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2010chiapas_lg.jpgCLACS Core Faculty

CLACS Core Faculty consist of tenure-stream and non-tenure-stream faculty and staff actively engaged in teaching, research, service, or librarianship on Latin America and the Caribbean.


The nearly 200 faculty affiliated with CLACS represent 65 departments and programs across 16 colleges.

CLACS for MSU Faculty Flyer (PDF). 


Any qualified faculty member may be admitted to membership of the Core Faculty of the CLACS upon his/her request or nomination by another Core Faculty member, and by approval of the Advisory Council.

The Core Faculty support the activities of the CLACS and assist the Center in developing and implementing programs and activities. Core Faculty have voting privileges.

How to Apply

Approximately, 200 faculty are affiliated with CLACS and represent 65 departments and programs across 20 colleges. To become a CLACS core Faculty member, MSU faculty may be nominated by colleagues or they may self-nominate by contacting the director, Laurie Medina at medina(at)


Strategic partnership funding. CLACS administers MSU Strategic Partnership funds to promote interdisciplinary and collaborative projects with colleagues at MSU and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

CLACS Welcomes the Spring 2021 New Core Faculty


Meagan Driver (Assistant Professor, Department of Romance and Classical Studies and Second Language Studies Program)


Meagan Driver headshot.PNGMeagan studies heritage language education and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) relating to the Spanish language. Her research implements cognitive theories and methodologies to explore topics including emotion, bi- and multilingualism, and study abroad in relation to a range of linguistic, psychological, and social factors, including vocabulary learning, moral judgment, and identity. As a heritage speaker of Spanish herself, she adapts instruments and methodologies in her research that address the reality and needs of linguistically and socially diverse learner populations, specifically with respect to the Latinx, Spanish-speaking communities in the U.S. As a result, her research and teaching are founded on many cultural traditions and language ideologies of Latin America and their transfer and adoption in the U.S. Her current work explores the relationship between various emotions and questions surrounding linguistic and ethnoracial identity, with respect to the acquisition of Spanish as a heritage or foreign language. She aims to build awareness for the social, academic, and affective needs of the Latinx immigrant communities in the U.S., in order to support and empower Latinx learners in their language learning trajectories. Post-Covid, she hopes to build stronger ties with the Latinx and multilingual communities in local MI school districts.


Bruna Sommer-Farias (Assistant Professor, Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching program in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement)

Bruna-from website.jpgBruna pursues teaching, research and service that creates open-source materials for Brazilian Portuguese, such as the learner corpus MACAWS and related pedagogical materials that focus on both language and culture. She is also part of the research group GIRLS, with whom she is currently working on a project to describe and analyze sociolinguistic variation of the Brazilian Portuguese pronominal system as manifested in Twitter data. She is part of the American Association of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP), a group engaged in organizing events and publications for the community of teachers of Portuguese in the United States and worldwide. Her work within CeLTA and the Masters in Foreign Language Teaching at MSU have included the incorporation of multilingual pedagogies, genre awareness, and social justice into classes and teacher development events. Her interests include less commonly taught languages (LCTLs), bi-multilingualism, identity and writing knowledge, heritage language learners, and antiracist education.



Maria D. Molina (Assistant Professor, Advertising and Public Relations)

Molina headshot.jpgDr. Molina pursues research at the intersection of communication technology, media effects, and computational social science. Her research explores the social and psychological implications of sharing online, focusing on how technology shapes what we share on social media. Rather than studying technology as an object (e.g., Facebook as a whole), she analyzes the affordances, or action possibilities within a medium (e.g., social endorsement elements within the Facebook platform) and how those affordances of technology incentivize people to share. Currently, Maria's research focuses on the role played by technological affordances in promoting sharing of both positive content (e.g., reporting workouts in fitness apps for motivating healthy lifestyle) and negative content (e.g., spreading false news via social media), as well as user responses to automated tools that use artificial intelligence (AI) to flag problematic content such as misinformation, suicidal ideation, and hate speech. She has explored sharing behavior across different cultural contexts, comparing the U.S. and Latin America, especially Ecuador.

Sandro R. Barros (Assistant Professor, Teacher Education)

Sandro Barros (from him).jpgDr. Barros studies broad issues connected with multilingual development, culture, and language politics in K-16 curricula with a focus on the US and Latin America. He is interested in how the study of languages other than English shapes public perceptions of citizenship and belonging within the context of the nation-state. His research analyzes the connections between language learning ideologies, interculturality, and how language debates supporting truth regimes influence multilingualism's public pedagogy.

Catalina Bartlett (Assistant Professor, Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures) 

Catalina barlett from her website.jpgDr. Barlett teaches courses on Chicanx literatures, Chicana Feminisms, and Chicanx rhetorics that explore such themes as belonging, homelands and borderlands, and feminist theory and praxis. Her courses engage thematic and material connections to Latin American and Caribbean Studies through topics such as Indigeneity, violence against women, and Afro-Latinx feminisms. These and other topics complicate the idea of Latinidad, the role of settler colonialism in perpetuating epistemic and corporeal violence and erasure, and Chicanx understandings of mestizaje and Indigeneity. She currently is at work on a short story collection, a poetry manuscript, and a series of essays that draw on her matrilineal family history and her early life along the southern Colorado-northern New Mexico corridor as it relates to similar themes such as Indigeneity, Chicanismx, Catholicism, and the power and fallibility of collective memory.