Student Profiles

At a glance, see from where our past and current sutdents have come from, and get an idea of how each used their own background to develop their projects and earn their CLCS degrees. Our Student Ambassadors are also listed below, if you want to connect with our student social media pages and group chats.

Student Ambassadors

CLCS maintains two Program Ambassador positions to advanced students selected to offer peer mentoring to students entering the program. Ambassadors typically run workshops on the job market, comprehensive exams, and dissertation writing. Feel free to reach out to them if you want to link up with the CLCS peer network on campus.

Nourhan El Nagdy


Guillermo Pupo Pernet



Anthony Sargenti

PhD program, interested in Italian hip hop and negotiating identities, MA in Italian from San Francisco State University, BA in Art History from San Jose State University.

Liz Villamizar

PhD program, concentrating Spanish Medieval and Renaissance women's representation. MA in Arts in Hispanic Literature from University of Arkansas.

Ayesha Fatima Barque

PhD program, interested in regional literature and its linguistic roots. Mphil in English Literature from The University of Punjab, Pakistan.

 Jean-Hugues Bita'a Menye

BITA'A, Ph.D. program, concentration on memory and 20th century crime fiction, M.A. French

Virginia Siegel

PhD program, cultural studies. Concentrating on folklore and gender studies. MA in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University.

Isaac Gonzalez

MA program, Epic Poetry / Indigenous Studies, B.A. in Philosophy from University of Arkansas.  

Will Loder

MA Program, focusing on virtual reality applications in Roman Archaeology, B.A. dual degree in Classics and History from University of Arkansas.

Alshaatha Alsharji

PhD program, concentrating on racial and gender relations within Arab and Muslim communities, MA in CLCS.

Khadidja Bouchellia

MA and PhD programs.  MA in British and American Studies from the University of Constantine, Algeria. Research in Postcolonial Studies, North African and Middle East Studies (MENA), rhetoric, gender, identity and representation.

David Irungu

PhD in Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics. Interested in Second Language Acquisition and Postcolonial Literature. MA in Modern Languages.

Jeff Wright

Ph.D. Cultural Studies program, concentrating on Gender Representations and Visual Rhetoric in Convergence Culture and Adaptation Studies. M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies - Anthropology, Rhetoric and Writing, B.A. Liberal Arts - Anthropology, Gender Studies, Film Studies, and Theater, University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Chenwei Wu, PhD

Interested in computer mediated communication, M.A. in Communication Studies from University of Arkansas, B.A. in Business English from Beijing City University.

Hameed Naseem

PhD program, literary translation, concentrating on Classical Arabic religious literature, PhD in Materials Science Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Cindy Rauth

PhD in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, with a concentration in World Languages and Applied Linguistics. Research interests include identity and language use in secondary school settings in the South. MA in TESOL from the University of Washington, Seattle and a BA in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Chloe Spellmann

PH.D program, concentrating in Applied Linguistics, interested in Second Language Acquisition. B.A. in Modern Languages and M.A. in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from the University of Central Arkansas.  

Samer Mayyas

Ph.D. Program, research areas include anti-Black racism in Arabic literature and culture, African American literature, literary theory, MA degree in English Literature and Criticism from Yarmouk University, Jordan.

Huong Nguyen

Ph.D porgram. Focusing on the theory of making collective memories, Vietnamese traditional religions, Folklore. B.A in Folklore in Hanoi National University of Education in Vietnam. 

Kelsey Berkel

PhD program, interested in 19th-century French novels and second language acquisition. MA in French from the University of Arkansas. 

Ibrahim Mazen

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies/Applied Linguistics. Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction/ESL Education and M.Ed in Secondary Education, U of A.

Jessica Lucia Pacitto

PhD prgram, concentrating in translation and applied linguistics. MATESOL/ applied linguistics and MFA from the University of Alabama.

Jane Wineland

Ph.D. Program. Comparative Literature Concentration.

Ibrahim Mostafa Hassan

PhD. Program. World Languages and Applied Linguistics concentration.

Hector Saavedra Astudillo

Ph.D. Program. Comparative Literature Concentration.

Mayssa Hassan

Ph.D. Program. Comparative Literature Concentration.

Isidoro Villa Ligero

 Ph.D. Program. Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies Concentration.

Angela Cruz Parra

Ph.D. Program. Cultural Studies Concentration.

