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College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

School of World Languages and Cultures

Fall 2022 News and Events

SLHC Major student Kristen Chmelicek is studying abroad for 2022-23 and shares these notes and photos:

"Currently, I am studying at Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile. I traveled here to complete my B.A. in Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures and to practice and improve my spoken Spanish. Since I have been learning Spanish from a young age with no close Spanish-speaking relatives, it has always been a dream of mine to live and study in a country that mainly speaks the language. Therefore, this experience has been a dream come true. At Pontificia Universidad Católica I am taking a few classes related to Chile and my major such as Quechua Language and Culture and Chilean Art. Aside from improving my language skills and learning many things about the beautiful country of Chile, I have made several friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. Together we have traveled around Chile and visited amazing beach cities such as Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. We toured the Atacama desert and have been planning to visit other nearby countries on our long weekends such as Brazil and Argentina. My experience abroad has been life-changing so far, and I can't wait to see and learn more about Chile and South America during the rest of my semester here.”
Study Abroad Students decending stairs in Santiago, Chile

Kristen and other students above Santiago

Study abroad participants on site outside Santiago, Chile

Exploring the geography of Chile

Pozzi presents on language variation

Congratulations to Dr. Becky Pozzi caught in action presenting October 14, 2022 at the New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) conference at Stanford University.

Dr. Pozzi presenting at conference near microphone with projection screen behind

The presentation was on her new book chapter (2022). Acquiring Sociolinguistic Competence During Study Abroad: U.S. Students in Buenos Aires. In R. Bayley, D. Preston, & X. Li (Eds.), Variation and Second Language Acquisition: Crosslinguistic Perspectives (pp. 199-222). John Benjamins.

Study Abroad in Japan Information Session

Friday, October 28, 2022, 4-6:30pm
CAHSS Building (504), Room 1302
Questions? Please contact  

Students posing in front of iconic Japanese locations for Study Abroad in Japan Information Session






Congratulations and おめでとうございます

to Hannah Fulton, awarded the Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship for the 2022-23 Academic year to study at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.
Hannah Fulton JLC class of 2023


Fall 2022 Major Meet and Greet Event

Friday, August 26, 2022. 2-3:30pm in CAHSS (Building 504), Room 1302. 

The faculty and staff in the School of World Languages and Cultures invite you to attend the Majors Meet and Greet event! This opportunity allows new students to get to know their peers and senior students, as well as meet with departmental faculty and staff members. Please RSVP.

CSUMB WLC Fall 2022 Japanese and Spanish major meet and greet logo saying konnichiha and hola with QR code

For disability accommodations, please contact | (831)582-3863 

2022 UROC! Spanish Major Student Presents Summer Research Project

UROC mentee Myrna Pacheco-Ramos presented at the Summer 2022 UROC Summer Research Symposium on the project entitled “What’s in a Pronoun? A Heritage Speaker’s Use of Subject Pronouns During a Semester Abroad in Argentina”, conducted in collaboration with Rebecca Pozzi, Ph.D. 

Myrna posing next to presentation poster

Myrna Pacheco-Ramos (SLHC '23)

Learn more about Spanish UROC presentations

Spring 2022 News and Events

New publication on Music and Social Movements in Spain

¡Felicidades and Congratulations to Dr. David Vila Diéguez! A special issue of ALCESXXI. Journal of Contemporary Spanish Literature & Film, edited by Dr. David Vila Diéguez, focussing on Music and Social Movements in Spain has just been published:
The article is entitled: ¿Vuelta a las trincheras?: El declive del estilo en la música como elemento de movilización política (Back to the trenches?: The decline of style in music as an element of political mobilization) More about Dr. Vila Diéguez at

Capstone Festival 2022: Hold the Date

The School of World Languages and Cultures is pleased to announce that the 2022 WLC Capstone Festival will be held in the CAHSS Building (504), Room 1401 on Friday, May 20th, 2022 from 8:30 am - 4:35 pm.

We encourage you to join us for a rich day of student presentations and to celebrate our students’ accomplishments in the Japanese Language and Culture major and the Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures major.

