Latinx Interdisciplinary Talks at USC Upstate

Latinx Interdisciplinary Talks

Launched in Fall 2018, the Latinx Interdisciplinary Studies Talks on Civic Leadership & Mentoring aims to ensure that USC Upstate fosters a space where Hispanic and Latinx culture is visible and vibrant in the daily lives of faculty, staff, and students throughout the university colleges and professional schools. Perhaps more importantly, we want to offer students of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about civic leadership and the critical need for mentoring from scholars, public intellectuals, writers, artists, community leaders and mentors from the Latinx community and/or those who work to serve the growing Latinx population. Follow us on Twitter #LatinxUSCUpstate.


“I wanted to make a difference, but it is just so hard”: Reflecting on the experiences of Latinx K-12 teachers in the Southeast with Timothy Monreal, University South Carolina
Timothy Monreal
Monday, September 17, 2018
4 - 5:30 p.m.

HEC 2001.
Guest moderator: Dr. Carolina Webber (Communications)

Spurred by a cheaper cost of living, globalization, and stable work in meat processing, poultry, construction, and light industry the United States Southeast (SE) has emerged as the center of the “New Latino Diaspora.” A larger Latinx population naturally means changes in school demographics, yet the K-12 teaching force remains overwhelmingly white. For example, in South Carolina, the state in which I both conduct research and teach middle school, only 1% of all teachers identify as “Hispanic” (South Carolina Department of Education, 2016). However, as scholarship about Latinx in the SE grows there is a dearth of research about Latinx K-12 teachers in this geographic area. Thus, even as there is tepid talk about increasing representation and diversity in teaching, we know little about the lived experiences of Latinx educators in the South. In this talk I outline the context for Latinx teachers in the SE, share observations from pilot qualitative research with Latinx teachers in South Carolina, and reflect on my own experiences as a Chicano middle school teacher in the SE including burgeoning work with two groups, South Carolina United with Immigrants and Latinx Educators of South Carolina.

Timothy Monreal is a middle school Social Studies teacher and PhD student in Foundations of Education at the University of South Carolina. He has 10 years of K-12 teaching experience, mostly in California and more recently in South Carolina. His research interests include the New Latinx South, Latinx education in the Southeast, Social Studies teaching, and teacher education. His work has appeared in journals such as Educational Policy, Journal of Latinos and Education, Current Issues in Comparative Education, and The Middle Grades Review. He currently is on the leadership team of South Carolina United with Immigrants and was named 2018 Doctoral Student of the Year in Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina.

Community Health Workers—How PASOs Puts Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy into Practice with Mike Young, director of Capacity Building at PASOs 
Mike Young
Thursday, September 27, 2018
12 - 1:30 p.m.
Sansbury CLC Ballroom
Guest moderator: Professor Hubbard Smalls (Business)

Community Health Workers (CHWs) have and continue to go by many titles but the work has retained a constancy throughout the time and varying landscapes. The ethical and philosophical calls to action put forth by Paulo Freire continue to resonate while providing fundamental principles to set as corner stones for creating a more fair, equal, and stronger society where all voices are heard. PASOs, a community-based organization that focuses on the strengths and needs of South Carolina’s Latino populations, intentionally use Freire’s guiding principles to inform their work which encompasses health promotion, education, advocacy, and leadership development. This presentation will outline basic Freireian principles and how PASOs’ organizational mission sets them in motion.

“Advocating for the Latinx Community in the Classroom” with Dr. Stephanie M. Knouse & Dr. Angélica Lozano-Alonso, Furman University
Dr. Stephanie M. Knouse & Dr. Angélica Lozano-Alonso

Tuesday, October 30, 2018,
2-3:15 p.m.
Sansbury CLC Ballroom. 
Guest moderator: Professor June Carter (Spanish), director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

A panel discussion will feature issues relevant to local and national Latinx communities through pedagogies such as service-learning and reflection and introducing students to advocacy in and for the Greenville community. Dr. Lozano-Alonso will discuss her “Hispanics in the U.S.” course and Dr. Knouse will discuss her class on “The American Experience of Hispanic Youth.” A Q & A session will follow.

