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The Department of Modern Languages is committed to preparing all University of Akron students to succeed in the global economy and to become productive and engaged global citizens. Our students achieve linguistic competencies and multicultural literacies, develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills and connect with diverse local, national, and international communities. 

Our enthusiastic and passionate faculty, staff and students look forward to helping you explore our world!

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Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages

Bienvenue - Bienvenidos - أهلا وسهلا - Willkommen - Benvenuto - ようこそ - 歡迎  

304 Olin Hall | (330) 972-7487



Call 330-972-6552 for an Appointment



Gavin DeMali

Beginning I and II, Intermediate I and II

Monday: 10-11, 4-6

Tuesday: 10-11, 4-6

Wednesday: 10-11, 4-5

Thursday: 10-11, 4-6

Friday: 10-1

Yousef Saleh

Beginning I and II

Monday: 1-3

Tuesday: 2-6

Wednesday: 1-3

Thursday: 1-4



T’Amor Bowman

Beginning I and II, Intermediate I and II

Tuesday: 3-6

Thursday: 12-4

Friday: 10-1



Vincent Pham

Beginning I and II, Intermediate I and II

Monday: 11:35-4:30

Tuesday: 10:30-11:30

Wednesday: 11:35-4:30

Thursday: 1-2

Claire Steiner

Beginning I and II, Intermediate I and II

Monday: 3-6

Tuesday: 12-6

Wednesday: 3-6

Thursday: 12-6



Cameron Knaus

Beginning I and II, Intermediate I and II

Monday: 2-6

Wednesday: 2-6

Recent Headlines

Dr. Zanetta's artwork chosen to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

One of Dr. Maria Alejandra Zanetta’s artworks was chosen by the Bureau of Workers Compensation in Columbus Ohio to be the feature art for the Hispanic Heritage Month bookmark.


Also 3 pieces of her artwork had also been selected to be part of the Pasos de Arte 2019 at the Columbus Cultural Art Center. The show, which is one of the events that celebrate the Hispanic Heritage month, runs until September 14. For more information follow this link:





I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I studied Fine Arts at the National School for the Arts. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, I attended The Ohio State University to pursue doctoral studies in comparative literature, focusing on the relationship between painting and literature. After graduation, I joined the University of Akron, where I am currently a Distinguished Professor and I teach a wide range of courses in Hispanic literature, language, art and culture.  

My artwork is held by public and private collectors in the United States, South America and Europe such as The Ohio State University Newark Campus; The University of Akron StudentUnion; The University of Akron, Buchtel College of Arts and Sciencesthe Columbus Metropolitan Library; The Summa Health building, Akron, Ohio; The Akron-Summit Public LibraryThe Cleveland Art Association (CARTA) and The Ortega y Gasset Foundation, Toledo, Spain among others

I am represented by the Brandt-Roberts Galleries in Columbus and by the Harris Stanton Gallery in Akron and Cleveland.

Two of the pieces exhibited here, "The Dream" and "La escalera," allude to the struggles and hard economic realities that force migrants to leave family, friends and home to come to the United States to work on jobs that most American citizens don’t want to do. Many of them die in the attempt while others endure abuse and terrible working and living conditions. A few ones, the fortunate ones, achieve the American Dream. While these pieces are not meant to be interpreted as an endorsement of illegal immigration, they are an attempt to help humanize these “others” who, now more than any time in our history, are being unjustly demonized and degraded for political gain. The hope is that, by humanizing the “other,” we also become more human in the process.

Modern Language's Student Wins Ben Auburn Award in Cultural Criticism

Modern Language's Student Wins Ben Auburn Award in Cultural Criticism

Jackson Gagne, a junior International Business major with a minor in French, is this year’s winner of the Ben Auburn Award in Cultural Criticism. The title of his short story was “The Foxes and the Wildcats.” Gagne received a $500 cash prize.

The second place winner was Abigail Watson, a senior Political Science/Spanish/Psychology major, for her poem titled “Cerebral Landfills.”

Winning third place was Emily Bower, a senior Public Relations major with a minor in French, for her short story titled “…..No Offense.”

Pictured are Sandy Auburn, far left, and Dr. Mark Auburn, center rear, with the students who participated in this year’s competition. From left are Donna Toth, Maria McNeill, Abigail Watson, Jackson Gagne and Emily Bower.


Congratulations to French competition winner Eleanor Plaster

Eleanor Plaster, French major,  represented the UA DML and won the second prize at the 2019 Cleveland Maison Française annual French competition for colleges in Northeast Ohio

The UA French students have been consistently winning the competition since 2003. Maison Française de Cleveland is affiliated with the Federation of the Alliances Françaises in the United States, a nonprofit organization that promotes Franco-American cultural activities.  Schools participating in the competition include private, highly-selective colleges such Oberlin College, College of Wooster, as well as Baldwin Wallace University and John Carroll University.

Here is what Eleanor said about her experience:

"A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a French contest at John Carroll University held by La Maison Française of Cleveland, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of French and Franco-American culture. This competition consisted of a written portion in French discussing one of the prompts provided, where I choose to write about the film Rue Cases-Nègres directed by Euzhan Palcy from Martinique. For the oral portion, I had the opportunity to talk to four members of La Maison Française  in French about my experiences with French, my interests, and my future plans.

I competed against other students from colleges in Northeast Ohio, and I was honored to have received second prize. On Sunday April 7, I was invited to the ceremony for this competition where I had the opportunity to meet the other winners of the competition, as well as get further acquainted with the members of La Maison. I had the opportunity to present my experiences in French along with the other students while celebrating with my family. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity, and I am looking forward to competing again next year!”

French competition winner 2019

Anna Nyszczy presented Honor's Project comparing US and Spanish Health Systems

Anna Nyszczy is a Spanish minor and a student in our Certificate of Advanced Spanish for the Health Professions. She is completing her Honors Research Project analyzing the differences between the Spanish and US health systems through the lens of total laryngectomy surgery. She presented her research at the University of Akron Interdisciplinary Symposium on April 9th.


Dr. Cortney Benjamin Discussed Spectacular Traveling Women in the 17th Century Hispanic World

On Friday, February 8th, Dr. Cortney Benjamin, Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Dept. of Modern Languages, spoke in the Rethinking Gender Series sponsored by the Women's Studies Program.  Her presentation titled "Spectacular Traveling Women in the 17th Century Hispanic World:  Nuns, Cross-Dressers, Soldiers and Avengers" was a fascinating look on several works written by women during the time.  Her lecture touched on the rhetoric of honor at this time and how the Baroque spectacle tied in to these readings.  Several students joined in to discuss the life of Catalina de Erauso, the Lieutenant Nun or la Monja Alferez.