The capstone presentation schedule and program information are available on the Festival Website

As a reminder, masks are currently required in all indoor spaces on campus and parking permits are required. Please RSVP if you plan to join us in person, or find the Zoom and FacebookLive links on the website

Smiling faces spanning the globe. WLC class of 2022

WLC Majors Gather following 2022 Convocation Ceremony

2022 Students gather in front of CAHSS mural

WLC major students in Japanese Language and Culture, and Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures, gather in front of the CAHSS Academic 3 Mural, "Skylight: Transmission of Knowledge/Windows to Justice" following the 2022 CSUMB Honors Convocation Ceremony. Students are wearing cords of recognition that will accompany their graduation regalia during the Commencement Ceremony. More photos of the students can be seen in albums: 2022 Convocation Ceremony-WLC-Japanese Majors: and 2022 Convocation Ceremony-WLC-Spanish Majors:

Japanese Honor Society Induction

Congratulations and おめでとうございます to WLC Major students recently inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society, CSUMB College Chapter. Not all students were able to attend the event.

Students inducted into honor society

2022 UROC Participants

Congratulations to UROC participants Hana Jacinto JLC ’22, (Koret Scholar 2022) and Lucas Bugarín SLHC ’22, (POPPY Grant 2022). 

Hana Lucas cropped


Zhu ('21) to MIIS

Congratulations and Happy Studies to Albert Zhu ('21 JLC) on his admission to the Monterey Institute of International Studies Program in Translation and Interpretation!

Dr. Saito-Abbott recognized for contributions to service learning

Dr. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, Professor of Japanese Language and Cultures, and Ben Bruce, Program Director for the Community Partnership for Youth (CPY), have been recognized through the award of the 2022 Marian Penn Partnership Award. Since 2000, the Marian Penn Partnership Award has been presented annually to one faculty/community organization team that reflects the values of the Service Learning Institute, and has made an exceptional contribution to communities through service learning. Named after Marian Penn, the founding Director of the Service Learning Institute, the Penn Partnership Award recognizes the commitment, communication, trust and reciprocity that is at the heart of service learning. Congratulations, Dr. Saito-Abbott! 

The Service-Learning Institute will be presenting the award at this year's Spotlight on Service, Friday, May 6, 10:00am - 12:00noon. Zoom Link:

WLC's Dr. Fernandez moderates Luis Valdez Book Signing at CSUMB World Theater

WLC colleague and faculty member, Dr. Christine Fernandez, CSUMB Assistant Professor of Spanish, will be facilitating a conversation with Luis Valdez and UC Santa Cruz Professor of Dramatic Literature Michael M. Chemers.

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Office of the President, and the Office of Student Affairs are pleased to announce the return to campus of world-renowned playwright and CSUMB founding faculty member Luis Valdez, who will be having a conversation and a book signing of his latest, "Theater of the Sphere: The Vibrant Being." Copies of his book will be available for purchase at the event.
Registration is required.

The event will be April 19, 2022 at 7:00pm in the World Theater (Bldg. 28).

Visit the event website for more information.

Photo: Luis Valdez

CSUMB founding faculty member Luis Valdez

JLC Major recognized with 2022 Alumni Vision Award

Student smiling

Amaris Lopez JLC '22

WLC congratulates Japanese Language and Culture major student Amaris Lopez, who has been selected as the 2022 recipient of the Alumni Vision Award. The award will be presented at Honors Convocation, which will be held on Saturday, April 30th at 12:30 p.m. in the Otter Student Union Ballroom. 

Congratulations to WLC Major students for graduate school acceptances

Congratulations to WLC Major students on their graduate school acceptances in 2022!

Hana Jacinto (JLC '22), has been accepted by UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures' MA program in Teaching Asian Languages.

Lucas Bugarin, Kassandra Rizo, and Gabriela Murillo (SLHC '22) have been accepted to the CSUMB Master's + Credential Program. Lucas was also accepted to Ohio University's MA in Spanish program.

Jesus Velasquez (SLHC '22) was accepted to SJSU MA in Spanish program. 

Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas Hold the Date

The 2022 WLC Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas will be held across various campus venues March 17 and 18, 2022. The 2022 Theme is "Voices Together: Reuniting and Rebuilding Communities" and features musical performances, art workshops, panel discussions, Japanese tea ceremony, lectures, and poetry readings. Check back soon for our finalized schedule. 

Globe icon with images of iconic cultural objects

The Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas is an annual event hosted by the School of World Languages and Cultures at CSUMB to provide opportunity for insights, exploration, and connection and to engage with perspectives, products, and practices among the members of our World Language community. 

Spring 2022 Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet logo Hola Konnichiha

The faculty and staff of World Languages and Cultures invite you to attend the virtual Majors Meet and Greet Friday, January 28, 2022, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for new and continuing students to get to know their peers and senior students as well as to meet with departmental faculty and staff via Zoom. Registration is now closed. 