photo portrait Dr. Angelica Lozano-AlonsoDr. Angélica Lozano-Alonso’s research interests are late 20th Century Mexican and Latino literature with a focus on women’s studies and cultural studies. She coauthored Reframing Modern Latin America (University of Texas Press 2007) and has written articles on Mexican and Latino Literature. She recently published an article on the future of teaching Spanish and the role of heritage Spanish language learners in the language classroom in Hispania Centenary Issue. Lozano-Alonso received a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from Cornell University. Dr. Stephanie M. Knouse’s research focuses on second language acquisition of Spanish, language variation and language pedagogy. Knouse, who collaborates with local non-profits in the Greenville area, has particular interest in incorporating community-based and service-learning in her Spanish offerings. Knouse’s publication “High-impact Practices in a Hispanic Linguistic Course: Facilitating Lessons of Diversity and Advocacy” was recently featured in the journal Dimension.

Spanish Writers Present on Translating Cultures with Juan Gonzales and the Spanish Writers of Greenville 
logo of the Spanish Writers group of Greenville with green abstract swooshes on a blue background
Spanish Writers
Thursday, March 28, 2019
7 - 8:15 p.m.
Sansbury CLC Ballroom
Guest moderators: Gabrielle Drake (Spanish) and Dr. Thomas McConnell (English)

Juan Gonzales founded the Spanish Writers of Greenville in 2014. Today the bilingual group travels throughout the Upstate and beyond sharing culture, creativity, and community. 

  • Spartanburg Alianza Hispana-Hispanic Alliance

    Facilitates, encourages, and promotes the inclusion of members of the Hispanic community in improving quality of life in Spartanburg County. USC Upstate's Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche, Dr. Carolina (Carolyn) Webber, and Maria Francisco Monteso serve on the steering committee of this important community organization. 

    AHAM (Asociación Hispano-Americana de Mujeres)

    AHAM is the only Hispanic 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that, since 1999, has been dedicated to promoting higher education among high school students of Hispanic descent through educational scholarships in the Upstate, SC. The organization has raised more than a quarter million dollars and helped over 120 students go to college. Through events and initiatives, they promote the culture and traditions of different Spanish-speaking countries.

    Hispanic Alliance (Greenville Area)

    Unites the largest network of agencies and individuals working collaboratively to advance Hispanic communities across the Upstate.

    Latinx Educators of South Carolina

    Seeks to become a participatory collective united by individuals who identify as, or support, Latina/o/x educators in the state of South Carolina.

    Mayfair Art Studios

    A dynamic arts incubator in the Arcadia village of Spartanburg, South Carolina, that brings together a diverse constituency to learn about and make art, discover each other's cultures, and build a new, vibrant and economically sustainable community in Spartanburg County.

    Palmetto Luna 

    Fosters an understanding of the Hispanic/Latino culture by promoting artistic creation and providing opportunities for cultural expression in South Carolina


    Helps build a stronger South Carolina by supporting Latino communities with education, advocacy, and leadership development.

    SC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    Develops innovative programs that will help the business community.

    SC United with Immigrants

    Addresses the needs of immigrants and their families in South Carolina by amplifying the voices and promoting the rights of immigrants and their families to participate fully in the civic, cultural, political and social life of our communities. Their Safe and Supportive Schools for Every Child initiative provides an introduction to bullying prevention and intervention for helping professionals and teachers, including lesson plans, programs for faith-based groups, and an online Webinar. 

    Upstate International

    Empowers people and businesses of all nations to thrive in the Upstate by connecting them through programs, events, and initiatives that foster the dynamic exchange of international cultures and ideas.

  • photo portrait Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche


    Dr. Araceli Hernández-Laroche
    Committee Chair

    Dr. Araceli Hernández-Laroche is an associate professor of modern languages and the assistant chair for world languages in the Division of Languages, Literature and Composition at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She has a BA from UCLA and MA & PhD from the University of California Berkeley. She is the Past-President of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French. A native of Mexico, she has lived, researched and taught in several countries and speaks four languages. She serves on the Hispanic Alliance Leadership/Steering Committee of Spartanburg and served on the Inclusion Council for the local Chamber of Commerce. Her students tutored female and male inmates for an award-winning service learning program, Operation Educate. She teaches technology-intensive courses and publishes on service learning, Active Learning, translation studies, existentialism and Mediterranean Studies; she also explores the intersections of colonialism and world wars in the works of French, Italian and North African writers.