Recent Distinctions and Awards

Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society Inductees

2012-2013 Congratulations to the following graduating students who will be inducted into the national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa!

Courtney Guertin

Martha Nielsen


2013 Spanish Department Distinction Winner

Courtney Guertin, 2013 – Mia Mundo: Code Switching in a Spanish-English Bilingual Television Series.

Above Courtney presents her research at the 2013 NCLUR Conference

Code switching is a characteristic of many bilingual communities. Not to be confused with “Span-glish,” code switching has linguistic rules and proper uses, just as there are linguistic formalities in English or Spanish. In her distinction project, Courtney explored the representation and use of Code switching in Spanish-English bilingual television, specifically the popular television program “Mía Mundo,” analyzing the code switches used by the main character Mia. Through the research of intersentential code switching (code switching that occurs between sentences) and intrasentential code switching (code switching occurring within a sentence), she concluded that none of Mia’s code switching violated linguistic constraints on code switching. Conclusions revealed that the code switching taking place in Mía Mundo did not seem to correspond with the functions of code switching reflected in literature. Further, Courtney found that the small percentage of intrasentential code switching occurring in Mia’s speech does not reflect the behavior of a bilingual Latino with a high level of competence in both languages.


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Courtney Guertin ’13 presents her Departmental Distinction Project

2012 Ricardo A. Narváez Award



Professor León Narvaez presents Professor Klee with the 2012 Ricardo A. Narváez Award


Professor Carol A. Klee, Recipient of the 2012 Premio Narváez

Professor Carol A. Klee was awarded the Premio Ricardo A. Narváez on May 18th at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul. The Premio Ricardo A. Narváez is awarded annually for excellence in teaching Spanish in the state of Minnesota at any level (K-12 through post-secondary). It honors the legacy of Dr. Ricardo Narváez as a Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Minnesota (1947-1951 and 1958-1985). León Narváez, son of Ricardo Narváez, and a professor of Spanish at St. Olaf, presented the award to Klee.

Dr. Carol A. Klee is the 27th recipient of the Premio Narváez. Her professional interests range from how to teach Spanish in effective and innovative ways at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels through immersion education, content-based instruction, and foreign languages across the curriculum to questions of Spanish in contact with English in the United States and indigenous languages in Peru.