Donna Van Bodegraven

Associate Professor of Spanish
Carlton Building 230A
2125 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5646

Brief Biography

Dr. Van B was born in Philadelphia, PA and is a first generation college student.  That is, her parents did not go to college.  She graduated with a BS in Secondary Education - Spanish from Penn State, and earned a masters and PhD in Spanish (Latin American literature) from Temple University as well as a second masters in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona.  In her free time, Dr. Van B is an avid supporter of Elon Phoenix sports, especially men's and women's basketball and football.  She also enjoys travelling, especially to countries where Spanish is spoken.  Dr. Van B. lives close to Elon in Burlington.


Penn State University - BS in Secondary Education - Spanish

Temple University - MA in Spanish

Temple University - PhD in Spanish (Latin American literature)

University of Arizona - MA in Latin American Studies

Employment History

Temple University - graduate teaching assistant; language coordinator for the Latin American Studies Semester; adjunct instructor of Spanish

Philadelphia Community College - adjunct instructor of Spanish

Ursinus College - part-time lecturer in Spanish

Rassias Language Associates - senior language consultant

Albright College - assistant and associate professor of Spanish

Georgia Institute of Technology - assistant professor of Spanish

Central College - associate professor of Spanish, chair of the Cross-Cultural Division, Director of the Latin American Studies program

Elon University (1999 - present) - associate professor of Spanish (1999-present); chair of the Department of Foreign Languages (2000-2008), coordinator of the Latin American Studies minor (2009-present); Faculty Fellow for the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center (2012-present)

Courses Taught

SPN 122 Elementary Spanish II
SPN 124 Intensive Elementary Spanish I and II (spring 2013)
SPN 221 and 222 Intermediate Spanish I and II
SPN 318 Advanced Spanish and the Maya Worlds (winter term abroad)
SPN 321 Conversation
SPN 322 The Art of Written Communication
SPN 333 Spanish Civilization (now called Defining Moments in Spanish Civilization)
SPN 334 Latin American Civilization (now called Defining Moments in Spanish American Civilization)
SPN 335 Latinos in the U.S.
SPN 350 Introduction to Literary Analysis in Spanish
SPN 465 Capstone Seminar (Topic: Latin American Theater of Innovation and Social Change)
GST 110 The Global Experience
GST 2xx Business in the Yucatan (winter term abroad with Dr. Nienhaus)
GST 2xx Astronomy in Mexico - Maya to Modern (winter term abroad with Dr. Crider)
GST 401 Maya Prophecies for 2012: Doomsday or a New Day?

Current Projects

Assessment of achievement of personal growth and cultural awareness goals in students participating in three models of post-study-abroad integration activities (2012-2013)

A comparison of the impact of different error correction strategies on the self-correction of errors in agreement produced by advanced-level students of Spanish in short reaction papers.


“The Border Crossing Experience in Recent Mexican and Chicano Theater.”  Beauty is in the Details: A Global View of Persons of Color.  Ed. Lemuel Berry, Jr.  NAAAS and Affiliates, 2010. 1437-52. CD-ROM.

"Arnaldo Jabor's Eu te amo: Whimsical Erotica or Socio-Political Commentary?".  co-authored with Enrique Gronlund and Moylan Mills. in Studies in Latin American Popular Culture. 11(1992): 29-43. Print.

"Mythical Patterns in Jorge Amado's Novel Gabriela -- Clove and Cinnamon and Bruno Barreto's Film Gabriela."  co-authored with John Martin.  in Film and Literature: A Comparative Approach to Adaptation. Wendell Aycock and Michael Schoenecke, eds.  Lubbock, Tx: Texas Tech University Press, 1988. 179-88. Print.

Vamos a Colombia  (©Rassias Language Associates, 1982) - cross-cultural training materials produced for Esso Inter-America, Inc., including textbook, workbook, tape program and video program. Print.


  • Fall 2007-Spring 2010 – President of Elon University’s chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • Spring 2007 – Sabbatical to return to the University of Arizona to complete MA in Latin American Studies
  • Spring 2006 – Excellence in Service Award from Elon College, The College of Arts and Sciences of Elon University
  • Summer 2002 – one of 25 U.S. and international faculty members selected from 100 applicants to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute “The Maya Worlds: Cultural Continuity and Change in Guatemala, Honduras, Chiapas and Yucatán”
  • October 1995 - Outstanding Teaching Award from the College of Education Alumni Society, The Pennsylvania State University
  • October 1995 - Outstanding Foreign Language Educator of the Year, College and University level from the Iowa Foreign Language Association
  • 1994-1997 - The Kenneth J. Weller Distinguished Professorship of the Liberal Arts, Central College - an endowed chair
  • 1984 - Jacob Award for Outstanding Teacher of the Year, Albright College
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society (since 1973)
  • Phi Sigma Iota, National Romance Language Honor Society (since 1973)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honor society (since 2003)
  • Phi Beta Delta, national honor society for international education (since 2002)