Li Yang

Ph.D. Program. World Languages and Applied Linguistics Concentration.

Sophia Ordaz

MA Program.

Jessica Brown

MA Program.

Michael Hall

Ph.D. Program. Cultural Studies Concentration.

Rachel Murray

MA Program.

Chy’ Na Nellon

Ph.D. Program. Cultural Studies Concentration.

Li Li

MA Program.


Zane Emīlija Sarma 

PhD program. Interested in reader response to the depiction of masculinities in YA dystopian fiction. MA English Philology, University of Latvia. 

Raúl E. Garriga

PhD program, concentrating in the relationship between the works of Miguel de Unamuno and Frederick Nietzsche. M.A. in Comparative Literature from Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Angela Mosley-Monts

PhD Comparative Literature and Culture Studies, Dissertation Topic: African American Churches: Male Minority uses Structure of Religion, Gender Biases, Institutional Sexism, and Politics to Dominate and Suppress Female Leadership, BA in Journalism, University of Arkansas, MA, in Ministry, John Brown University, Master of Business Administration in Management and Technology, Webster University.

Samual McMillen

PhD program. My dissertation examins contructions of race and masculinity in the character, Luke Cage, as he appears in multiple Netflix series. MA in English literature.

Michelle Pribbernow

PhD program, concentrating in Cultural Studies and interested in U.S. horror film, gender and sexuality. M.A. in Anthropology from University of Pittsburgh and B.A. in Anthropology from University of Notre Dame.

Hamed Alalamat

PhD, interested in Postmodernism and Jordanian and American novels, MA in English and MA in Linguistics.

Kaveh Bassiri

PhD candidate, cultural studies and literary translations / research in modern Iranian poetry, film, and theatre, MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Semah Hussein

PhD candidate at CLCS program.My dissertation focuses on female archetypes in Iraqi and Chicana women writings and how the selected archetypes are utilized by these writers to create oppositional consciousness to hegemonic discourses. I have B.A. and M.A. in English Literature.

Vanessa Guerrero

PhD program, intersted in Historical Novel in Latin America during 21st. century. MA in Latin-American Literature from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), BA in Literature from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia).

William Lemley

PhD CLCS, Masculinity and the Camp Aesthetic, MA in Enlish/Literary Studies from Texas A&M San Antonio, BA in English/Literary Studies from University of Texas San Antonio. 

Manal AlNatour

(Ph.D. 2012) is an Associate Professor of Arabic Studies and the Director of Arabic Studies program at the University of West Virginia. She has developed and taught Arabic, FCLT, and FLIT courses at all levels at WVU, including Modern Arabic Literature, Arab Women Writers, and Arabic Cinema. Dr. AlNatour has also been a faculty associate in the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies.

Asaad Alsaleh

(Ph.D. 2010) is an associate professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in the Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. His multi-contributor volume, Voices of the Arab Spring, was published by Columbia University Press in 2015. Asaad won a Trustees Teaching Award in 2017. He enjoys teaching courses such as the Arabic Novel, Arabic Autobiography, and Arabic Poetry.

Mohammed Alshammari

(Ph.D. 2017) is assistant professor and department chair in the Arabic Language Department of Aljouf University, Saudi Arabia, where he teaches comparative literature and literary theory. He is working to establish a Cultural Studies Center at his university and has two journal articles currently in review.

Amilkar Caballero de la Hoz

(Ph.D. 2016) is coordinator of the M.A. Program Caribbean and Spanish American Studies of the Universidad del Atlántico, in Barranquilla, Colombia.  He is the director of the academic journal Cuadernos de Literatura del Caribe e Hispanoamérica. 

Raquel Castro Salas

(Ph.D 2019) is a Teaching Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She teaches Translation and Interpretation, Spanish for the Profession, and Service Learning.  She is the co-director of Sin Límites, the Latino Youth Biliteracy Project. In 2019 she was a co-pi recipient of the Chancellor's Humanties Grant for building capacity in Spanish teaching in Arkansas.

Sobia Mubarak Durrani

 (Ph.D.  2015) is currently teaching at Government College University (GCU), Lahore, Pakistan, as assistant professor. She teaches drama courses, including Elizabethan drama, and theatre and performance studies. She is also an active member of the GCU Dramatics Club. She has published three essays related to her work.

