Cris Lira Earns College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collegiate Teaching Award

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Cris Lira is a Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, where she serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Portuguese program. Since she was hired in 2016, Dr. Lira has engaged students in the study of Portuguese language and Brazilian literature and culture. During the past three years, she has taught 16 language courses, including especially rigorous accelerated undergraduate courses. To ensure that her students get individual attention and tutoring, Lira employs time-intensive techniques such as using ICON to have her students submit spoken exercises, to which she responds with her own recordings. She has also implemented the Teletandem project, an online language exchange program enabling her students to meet with Brazilian university students to practice their language skills. She is committed to excellence in curriculum design, and is currently participating in a Mellon Foundation End of Year Proficiency Test Development project to develop an end-of-year proficiency test for Portuguese. A poet, short story writer, and literary translator, her research specializes in contemporary Brazilian literature. Her additional interests include memory and gender studies, contemporary Latin American literature, urban literature, and representations of violence, with a current focus on the representation of female guerrilla warfare fighters in Brazil and Argentina during the last dictatorship in both countries (1964-1985). 

"Dr. Lira is an extraordinarily dedicated, innovative, and engaged teacher of Portuguese language, creative writing, and Brazilian literature and culture," said Denise Filios, Professor and Chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department. "She has acquired a national reputation in her field, and our students benefit from her expertise every day."