We are happy to introduce the people who help think the direction of LSLP: Our chair at the helm and a team of faculty and students who advise and support him every step of the way!
(Links to their Academia profiles in their pictures, when available)
(Links to their Academia profiles in their pictures, when available)
RAÚL ALBERTO MORA, Ph.D. (Doctor Berry, the Kung-Fro Master)
Raúl is at present an Associate Professor of English Education and Literacy Studies at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín. He finished his Ph.D. in Language and Literacy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he had the chance to work with worldwide literacy experts such as Dr. Arlette Ingram Willis and Dr. Bill Cope. He also holds an M.A. in Teacher Education from Illinois, is a former Fulbright Graduate Scholar, and was inducted to the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in 2009. He has been a teacher for 27 years, including almost 10 years of teaching English in language institutes, as well as elementary and secondary schools. He also taught Spanish as a graduate student, and has worked with pre- and in-service teachers since 2006, both in the U.S. and Colombia.
At UPB, he chairs LSLP and is an affiliated researcher at the Pedagogy and Didactics of Knowledge (PDS) research group, leading the research line "Second Language Studies". He was the coordinator for the M.A. in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages between 2013 and 2016 and is now part of the program committee in charge of chartering the Doctorate in Education at UPB-Medellín. He is the member of several review boards, including Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Reading Research Quarterly, and International Multilingual Research Journal, to name a few. He holds the top rank of Senior Researcher, according to the Colombian Ministry of Science, Technology, since 2019.
He holds two Visiting Professorships at the doctoral program in education at Universidad Distrital (Bogotá) and the MA in English Language Teaching at Universidad del Norte (Barranquilla), where he also teaches courses related to literacy. He has been guest faculty and visiting scholar at Universidad de Nebrija (Spain), Universidad de Málaga (Spain), Universidad de Córdoba (Montería), Universidad Surcolombiana (Neiva), Florida State University (USA), Marie Curie Sklodowska University (Poland), and Urals Federal University (Russian Federation) in addition to invited webinars at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), and Vanderbilt University (USA). He also has the honor of being the only literacy researcher from Latin America featured at the Global Conversations in Literacy Research webinars from Georgia State University. He has also become more involved in different professional associations such as LRA (as a member of the Technology Committee) and NCTE (as part of the SLAM Assembly), as well as ASOCOPI, where he currently leads the Literacies in ELT (#LitsELT) SIG.
Besides the research agendas from the project, his work on literacy is also following the current debates and evolution of the notion of literacy in other languages, in particular about how the notion of literacidad (Cassany, 2005; Mora, 2011, 2012, 2016) in Spanish should become the alternative that best encompasses the current evolution of literacy research worldwide. He is also exploring the role of transmedia discourse to explain social theory (with Dr. Polina Golovátina-Mora). His research has also studied the multiple roles and discourses of comedy. Due to his research efforts in literacies research and his work chairing LSLP, Raúl was recognized as one of the 2019 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies Research Honorees.
One thing you should know about Doctor Berry: Just like Superman has the cape, Batman the belt, or Green Lantern the ring, Dr. Berry's weapon of choice is his Sennheiser headphones (which kind of makes him the Starlord of Academia if you think about it!). When he plugs in those to his smartphone, his Kung-Fu (or, judging from the picture, his Kung-Fro!) elevates and magic usually follows!
CLAUDIA CAÑAS, M.A.
Claudia holds an MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages from UPB-Medellín and other degrees on Language Teaching. At present, she is an English teacher at UPB School and a Adjunct Professor at the School of Education and Pedagogy. She teaches courses at the BA in English-Spanish Education and the Graduate Specialization in ELT. As of 2018, Claudia is the instructor-of-record for the graduate seminar "Literacies in Second Languages" at the MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages (after assisting as a TA for 4 semesters) and she is also a thesis director in the ML2 program.
Claudia's current research aims to explore and characterize children's personal literacies in and out of school, using multimodality and multiliteracies as conceptual underpinnings. Claudia (along with Angela, Mónica, and Ana Karina) was the co-investigator on the research project "21st Century Literacies in the P-16 School Context," which featured a robust component on children's literacies.
POLINA GOLOVÁTINA-MORA, Ph.D.
Polina is a Full Professor at the School of Social Sciences and the Ph.D. in Social Sciences at UPB-Medellín, as well as a Faculty Affiliate at the M.A. in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages. She is a researcher at the Urban Communication Research Group, where she studies urban narratives. Dr. Golovátina-Mora has been a visiting professor at the University of West Bohemia (Czech Republic), Marie Curie Sklodowska University (Poland), and Urals Federal University (Russian Federation). She is an active member of the Memory Conference from the University of Gdansk, helping recently organize of the Postmemory and the Contemporary World conference in Medellín, Colombia. She holds the top rank of Associate Researcher, according to the Colombian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, since 2019
Polina holds a Ph.D. in History from Urals Federal University in Russia and an M.A. in Russian and Eastern European Studies (as a Fulbright Graduate Scholar) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2010, she finished a Post-Doctoral Fellowship (as an Erasmus Mundus Fellow) at the Pultusk Academy of Humanities in Poland. Her contributions to the project lie in her work on narrative studies, critical analysis of popular culture, and discussions of language, culture, and power. Her current research is exploring the use of monstrous theory and the aesthetics of fear in Medellín, as well as issues of post-humanism and new materialisms.
One thing you should know about Polina: Besides her academic accolades, she has a very powerful artistic side! She's an accomplished photographer, having presented her work in exhibitions in Medellín and Prague and has even ventured into writing stories (both in print and video formats).
MÓNICA LÓPEZ-LADINO, M.A. (The Organizator) - Advanced Researchers Representative
Mónica holds an MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages from UPB-Medellín and is currently teaching middle school English at López de Mesa School in Medellín.
After this change, Mónica will continue expanding the initial framework for the use of multimodal storytelling in the preschool context as a conduit to engage students in critical literacies, possibly into secondary school. She will also participate in an upcoming study on makerspaces.
She has also taken her first steps in higher education, where she is engaged in thesis direction and teaching the research courses (along with Gloria) at the ML2 program.
WALTER CASTAÑO, B.A. Candidate (The Quarterback) - Novice Researchers Representative
Walter joined LSLP in January, 2016. He is pursuing his B.A. in English-Spanish Education at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín. Walter first joined #TeamLaV as support to our first project, in areas such as participant recruitment, note-taking and interview transcription. He is now helping carry out Phase Two of our Gaming Literacies study while developing his senior thesis proposal.
In his current work at LSLP, he has proposed new avenues for our research on gaming literacies, such as the expansion of our framework and the notion of isotypes. His work (especially for his senior thesis) will use duoethnographic methods to explore his experiences as a gamer transitioning into teaching.