Skip to main content
online degree program - how online learning works
educating armed forces and veterans
Contact Admissions for how to enroll at Saint Leo University.
Contact Admissions to discuss financial aid options.
Click here to schedule a campus visit!
Learn more about how to start an online degree today!
Talk to us today: (877) 622-2009

Marcela van Olphen, Ph.D.

Find Program

    Marcela van Olphen, Ph.D.

    Professor of Spanish & Portuguese

    Dr. Marcela van Olphen is a Professor of Spanish and Portuguese and collaborates with the Bridge Program. Dr. van Olphen received her M.A. and Ph.D. from Purdue University and undergraduate degrees in Elementary Education, Preschool and Kindergarten Education, and Adult Education in Argentina, her native country. She worked as P-K-12 teacher in rural and urban schools (Argentina). She has taught research methods, teacher education, second language acquisition, methods, Spanish, and culture in different U.S. universities.

    Dr. van Olphen started the Spanish program and the Spanish Club (faculty advisor) at Saint Leo. She teaches Spanish and Bridge courses, serves in several committees and university initiatives, mentors peers and students, and provides university training for peer observers. She is actively engaged in her profession and has been elected to serve in various leadership positions in state and national professional associations.

    Dr. van Olphen’s research centers in world languages education. Her work has been published in leading journals and handbooks. She has delivered over 70 presentations at international, national, and regional conferences. Dr. van Olphen is the recipient of excellence in teaching awards from Saint Leo University, Purdue University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as the Irving Wershow Award for Excellence in Leadership in the Profession (highest distinction bestowed by Florida Foreign Language Association).


    • Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction (with specialization in Foreign Language Education, cognates in Applied Linguistics/ESL & Instructional Design and Technology), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
    • M.A., Spanish Linguistics (Theoretical & Applied-ESL), Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.
    • Graduate Certificate, Global Public Health and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
    • B.A, Elementary Education, Teachers’ College, Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Nro. 10, Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    • B.A, Adult Education, Teachers’ College, Instituto Superior de Formación Docente Nro. 10, Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    • B.A, Pre-School and Kindergarten Education, Universidad del Centro de la Pcia. de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Courses Taught

    • SPA 111: Beginning Spanish 1
    • SPA 112: Beginning Spanish 2
    • SPA 211: Intermediate Spanish 1
    • SPA 212: Intermediate Spanish 1
    • SPA 311: Advanced Spanish 1
    • SPA 312: Advanced Spanish 2
    • SPA 320: Introduction to Spanish Speaking Cultures
    • SPA 325: Peoples of Latin America: Cultural Perspectives
    • SPA 326: Peoples of Spain: Cultural Perspectives
    • SPA 420: Advanced Spanish through Literature and Film
    • POR 111: Beginning Portuguese 1
    • POR 112: Beginning Portuguese 2
    • FRL 200: Accelerated Portuguese for Speakers of Romance Languages
    • SLU 105: Introduction to University Life and American Culture (for BRIDGE Program)