Fall 2021 News and Events

Alumni Career Survey

Got 3 minutes for a post-WLC degree and career survey? We'd like to know and the information will help us find new students! Thanks in advance! 

David Vila Diéguez Co-organizes Conferences

Dr. David Vila Diéguez is pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for two conferences he is co-organizing in 2021. 

KDH: Music is returning to the stage, and to the dance floors.

Likewise, the conference Kantatzen Duten Herriak (People that Sing) is returning for its 5th edition. It will be held at the Biscay campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) on December 14, 15 and 16, 2021, in a mixed format of in-person and virtual attendance. As always, participation is free and open to all.

The conference will approach music and its social impact from diverse academic perspectives. At the same time, it will also provide space for experience and experimentation, with musical proposals also being accepted.
The deadline to submit academic, musical, and experimental proposals (free theme) to the conference is November 7. Send them, stating your preferred format (in-person or virtual), to

For more information see or download the CFP 


Punk is a truly global phenomenon that manifests in myriad ways across many different scenes, musical styles, and political, cultural and social settings. As such, ‘punk’ is many things to many people and seldom remains static over a lifetime, with changes in connectivity and technology, economic and political globalisation impacting punk for better and worse. The current Punk Scholars Network book series, Global Punk, has attempted to capture the spread and variance of punk across the world (Bestley, Dines, Gordon & Guerra 2019, 2020; Bestley, Dines, Gordon, Grimes & Guerra 2021; Rodríguez-Ulloa, Quijano & Greene 2021). Moreover, the journal Punk & Post-Punk seeks contributions from punk scholars in a variety of geographical locations and settings.

If you wish to take part in the Iberian section, please submit your proposal to David Vila Diéguez (, Assistant Professor of Spanish. Proposals should be 350 words maximum (or equivalent, 3 minutes if a video clip for example) and should be in any of the languages spoken in the Iberian Peninsula (Spanish, Galician, Portuguese, Basque, Catalan, etc.). The event will be fully on-line and the deadline for submissions is November 15, 2021.

For more information see or download the CFP

Dr. Vila Diéguez' conference page 


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Study Abroad in Japan Information Session

Learn more about Study Abroad Opportunities in Japan from a session held Friday, October 22, 2021. View the presentations (link works only for CSUMB community)

Students near tori gates and under cherry blossoms

Questions? Contact 

Japanese and Spanish Majors Meet and Greet

The faculty and staff of World Languages and Cultures invite you to attend a virtual Major Meet and Greet event! This is a great opportunity for new and continuing students to get to know their peers as well as meet with departmental faculty and staff. 

Join us Friday, August 27, 2021 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. (please note the time changed since first announced. This is the correct time) 

Register for a Zoom link is now closed.

For disability accommodations, please email or call (831)582-3863 

Welcome to Dr. David Vila Diéguez

Please join WLC in welcoming Dr. David Vila Diéguez as our new Assistant Professor in Spanish!


Prior to joining us, David Vila (Eibar) was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). His research interests include contemporary Spanish culture and literature; Iberian studies; Basque, Galician and Portuguese culture, literature and languages; subcultural and punk studies; contemporary Iberian and Latin-American song studies; and the relationship between contemporary popular culture and political activism. He has organized and participated in different panels on music and cultural studies and has also published on punk and critical pedagogies. He is also one of the founding members and editors of the cultural magazine Furman217 and the singer of the Latin Alternative band The Rumba Madre.

MBWLP Announces 2021-22 Programs

The Monterey Bay World Language Project (MBWLP), under the direction of Dr. Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, announces its core programming for the new academic year. Four programs are offered and will address Eduprotocols, social and emotional learning, literacy in the Spanish heritage language classroom, and feedback and assessment. See the site for details and registration information for each of the 4 programs and stay tuned for other opportunities through the year. 

About MBWLP: For over 25 years the Monterey Bay World Language Project (MBWLP), one of the sites of the California World Language Project affiliated with the California Subject Matter Project, has been offering seminars to promote best practices for teaching language and cultures in Monterey, San Benito & Santa Cruz counties.

Prior Terms News & Events

Hana Jacinto

JLC Major and CLC Language Facilitator Hana Jacinto was welcomed into the inaugural cohort of the Koret Scholars Program to conduct interdisciplinary research in the social sciences. She is mentored by Dr. Shigeko Sekine. The project title is "Second Language Auditory Discrimination in Japanese by English Native Speakers" and she is examining 1) How well English native speakers are able to distinguish unique Japanese sounds that do not exist in the English sound system, 2) How the participants' language learning background plays a role in their performance of word recognition tests, and 3) The effectivity of the sound training that aims to enhance auditory discrimination skills.