Paula Haydar

(Ph.D. 2014) is currently Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.  She has taught Arabic language courses at the University of Massachusetts and literary translation and Arabic language at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon.  She taught the introductory level total immersion summer Arabic class at the Summer Institute for Intensive Arabic Language and Culture (SINARC) at LAU from 1997-2004.  She is the translator of twelve contemporary Arabic novels by Lebanese writers Elias Khoury, Rachid Al-Daif, and Jabbour Douaihy, Palestinian writers Sahar Khalifeh and Adania Shibli, and Jordanian writer Jamal Naji. 

Sarah Frances Hudson

(Ph.D. 2017 ) is a full-time instructor at Connors State College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, teaching writing and humanities courses. Sarah is spearheading a reading and writing intervention program for the pre-nursing program in order to help improve admissions and success rates in nursing school. Her dissertation was about Palestinian fictional film as an accented cinema, and she is currently working on a project that approaches Palestinian film using a postcolonial ecocritical and environmental/social justice perspective for analyzing the closing off of space within the Occupied Territories and the films that depict it.

Ghadir Zannon

(Ph.D. 2011), is an Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, in the Department of Modern & Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. In 2018, she received the UK's College of Arts & Sciences Award for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Award for A Teacher Who Made A Difference, given by the UK College of Education, and in 2017, Ghadir received the Kentucky World Language Association Award for Outstanding Teacher of Arabic.  In addition to Arabic language courses, she teaches courses such as Modern Arabic Literature and Arab Women Writers.

Isra Daraiseh

CLCS PhD, 2015) is assistant professor of English Language and Literature at the Arab Open University, Kuwait. She teaches courses in writing, English literature (especially nineteenth-century), and world literature. Her research focuses on these areas, as well as on Arab and American popular culture. She is the co-author of the book Tony Soprano’s America: Gangsters, Guns and Money (Rowman and Littlefield, 2017).

Elena Foulis

(Ph.D. 2010) is a senior lecturer, Service Learning and Heritage Language Coordinator at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Her research and teaching interests include U.S. Latina/o literature, and Digital Oral History. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in service-learning and Spanish for Heritage Speakers at OSU. Her articles explore Latin@ voices through oral history, oral history as participatory pedagogy in service-learning classrooms, identity and place through linguistic landscape and ethnography as a useful tool in advanced heritage language writing courses.  Dr. Foulis is working on a digital oral history project about Latin@s in Ohio, which is being archived at the Center for Folklore Studies' internet collection. 

Judith Martínez

(Ph.D 2017) is an Assistant Professor in the Modern Language Department at Missouri State University. In  2019 she received the Missouri State Diversity Scholar Stipend Award and the Online Digital Professor Award and was honored as an Exemplary Student Mentor in the Maroon and White Honors Banquet at Missouri State University.   Her research interests involve the representation of neoliberal violence in Latin American cultural texts. In the fall of 2020 she was appointed  as a Provost Diversity Fellow. 

Nadine Adel Sinno, 

(Ph. D.  2009) is an Associate Professor of Arabic at Virginia Tech University. She has published two books and co edited a textbook, Al-Daif, Rashid. Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep? Trans. Paula Haydar and Nadine Sinno. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014. And Yared, Nazik Saba. Canceled Memories. Trans. Nadine Sinno. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2009. Textbook, Haydar, Adnan, Paula Haydar, and Nadine Sinno. Haki bil-Libnani: Lebanese Arabic Online Textbook and Companion Website to Al-Kitaab Part One. 3rd ed. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2014. 

Mirosh Thomas

(Ph.D. 2013) has been an assistant professor in the English Department at Christ University in Bangalore, India, where he taught British lit, postcolonial lit, the epic, world lit, and theory. Excitingly, he has decided to resign that position to join his wife in Dubai and seek out new horizons. His latest writing is a forthcoming article, “Cultural Transference in Translation: Translating a Postcolonial Vernacular Novel into English,” in the Journal of Communication & Culture. He has also presented on “Nation and Narration,” at the National Seminar on Democracy, Education and Nationalist Discourses – Towards a Critical Engagement, held at St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore, India, and lots of other conferences.

 Wawan Yulianto 

(Ph.D. 2018) is the chair of the Department of English at Ma Chung University in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. He teaches courses on Literary Criticism, Research Techniques, Creative Writing, Popular Literature, and more.



This list of alumni is far from complete.  It seeks to provide examples of the diverse trajectories of the Program's graduates.

Share with us your successes and career accomplishments  at