I obtained my PhD from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Texas at Austin. My dissertation focused on the emergence and failure of liberal projects in Ecuador and Brazil and their representation in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century literary works. Prior to being admitted to candidacy, I earned my Master of Arts in Hispanic Literature from the same institution. Alongside with my interest and research on Latin American literatures and cultures, I completed a portfolio in Nonprofit Studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.
In 2009-2010 I was the recipient of the Continuing Fellowship, an award based on major accomplishments since entering Graduate School at The University of Texas at Austin. I am a 2002 honor graduate of Wellesley College from where I double majored in Peace and Justice and Latin American Studies. During my college years, I served as the President of Alianza, the Latin American Student Organization of Wellesley College. Furthermore, I did extensive volunteer work in both Latin America and the United States. After earning my Bachelor of Arts, I was part of a one-year teaching training program for minorities at the Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts.
From 2003-2011 I taught lower division Spanish and Portuguese classes at UT-Austin. In 2007, I was chosen Mentor Assistant Instructor and was nominated for the William S. Livingston Outstanding Graduate Student Academic Employee Award for my commitment to teaching and peer support. Moreover, I have been a recipient of two Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services Grants for the creation of digital professional movie segments, documentaries, and teaching modules for the Media Center of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. In the Fall of 2008 I was chosen President of the Graduate Student Organization of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UT-Austin, one of the largest in the country with more than one hundred active members.
In 2006 I received the Mary Elvira Stevens Traveling Fellowship from the Center for Work and Service at Wellesley College. This award allowed me to found La Poderosa Media Project, an organization that encourages youth empowerment, cultural empathy, and collaborative learning through community-based arts programs in Americas.
A native of Ecuador and the oldest of four sisters, I speak Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. I initially arrived in the United States in 1999. I have also lived in Chile, Argentina, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and South Africa. I am a dedicated practitioner of Bikram Yoga, love watching movies, traveling, cooking, dancing to salsa, and reading.