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UHV promotes Spanish faculty member to senior lecturer

The University of Houston-Victoria promoted María Salomé Chavarría, who teaches Spanish courses and helped found the university’s Spanish program, from lecturer to senior lecturer effective on Sunday.

Jeffrey Di Leo

“Salomé has made a lasting impact on UHV by helping shape the university’s Spanish program from the ground up,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “Her promotion is well deserved, and I look forward to seeing more great things from her in the years to come.”

Chavarría is a native of Mexico and received her Bachelor in Business Administration from Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos in Cuernavaca and a master’s degree in teaching languages from the University of Southern Mississippi. She came to UHV as part of a partnership with Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca. She was hired as a full-time member of the UHV faculty in 2008 and helped develop the Spanish program and syllabi for upper-division classes.

María Salomé Chavarría

In her classes, Chavarría teaches students a broad understanding of Spanish’s many variations, not just the Mexican version of the language that she grew up speaking, she said. She tries to address cultural differences.

“I love working in an international environment, especially when it comes to teaching students to speak a new language,” Chavarría said. “Languages open doors and give people a different vision when looking at the world. I want to share that vision and experience with my students.”

In addition to teaching, Chavarría hosted “Café Social” events from 2010 to 2016 during the semester to promote UHV’s Spanish program and to allow students to practice their Spanish in a social setting outside classroom pressures. She also has taught Spanish to multinational corporate executives and employees working in Mexico. In addition, she has co-authored a unit for Spanish as a second language for immigrant Chinese students living in Madrid, Spain, as part of the program “Comunícate” offered at Universidad Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.