (University of Toronto) and Alejandro Cuza (Purdue University) on the perception and production of sounds by Spanish/English bilinguals. Find out more on her website at

Brian Robertson

Brian Robertson

Brian graduated from UofT with a major in Ibero-American studies in 2000, and then did an M.A. at IUPERJ in Rio de Janeiro.  He is currently writing a doctoral thesis with a German university.  But during many of these years, at night, Brian has been writing prose.  In 2010 he won an Award of Artistic Merit from the Rhode Island Writer’s Circle for his flash fiction.

Since the summer of 2012, thirty of his haiku have been published among Germany (Deutsche Haiku Gesellschaft, Haiku Heute), Japan (Asahi Haikuist Column {The International Herald Tribune in Japan}, Mainichi Daily News), the USA (The Heron’s Nest, Lynx Poetry Journal, South by Southeast), Austria (Chrysanthemum), and Australia (A Hundred Gourds).  Of the 512 participating poets from 26 countries, Brian won 2nd prize of the Maple Moon Haiku Contest of Seinan Jo Gakuin University (Japan) on Nov. 3, 2012.  The World Haiku Review published one of his haiku as an “Honourable Mention” for the Shintai (new-style) category in December, 2012.  The Heron’s Nest (Vol. 15, #1, March 2013) featured one of Brian’s haiku as an “Editor’s Choice.”

Brian was a “commended winner” of the Third Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award (2013) in Osaka, and in the USA he took 2nd place in the 2013 Robert Frost International Haiku Contest.  In April 2013 Brian was a “Commended Prize Winner” of the Romanian Kukai Group Contest.

Tough Lit, a previous publisher of Brian’s short fiction, will feature his short story “Acquiesce” in mid 2013.

Arturo Victoriano

Dr. Ramón Ant. Victoriano-Martínez

Rayanos y Dominicanyorks: La dominicanidad del siglo XXI (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, University of Pittsburgh Press) de Ramón Ant. Victoriano-Martínez fue publicado en 2013. El libro analiza la representación de la identidad dominicana, a partir de la figura del rayano, apoyándose en una lectura crítica de los siguientes textos: El Masacre se pasa a pie (Freddy Prestol Castillo); Cosecha de huesos (Edwige Danticat); Dominicanish (Josefina Báez) y La breve y maravillosa vida de Óscar Wao (Junot Díaz). 

Rayanos y Dominicanyorks: La dominicanidad del siglo XXI by Ramón A. Victoriano-Martínez (Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013), analyzes Dominican identity, departing from the figure of the “rayano” (the one from the border) and leaning on a critical reading of the following texts: El Masacre se pasa a pie (Freddy Prestol Castillo), The Farming of Bones (Edwige Danticat), Dominicanish (Josefina Báez), and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz).

Ramón Ant. Victoriano-Martínez (Arturo) was born in the Dominican Republic (1969), where he studied law at the Universidad Católica Santo Domingo. He has taught Criminal Law, Philosophy of Law and Criminology in various Dominican universities. He played several roles in the Presidential Council for Culture from 1997 to 2000, where he published, jointly with Dr. Luis O. Brea Franco, Report on the Diagnosis of the Cultural Sector: Compendium of Cultural Legislation Dominican (1998). He is also the translator of the book The Struggle for Political Democracy in Dominican Republic (Jonathan Hartlyn, Ramón A. Victoriano Martínez), published by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development in 2008. Since 2001 he lives in Mississauga, Ontario and earned his Ph.D  at the University of Toronto in 2010. His research revolves around the question about Dominican identity, departing from the figure of the “rayano” (the one from the border), leaning on a critical reading of the following texts: El Masacre se pasa a pie (Freddy Prestol Castillo), The Farming of Bones (Edwige Danticat) Dominicanish (Josefina Báez), and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz). He currently teaches at the Department of Language Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

David Fernandez

David Fernández

Congratulations to David Fernández for winning second prize in the AbeBooks National Book Collecting Contest for Young Canadians Under 30. The contest allows young Canadian book collectors to showcase their books. Any type of collection is welcome, provided it belongs to the entrant in its entirety. David was an undergraduate student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese until 2011. Click here for more information on his award and the national book collection competition.

David Fernández (B.A. 2009) also won an Atlas Systems Scholarship to attend the prestigious Rare Book School at the University of Virginia in the summer of 2013.


