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 Olphenâ€™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.