Professor Lourdes Arévalo recently joined the Santa Monica College Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. At SMC, Professor Arévalo co-leads the Heritage Spanish Speaker Program, in addition to teaching Spanish Spanish 2. She is completing her doctorate in Hispanic Languages and Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles and is the recipient 2016 recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, which is given annually to five Teaching Assistants selected across the entire UCLA campus. Since 2010, Professor Arévalo has taught extensively as a graduate student at UCLA, being the instructor of record for the entire sequence of Spanish language classes, including the advanced composition class for heritage speakers. In addition, she was selected to co-lead the UCLA Education Abroad Program in Mérida, Mexico, between the summers of 2012-2016. Her responsibilities included program development, organizing cultural excursions, teaching both beginning and intermediate Spanish, and serving as a Teaching Assistant for a Mexican Narrative literature class.