Spanish Department Faculty

María Alejandra Bonifacino
María Alejandra BonifacinoMaría Alejandra Bonifacino is a native of Uruguay. Although she started as a biologist at her home country, when she moved to the US she completed a master’s degree in Spanish literature at the University of Oregon. She has taught Spanish at the U of O, at Wichita State, and at PCC for many years.  She has traveled extensively, and lived in Spain, Germany and Taiwan. Her professional experience also includes mentoring future Spanish teachers and conducting workshops on teaching Spanish by immersion.
Rachel Aponte
Rachel AponteRachel Aponte teaches Spanish at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus and Spanish and French at Clark College in Vancouver. She earned a B.F.A. from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California and a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of California, Davis. She grew up in Paris, France and Caracas, Venezuela. She has traveled to Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain.
Sarah Bentley
Sarah BentleySarah Bentley has been teaching Spanish full-time at PCC since 2006.  Before that she taught at Portland State University, where she also received her MA.  She received her BA in Spanish from Pitzer College.  Prior to teaching Spanish she worked with the Latino community in the non-profit sector.  Sarah is a native Portlander who has lived and traveled to several different Spanish-speaking countries, including Venezuela, Spain, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
Laura Bergman
Laura BergmanLaura Bergman is a native of Ecuador and has been teaching Spanish at PCC since 1995. She holds a Master’s degree in Spanish and a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certificate from Portland State University, where she has taught first, second, and third year Spanish and Hispanic Literature. Laura was part of an Extended Studies team that taught A.L.P.S. (Acquiring Language Productions Skills), a total immersion, intensive program specially designed for intermediate and advanced students and teachers of Spanish. She taught A.L.P.S. at PSU, the Portland Police Justice Center, and at the Police Academy in Monmouth, OR. She has taught at several other universities, including Lewis and Clark, and Pacific University. She is currently also teaching Spanish for Healthcare Workers at the University of Portland.
Charma Boeschen
Charma Boeschen

Charma is a native Oregonian who learned her Spanish primarily in Costa Rica, where she lived for over 3 years and where she currently brings student groups for language study and cultural exploration. She has also lived in the Venezuelan Andes for 6 months and traveled extensively in Central America, Mexico, Ecuador and Cuba. In 1999-2000 she taught English as a Foreign Language at the Universidad de Cantabria in Santander, Spain. Along with her MA in Spanish she also received an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the Department of Applied Linguistics at Portland State University. Charma is very passionate about exploring the diverse cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through language study and believes strongly that effective language learning must be fun. She is a strong advocate of the communicative language teaching method (Spanish immersion) used at PCC and is grateful to be a part of the diverse community of instructors and students at PCC Cascade.

Marisel Gonzalez
Marisel Gonzalez

Marisel Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba where she did her Masters in Chemical Engineering at Havana University. Upon graduation, she worked as an engineer for 20 years in Cuba. In 1998 she won a Visa to come to the United States through the Lottery system and came directly to Oregon from Cuba with her husband and only daughter. From the very beginning, her jobs in the US involved education. She got her Master of Education with a focus in Spanish and in ESL at Portland State University, and has taught little kids as well as middle school, high school and college students. Her family in the U.S. is very small (her husband and daughter) and the rest of her family still lives in Cuba. Her philosophy about education is that everyone can learn: some people need more time to process and master the knowledge while others need less time, but everyone can make it if we have the impetus, the will and a designed way of getting there. She invites her students to enjoy the pleasure of learning because we get freedom when we have knowledge.

Jennifer Hensley
Jennifer Hensley

Jennifer Hensley currently teaches Spanish at Portland Community College’s Sylvania campus and Portland State University. Originally from Canada she has lived in the Portland area for many years and completed her first two years of Spanish at PCC. Jennifer received her BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies at CSU, Chico and her MA at Portland State University. She has spent time traveling and studying in both Mexico and Spain.

Antonia Larsen
Spanish Faculty - Antonia Larsen

Antonia Larsen has been teaching Spanish at PCC since 2005. She received her BA in English from Reed College and her MA in Spanish from PSU. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and dancing.

Maria Elena Lee Lopez

María Elena Lee is from Havana, Cuba and earned a Bachelor in Psychology from The University of Havana in 1981. She came to the United States in 2000 and joined the master's degree program in Spanish at Portland State University graduating in 2006. Her academic research interests are in Spanish Mysticism specifically the masterwork of Santa Teresa de Jesús, Las moradas del castillo interior and Latin American Cinema. María has presented a paper entitled "The religious discourse and the cannibal denomination as instruments of power and identity in 'La última cena' de Tomás Gutierrez Alea" at the Cine Lit. Conference on Cuban Cinema and Literature. Portland State University, February 2007.