Ms. Hacinto was able to present her work at both the Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity Spring Showcase that took place in April, as well as the Summer Research Symposium in August where she shared the data collected in the spring semester and showcased the results.

Ms. Hacinto says her "ultimate goal is to incorporate the knowledge and skills I've gained from this research experience in my CLC tutoring sessions and help the students with strengthening their Japanese listening/auditory discrimination skills. This opportunity as a Koret Scholar and working with Dr. Sekine motivated me to continue learning about applied linguistics and second language acquisition at a graduate school." 

Pacific Food Empires projects on Digital Commons

Students enrolled in Dr. Dustin Wright's ethnic studies course "Pacific Food Empires" in Spring 2021 contributed interviews with owners of Asian markets and restaurants in the local area to the CSUMB Digital Commons. Read more about the project and listen to the oral histories. Learn more about Dr. Wright.  

Dr. Dustin Wright Ph.D. in History  Assistant Professor of Japanese Culture and Language

Chavez-Diaz named to McNair Scholars

SLHC major Jocelyn Chavez-Diaz was named as a participant in the McNair Scholars Program which prepares academically-talented and motivated CSUMB undergraduates from all majors for doctoral-level studies. Ms. Chavez-Diaz is mentored by Dr. Kelly Medina-Lopez, Assistant Professor in HCOM.

  • Spring 2021 Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas:
    Theme: Global Communities: Reconnecting in Times of Struggle

    2021 Theme: Global Communities: Reconnecting in Times of Struggle featuring Guest Speakers Mas Hashimoto, John Tateishi, Lucha Corpi, Jennifer Leeman, Walt Wolfram, and Tozaburo Yanagiya

  • John Tateishi speaks at Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas

    Book Talk - Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese America Reparations, Thursday Mar. 11, 2021, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

  • Lucha Corpi speaks at Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas

    A Reading and Conversation with Lucha Corpi, Thursday, Mar 25, 3-4:00 pm

  • Mas Hashimoto speaks at Festival of Languages, Cultures, and Ideas

    Racism and America's Concentration Camps, Thursday Feb. 25, 2021, 4:00pm - 5:00pm

  • CAHSS Brown Bag Series Features WLC's Dr. Dustin Wright & SBGS's Dr. Frederik Vermote

    A College effort brought forward through the SBGS faculty, this event features Dr. Dustin Wright, Assistant Professor, School of World Languages & Cultures speaking on From the Fields to the Courts: Anti-Military Base Protest in Modern Japan as part of the CAHSS Brown Bag Series highlighting faculty research in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. These monthly events welcome all CAHSS faculty to present their research to fellow faculty, administration, students, invited guests and the public at large.

  • CAHSS Brown Bag Series

    WLC Faculty members Drs. Fernandez, Pozzi, and Wright will join the CAHSS Brown Bag Series to highlight faculty research in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. These monthly events welcome all CAHSS faculty to present their research to fellow faculty, administration, students, invited guests and the public at large. For 20/21, the College will be presenting these events via Zoom.


Otters set to JET to Japan 2019

Image of students accepted to JET for fall 2019

Left to right: Brandon Johnson, Business Administration; Ashley Osborne, Communication Design; Jonathan Phan, Japanese Language and Culture; Joshua Williams, Computer Science

おめでとうございます。 Congratulations!

Five CSUMB students have been accepted as participants to the Japan Education and Training (JET) program for Fall 2019. Brandon Johnson, (Business Administration '19), Ashley Osborne, (Communication Design '19) Jonathan Phan, (Japanese Language and Culture '18), Joshua Williams (Computer Science '19), and Emmanuel Yuan, (Communication Design, '19) will be placed by JET across multiple locations in Japan to serve in capacities such as Assistant Language Teacher (ALT), Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA), or Coordinator for International Relations (CIR).

Dr. Shigeko Sekine congratulates Emmanuel Yuan
Photo by: Gus Leonard

CSUMB graduates have consistently placed with JET for a number of years to interact with local communities to promote internationalization at the local level. Successful applicants from CSUMB have regularly worked directly with Dr. Shigeko Sekine, Chair of World Languages and Cultures to ready their applications and prepare for the in-person interview conducted by the Japanese Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) whose work is aimed at promoting grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations. おめでとうございます。 Congratulations to the recipients!

