Melissa D. Carruth

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Modern Languages

Contact Information
Phone: 724-458‐3378

Melissa D. Carruth


  • Ph.D. in Spanish (literatures and cultures), University of Georgia
  • M.A. in Spanish (literatures and linguistics), Baylor University
  • Certificate in Biblical Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • Texas Educator Certificate in Secondary Education, Texas Tech University
  • B.A. in Spanish, Texas Tech University

Areas of Research

  • Latin American, Hispanophone Caribbean, and Latina life writing (e.g. autobiography, memoir, testimonio) and new media
  • Pragmatics in Spanish, e.g. politeness and compliments
  • Christian worldview
  • Twentieth-century spiritual revival movements in Latin America

Courses Taught

  • Elementary Spanish II
  • Intermediate Spanish I and II
  • Introduction to Literature and Film in Spanish
  • Conversation in Spanish
  • Independence and National Identities in Latin America
  • Peace and Reconciliation in Latin America
  • Business Culture in the Hispanic World

What is the most important piece of advice you give to students to help them grow in their understanding of Spanish?  
If at all possible, I encourage students to find a way to connect with Spanish speakers in the U.S. or in a Spanish-speaking country. For example, consider getting involved in Spanish Club, a Spanish-speaking church ministry, or studying / working abroad. Additional ways to connect with Spanish speakers include teaching English while living in Spain or video-chatting with a Spanish-speaking friend in Chile.   
Building these friendships may unveil previously opaque aspects about others and oneself—as each individual and culture shapes and is shaped over time by a confluence of values, beliefs, practices, and environments. In addition, listening to and observing their perspectives on personal, political, and (trans)national happenings may expand one’s understanding, beyond the superficialities of media soundbites surrounding a particular nation or group. In short, these (mutually) enriching connections with fellow image-bearers of a different language and culture often accelerate one’s growth (and contribution) as a whole person in God’s world.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • “(Un)Common Grace in Alicia Partnoy’s The Little School: Embodying the Christian Virtues in the Face of Injustice and Suffering.” Journal of Christianity and World Languages: Journal of the Christian Association of World Languages (CAWL), vol. 21, 2020, pp. 45–58.
  • “Performing Transnational Subjectivity via Traditional Autobiographical Practices and Automediality: Isabel Allende’s Memoir My Invented Country and New Media.” South Central Modern Language Association Conference, San Antonio, TX, October 12, 2018.
  • “(Re)locating the Autobiographical ‘I’s’ within the Nexus of Solitude and Solidarity in Sandra Cisneros’ A House of My Own.” The International Auto/Biography Association Biennial World Conference, Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, São João del-Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil, July 14, 2018.
  • “Problematizing Yoani Sánchez’s Performance of Counter-revolutionary Subjectivity and Global Citizenship via New Media.” The International Auto/Biography Association’s Europe Conference, Life Writing, Europe, and New Media; King’s College, London, England, June 9, 2017.
  • “Torn between Two Worlds: The Eternal vs. the Ephemeral in the Life and Poetry of Gabriela Mistral,” Christian Association of World Languages (CAWL) Conference, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, March 23, 2012.

Relevant Professional and Personal Experience
I previously taught Spanish at Baylor University for three years and at the University of Georgia for five years. I have also been in 22 countries. Among these, my experience in Spanish-speaking countries includes one year in Monterrey, México, as well as a summer study abroad in San Luis Potosí, México; in addition to research and/or exploration in Cuba, Chile, Spain, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.

Hobbies & Interests

  • In-line skating
  • Walking in nature
  • Art and history museums
  • Travel