Dr. Rita M. Palacios

Rita Palacios is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance, German and Russian Languages and Literatures at California State University, Long Beach. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 2009. She specializes in the production of an Indigenous literature in contemporary Guatemala as examined under a post-colonial, trans-national lens. Her research interests include Indigenous literatures of the Americas, issues of gender and queerness in Latin American literature and culture, and post-war Guatemalan literature.

Donna Rogers

Dr. Donna M. Rogers

Since July 2011, Dr. Rogers has been the Associate Dean Academic at Dalhousie University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She joined Dalhousie's Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies in 2003, after teaching at the Pennsylvania State University (1986-1998) and Middlebury College (1998-2003). Her research interests include Spanish and Catalan historical linguistics, particularly text editing and lexicography. She is the author of an edition and study of the Historia de la donzella Teodor (2000, with Isidro J. Rivera) and editions of several treatises of Francesc Eiximenis’ Dotzè del Crestià (2006 and forthcoming), as well as a number of articles on Spanish and Catalan topics. At present she is preparing an edition and translation of Eiximenis’ Regiment de la cosa pública, with the support of a research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She is Editor of Catalan Review, the journal of the North American Catalan Society, on whose executive board she serves. Dr. Rogers teaches courses in Spanish language and linguistics.

On April 16th at a meeting of Brescia University College’s Council of Trustees, the appointment of a new Academic Dean was unanimously approved. Dr. Donna Rogers, currently Associate Dean Academic at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will take up her new position at Brescia on July 1, 2013. Dr. Rogers brings to this post at Brescia a great deal of administrative experience coupled with a passion for research and teaching and a successful track record of innovation and leading change. Her educational background is also stellar.

Maria Dodman

Dr. Maria João Dodman

Dr. Maria João Dodman is Assistant Professor of Portuguese Studies at York University's Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. She completed her PhD in 2007. She specializes in early modern Spanish and Portuguese literature. Her research interests include representations of beauty and ugliness in several early modern genres as well as in travel narratives that document the encounters between the Portuguese and the natives of Brazil. Further information can be found at:

Alejandro Cuza

Dr. Alejandro Cuza

Dr. Alejandro Cuza completed his PhD in Hispanic linguistics and second language acquisition at the University of Toronto in 2008. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics at the School of Languages and Cultures at Purdue University. His research focuses on the linguistic and cognitive processes involved in the L2 acquisition of Spanish morphosyntax, first language attrition, heritage language development and child bilingual acquisition.

Dr. Violeta Lorenzo

Dr. Violeta Lorenzo

A native of Puerto Rico, Violeta Lorenzo received her doctoral degree in Spanish from the University of Toronto in 2011 and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Skidmore College's Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures. She often collaborates with the Latin American Studies program at Skidmore. Her research interests include coming of age narratives, Latin American cultural essays, and Hispanic Caribbean literatures and cultures.

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Dr. Berenice Villagómez

Dr. Berenice Villagómez, a former MA and PhD student who graduated in 2009, is now the coordinator for the Latin American Studies Program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Villagómez has explored issues of memory, trauma and history in Latin American literature. Her edition of a previously unpublished manuscript by Pedro Henríquez Ureña, México o el hermano definidor, (in collaboration with Néstor Rodríguez) is forthcoming from El Colegio de México.

Mike Field Jazz Quintet - Ashes

Mike Field

Congratulations to jazz trumpeter and composer, Mike Field, for releasing his debut album this fall. Mike received his MA in Spanish in 2006 and began a PhD in Hispanic Linguistics before starting his career in jazz in 2008. Now he plays at festivals and local Toronto jazz clubs such as The Rex and Gate 403, and also performs internationally. His album, Ashes, is available on iTunes, and CD Baby. Listen to his music and stay tuned for concert dates at

Prof. Marjorie Ratcliffe

Congratulations to Prof. Marjorie Ratcliffe, Univ. of Western Ontario, for being elected Vice-President of the Asociación Hispánica de Literatura Medieval.

Shanna Lino

Dr. Shanna Lino

Dr. Shanna Lino received her doctoral degree in Spanish from the University of Toronto in 2008 and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at York University. Her research interests include immigration in contemporary Spanish literature and film, the Novela negra, lusophone and regional Iberian literatures and Equatoguinean literature.

Marta Batiz Zuk

Dr. Marta Batiz-Zuk

Dr. Marta Batiz-Zuk received her doctoral degree in Spanish from the University of Toronto in 2010 and is currently a course director in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics at York University.

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