CORVALLIS, Ore. – Susana Rivera-Mills, associate professor of Spanish linguistics and diversity advancement at Oregon State University, has been appointed to chair the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Rivera-Mills has been at OSU since 2007. Her passion for her teaching and research goes beyond an academic interest – she emigrated with her family from El Salvador at the age of 12.

“Susana’s leadership skills make her an ideal advocate for the importance of language study both in the university and in Oregon communities,” said Lawrence Rodgers, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Rivera-Mills said the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures has a new mission and vision that is more focused on innovative interdisciplinary learning opportunities.

“My priority is to provide students with learning opportunities that challenge and engage them, and help them connect with the local community,” Rivera-Mills said.

“Although it is true that the next months and even years may be filled with great challenges, these are also opportunities for growth,” she added. “One of the things that our faculty does best is to teach our students how to overcome limited visions of their own abilities in order to transform themselves into independent and critical thinkers.”

Rivera-Mills has a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of New Mexico and her bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Iowa. She came to OSU from Northern Arizona University where she was an assistant professor of Spanish and linguistics. She is finishing a book on Spanish of the Southwest and a second book on building communities and making connections.


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Susana Rivera-Mills, 541-737-3959