Anthony Lewis

Anthony Lewis teaches Spanish at PCC Rock Creek campus. Previous to teaching at PCC he was an Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics at Syracuse University from 2000-2009. Anthony earned a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of California Santa Cruz, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has conducted extensive research in Spanish phonetics and phonology and taught a wide variety of courses on the Spanish language, to include Spanish phonetics and phonology, syntax, dialectology, sociolinguistics, and the history of the Spanish language. He very much enjoys teaching and living in Portland. In his spare time he enjoys riding motorcycles and spending quality time with friends and his Siberian husky, "Saskia".

Carmen Martin-Stiles
Spanish Faculty - Carmen Martin-StilesCarmen Martin-Stiles has been an instructor at PCC Cascade since 2004. She is from Spain, where she earned her Master´s Degree in Geography and History and her Teaching Credentials from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has dedicated her professional life to teaching in different private, public and non-profit institutions in her home country and in Oregon. She loves films, theater, travelling and being involved with the Hispanic Community. Carmen produces and hosts "Buscando America", a weekly program on KBOO community radio.
Adrienne Middleton
Adrienne Middleton has been passionate about teaching Spanish in the Portland area for over 10 years. She has worked at PSU, University of Portland, the NW Academy and now very happily at PCC Cascade. Adrienne has her BA and MA in Spanish from PSU.
Libardo Mitchell
Spanish Faculty - libardo MitchellLibardo has been teaching Spanish at PCC Sylvania since 1989.  As a child he grew up in rural Colombia.  His desire to learn how to read and write forced him to migrate to the wilderness of the city, and later to the US.  He earned his MA from WSU.    If you want to learn more about his life, you are just going to have to take his class.
Kathleen Orcutt
Spanish Faculty - Kathleen OrcuttKathleen took her first Spanish class at PCC in 2005 and couldn't stop! She received an MA in Spanish from PSU and loves teaching Spanish at PCC Sylvania, and other universities in the Portland area. She has traveled and lived in Central America, Spain, and most recently Ecuador, where she taught English through the Universidad Internacional del Ecuador in the Galápagos. When not teaching, Kathleen enjoys hiking, biking, baking, drinking tea and playing capoeira.
Shayna Snyder
Spanish Faculty - Shayna Snyder Shayna Snyder teaches Spanish at PCC's Sylvania and Cascade campuses. She studied Spanish at the University of Oregon and received an MA in Spanish Literature from Portland State University, where she taught for three years. Shayna lived in Spain for a year and later in Argentina for several years. While Spanish and Spanish speaking countries are her passion, Shayna is a traveler at heart and has traveled to many countries in Europe and South and Central America, as well as Nepal and Australia. Shayna is also a certified Yoga Instructor, and enjoys employing yogic philosophy in her Spanish classes to keep them both goofy and calm.
Sunny Stautz
Sunny Stautz

Sunny Stautz has been an instructor of Spanish at Portland Community College’s Southeast campus since 2004 and has also taught second year Spanish at Portland State University through the Challenge Program for gifted high school students. She completed her BA with a double major in Spanish and Communications at Linfield College, in McMinnville, Oregon, and her MAT in Spanish at Portland State University. As an undergraduate, she attended one semester at the Facultad de Filosofia y Letras at the University of Valencia, Spain and one semester at the University of San Francisco’s satellite campus in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Jan Underwood
Spanish Faculty - Jan Underwood

Jan Underwood has taught Spanish at PCC since 1992. She holds a Master's degree in Spanish and French from Portland State University, as well as a Master's in Comparative Literature from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She learned her Spanish primarily in Mexico. Jan wants students to know that the study of languages and cultures is a rich and rewarding endeavor, and that Spanish class is a lot of fun!

Stephanie Zink
Stephanie Zink

Stephanie Zink is an instructor of Spanish at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek campus and has also taught Spanish at Portland State University and Lewis & Clark College. She completed her BA in Spanish at Ripon College in Ripon, Wisconsin and her MA in Spanish at Portland State University. As an undergraduate, she spent a semester abroad in Seville, Spain and studied at The Center for Cross-Cultural Study.