About Tanya Romero-Gonzalez:
Since her arrival to Murray in August of 2014 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Tanya Romero-Gonzalez has been deeply involved in the academic and community life of Murray State University. Despite dealing with a full course load for the first time in her professional career, Dr. Romero-Gonzalez has managed to keep things balanced and was the happy recipient of CHFA’s Excellence in Creative and Scholarly Activity Award in 2016. In her most recent publication, she analyzes the way in which materialism, sexuality, and fetishism pervade the society that is represented in the 1891 novel Su único Hijo by Leopoldo Alas (“Clarín”). The College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Department of Modern Languages is impressed with Professor Romero-Gonzalez’s dedication to teaching, research, and service and the work she has accomplished here in such a short time.
Academic and Prolific Work:
Last year, Dr. Romero-Gonzalez published the article “La regeneración del 27: Poeta en Nueva York y Un chien andalou in the journal RILCE: Revista de Filología Hispánica, in which she explores the connections between Dalí’s and Luis Buñuel’s Un chien andalou (1929) and Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York (1940) and the impact of surrealism in these works and the ensuing generations. Her research coincided most fortuitously with the recent Salvador Dalí exhibit at the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery. Having Dalí’s works just a stone’s throw from Faculty Hall, beyond qualifying as a moment of southwest Kentucky serendipity, provided her with an unexpected opportunity to combine her teaching, research, and service interests into a surrealist field trip in which not only her SPA 301 students, but a number of Lyon County High School students came together to get up close and personal with Salvador Dalí’s illustrations for Dante’s Divina Commedia.
“After being contacted by Jessica Wilson, a Spanish teacher at LCHS, we brought together a group of MSU students and her students, who then interacted in Spanish once we met on campus. My students also created their own surrealist objects and explained the inspiration behind their creations to their younger counterparts. I was proud to see how my students paired their linguistic skills with their artistic side. One of these objects, created by Maci Murray, was a plunger acting as a vase filled with flowers – a true work of art that is now part of my office décor! What I enjoy most about working at Murray State is the myriad opportunities granted to connect teaching, research, and service. The constant support I receive from my colleagues and, in particular, from our Chair, Dr. Reika Ebert and Interim Dean Staci Stone, encourages me to develop and implement new ideas as well as to continue to develop as a teacher and researcher. What I am most excited about this year is chairing the Teaching Circle that received a grant from our college. With our ‘Experience-rich Activities and Fun with Languages’ initiative, several faculty in my department and I have paired with Valerie Hendley’s non-profit organization in order to have our students engage with the surrounding community in a mutually beneficial exchange by visiting elementary and middle schools in the area.”
Another important aspect of Dr. Romero-Gonzalez’s career at MSU is her involvement in other administrative- and service-related tasks. She has co-edited the Department of Modern Languages Newsletters with Dr. Mica Garret since her arrival at MSU, she has been part of CHFA’s task force on the Professionalization of Students, serves on several search committees, and is a member of the Women’s Faculty Caucus’ FMLA Committee. In September of this year, as a result of her research and its direct applications to her teaching, she gave a presentation at the Kentucky World Language Association Conference titled “Front and Center: Assessing Proficiency via Student-centered Tasks.” One year ago, she organized the annual Department of Modern Languages Teachers’ Workshop, a free professional development workshop available to any foreign language teachers within driving distance of MSU. This workshop embodies the spirit of the Department of Modern Languages: “We continuously look for ways to strengthen our ties with the community and offer support to teachers and students. Two opportunities that come around every year are the Teachers’ Workshop in October—organized this year by Dr. Elena Picech—and the MSU Language Showcase in March, where last year we had over 300 students from nearby high schools participating.” While she misses the Mediterranean that laps at the shores of her hometown of Málaga, Spain, Dr. Romero-Gonzalez is happy to be a Racer.