CSUMB Students Headed to Okinawa for Research

Two students and one professor from CSU Monterey Bay are embarking on a month-long research trip to Okinawa during summer 2019. Kai Jones (Japanese Language and Culture) and Kyle Hill (Japanese Language and Culture, Global Studies) are traveling with Dustin Wright, Assistant Professor of Japanese Culture and Language in the School of World Languages and Cultures, to Japan’s southernmost prefecture. They will join other members of the Okinawa Memories Initiative (OMI), a cross-Pacific collaborative research project that explores postwar Okinawan history and culture.

From left to right: Kai Jones, Dr. Dustin Wright, Kyle Hill.
From left to right: Kai Jones, Dr. Dustin Wright, Kyle Hill.

Based at UC Santa Cruz and teamed with CSU Monterey Bay and CSU East Bay, OMI began as “The Gail Project,” which was launched when a collection of photos taken by a U.S. Army dentist who was stationed in Okinawa during the Korean War were donated to UCSC. As OMI Director and UCSC Associate Professor of History Alan Christy describes, “the photos were taken just before the US expanded their military bases in Okinawa 1000% and so represented the last moments of the lifestyles and landscapes they depicted.” Many of the photos capture scenes of everyday life: fish markets, children playing in the streets, shopkeepers, and so forth. Other photos depict the dramatic subtropical landscapes. Using the photos as a launching pad for a broader study of Okinawa, the OMI team now includes faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, Salinas high school educators, filmmakers and photographers, oral historians, and journalists.

Members will collaborate on a variety of projects, including exhibitions of the photos for the Okinawa community, archival research, and interviews, all in collaboration with students and faculty at the University of the Ryukyus and other regional universities. Building from previous OMI trips Okinawa, this year’s team will continue to seek out the people and places in Gail’s photographs. This year they will also develop open access K-12 and university Okinawan Studies curriculum.

A historian of modern Japan, Professor Wright became involved with the OMI as a graduate student and later a lecturer at UCSC. As Associate Director of the project, he is excited to be able to bring Okinawan Studies to CSUMB and continue collaboration with UCSC. With generous support from OMI funders (at UCSC and beyond), and additional research funding and resources from CSUMB’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, the Initiative aspires to sustain and expand U.S.-Okinawan educational collaboration.

People interested in learning more about OMI and Okinawan/Japanese Studies at CSUMB are invited to contact Dr. Wright. You can also learn more about Okinawa-related research opportunities at CSUMB through UROC.

Finally, follow OMI’s summer adventures through social media!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Recent WLC graduate recognized in Salinas Californian

WLC's recent graduate in Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures, Adolfo González (2019), is featured in a recent Salinas Californian article.

Adolfo González and CSUMB President Ochoa
Photo by: Salinas Californian
CSUMB President Ochoa and González (2019) at Commencement

Spanish Students Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

CSUMB at Salinas City Center celebrated Día de los Muertos (All Souls Day) in a rich fashion this year and students studying Spanish Language and Hispanic Cultures participated through the reading of Calaveras, or "skull poems". Students from Dr. Christine Fernandez's SPAN304 wrote poems in Spanish to satirize popular figures and remind us that we all end up in the same place in the end. The students also built an ofrenda for the VPA Day of the Dead celebration.

Students pose with Dr. Fernandez

Students pose with Dr. Fernandez

CSUMB and Hartnell Community College Spanish Club members prepare procession

CSUMB and Hartnell Community College Spanish Club members prepare for the processional

Dr. Christine Fernandez welcomes the Calaveras audience

Dr. Christine Fernandez welcomes the Calaveras audience

Ofrendas with Visual and Public Arts (VPA)

CSUMB Spanish Club members built an Ofrenda at VPA

CSUMB Spanish Club members built an Ofrenda at VPA

CSUMB Spanish Club members celebrating their Ofrenda at VPA
Gathering outside VPA

Community came together outside the VPA complex to celebrate Día de los Muertos

Día de los muertos 2018 at WLC

CSUMB celebrates our common history and connection through various observances of Día de los muertos (Day of the Dead) across our campus locations. For 2018 the Visual and Public Art Department features a large altar making experience, Aztec dancing, and more, on Thursday, Nov. 1, and on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, the CSUMB Salinas Center for Arts and Culture host celebrations, workshops and exhibitions.

WLC students have prepared calaveras poems that will be read at the Salinas event, and Professora Irene Casas-Ruiz has prepared a wonderful altar to welcome you to WLC!

2018 Día de los muertos altar, by Casas-Ruiz, in the WLC Lobby
2018 Día de los muertos altar, by Casas-Ruiz, in the WLC Lobby