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Alumni Spotlight

April 10, 2017

Alumni are an essential part of the S&P Department. They remind us of the important role we play in students’ lives not only as maturing individuals, but also as professionals. Dr. Mary Hudgens Henderson is our highlighted Alumni this week and we couldn't be more proud that she represents the University of New Mexico. 

*What are you doing now/where are you

"I am an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Bilingual Education at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota."  

*Tell us about some of your professional highlights post-graduation

"I was hired at my current position to direct the new Bilingual/Bicultural Education minor program for future teachers at my university. The program has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Teaching and we will offer classes soon. So far, we are the only public institution in Minnesota that offers a program for teachers to get an endorsement in Bilingual/Bicultural Education for a teaching license, so it is very exciting!" 

*Research Interests/are you using your Spanish/Port degree

"I am continuing research that is related to my dissertation, incorporating sociolinguistics into education. I am teaching a Spanish for Native and Heritage Speakers class that uses a sociolinguistic approach to teach students about linguistic diversity and style-shifting to a formal language variety in writing. I have a few different projects, such as a pen pal exchange with students in a local Spanish Immersion program and collaborating with local high schools for a Latinx Civic Engagement Forum to discuss issues around identity, leadership, and belonging in a plural society." 

*Memories at UNM or with department

 "My favorite memory is presenting at AAAL with Dr. Damián Vergara Wilson and Michael Woods in Boston, 2012. We had a great time at the conference, then afterwards we rented bikes and rode around the city listening to Bostonian accents!" 

In addition to all of the amazing accomplishments Professor Hudgens has succeeded in so far, most recently she published an article with Associate Professor Naomi Shin, from the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UNM. The article is titled “A Sociolinguistic Approach to Teaching Spanish Grammatical Structures”.

 Link to article:

Link to Mary's website: