Faculty in Action

Yolanda Molina-Gavilán

Professor of Spanish

Yolanda Molina-Gavilán
Quick Facts

B.A. University of Wisconsin, English and French
M.A. University of Oregon, Romance Languages
Ph. D. University of Arizona, Spanish Literature

I am teaching: Intermediate Spanish; Film and Literature: Hispanics in the US; Spanish: Oral Expression; Spanish Literature: Modern Novel and I am administering our Spanish Comprehensive Exams.

Areas of interest and expertise: 20th and 21st century Spanish Narrative; Science fiction narrative in Spanish; Spanish and Latin American cinema and Literary translation.

Current research or projects: My current research project is an edited translation of a 19th century Spanish science fiction novel, the first ever to feature a time travel machine: Enrique Gaspar's El anacronópete. Its working title is The Time Ship: A Chrononautical Voyage.

Q & A
Why did you decide to become a college professor?

I decided to become a college professor very early on, probably as an extension of my girlhood aspiration of becoming a teacher. I have always thought of school as an environment that suited my personality and fed my deep interest in the humanities. In time I have come to realize that what good college professors offer students is one definite point of view, one way of understanding and dealing with life.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Eckerd?

What I most enjoy about teaching at EC is the luxurious aspect of its size. It is small enough for meaningful individual interaction at all levels, yet large and varied enough for the spark of different opinions to light fires. At a more practical level, I most treasure the freedom to create my own courses and the camaraderie with my great colleagues at the Comparative Cultures Collegium.

How would you describe Eckerd students?

I find most EC students to be socially conscious, outgoing, open minded, curious and curiously laid back!

What is the best thing a student has ever said in your class?

The best thing my Elementary Spanish students say out loud every time I teach the course is: "Professor Molina is the most beautiful woman in the world," as they learn the superlatives adjectives in Spanish! Otherwise, the one comment someone said in class once that has stayed in my mind is: "We are so lucky and privileged…what are we going to do about it?"

How do you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style is definitely student-centered. I try to have what I have to say about a particular subject come out organically, as part of the teacher-student conversation. Also, I take pride in my reputation as a professor who is fair, yet holds students' feet to the fire. I know they will thank me in the end when they reap the benefits of having worked hard.

How do you encourage your students to ThinkOUTside?

By having students examine their own culture through the lens of another language and culture, I am intrinsically forcing them to "ThinkOUTside." Fortunately, EC facilitates this process by making International Education a priority.

What else should we know about you or what else would you like to share?

I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. I love learning languages (I also speak French and Italian) and lived in Japan for about two and a half years.

@EckerdLife

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