Department of Languages

Spanish Faculty Spotlight

María Rosa Júdez Riquelme, MD
Lecturer of Spanish and Health (

María Rosa Júdez Riquelme, a member of the Board of Directors of Foothills Community Health Care, earned a Medical Doctor degree from Autonomic National University of Mexico; she has a Postgraduate Fellowship on Obesity, and a Specialty in Human Development from Humanistic Institute, Mexico. Postgraduate Certifications: Expertise on Health Science, Universidad La Salle; Expertise on General Practice; Clinical and Surgery Emergencies; Children and Adolescent Clinics; Women’s Health Clinics; Geriatric and Chronic Diseases; Clinical Nutrition and Bariatrics (UNAM); Education and Sexual Clinics (National General Medicine Academy); and Medical Assistant Program (Pendleton, SC). She was Academic Director of Continuous Education for General Practitioners for Primary Care Physicians and Nurses, speaker for Pharmaceutical laboratories, English-Spanish translator, editor for Elsevier Editorial Mexico, Study Coordinator for several clinical and pharmaceutical research studies in obese and diabetic patients, and manager of clinical research for Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals Research Institute. Dr. Júdez Riquelme also published several articles and co-authored a book on obesity. She taught Medical Clinics and Public Health as full time professor at several Universities in Mexico and has been teaching Medical Spanish (Span 3150 and 4190) as well as SPAN 1020, 2010, and 3050 at Clemson University.


Dr. Júdez Riquelme with her students (SPAN 3150, fall 2019)

Daniel J. Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish (

Dr. Daniel J. Smith, Coordinator of the Spanish Section in the Clemson University Languages Department, received his BA in Spanish (Bob Jones University), his M.Ed. in Foreign Language Education (University of Georgia), and his Ph.D. in Ibero-Romance Philology and Linguistics with a concentration in Spanish Linguistics (University of Texas at Austin). He also did graduate work at Middlebury College in Vermont. His main areas of research include linguistics, sociolinguistics, Spanish linguistics, language contact, bilingualism (especially Spanish and English bilingualism), and language acquisition (especially second language acquisition). He has researched, presented, and published on the grammatical and social forces which shape language in language contact situations and the practical implications of his and others’ research in relation to second language learning. He has presented his research at numerous national and international conferences. He has published articles in The International Journal of Bilingualism, Southwest Journal of Linguistics, Southern Journal of Linguistics, The Bilingual Review, Bilingual Research Journal, Revista Nebrija, Textos, Hipertexto, Porta Linguarum, and Normas: Revista de estudios lingüísticos hispánicos. Dr. Daniel Smith teaches courses in Spanish linguistics, general linguistics, Spanish grammar, composition, and conversation, and he has taught all levels of Spanish.


Dr. Smith with his students (SPAN 3020, fall 2019)

Arelis Moore de Peralta, MD, PhD, MPH, MEd
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Community Health (

Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta (MD, MEd, MPH, Dominican Republic; PhD, Clemson University), an assistant professor with an inter-disciplinary appointment at the Department of Languages, is a medical epidemiologist and social scientist. Her role as a faculty and researcher at Clemson University, combined with her quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research expertise, is allowing her to explore inter-disciplinary, holistic and comprehensive approaches to the study of health disparities among minorities in the US, with an emphasis on Hispanics in the US, Latin-America, and the Caribbean. Dr. Moore worked in the public health system in the Dominican Republic (1995-2016) focusing on transmissible diseases. She was selected into the 2015-16 Community Engaged Scholars (CES) Program funded by NIH through the MUSC Center for Community Health Partnerships. Dr. Moore de Peralta has an ongoing community-engaged research project that takes place in the Dominican Republic, and involves conducting research and partnerships to build healthier communities. She has also been involved in a research team (GHS and USC) to explore health care services preferences of under-privileged communities in Greenville County, and was assigned to the NSF funded project Tigers Advance at Clemson University. She is offering SPAN 3970, 4180, and 4190 at the Department of Languages.

Dr. Moore de Peralta with her students (SPAN 4190, fall 2019)

Mónica Rojas de Massei, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish (

Dr. Mónica Rojas de Massei was born in Córdoba, Argentina. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She worked as an educator the major part of her life. In the United States, she taught for the University of Iowa, Middlebury College and the University of Wisconsin. Her field of expertise is Hispanic drama, historical novels, pedagogical uses of theater in L2 classrooms, cultural studies, and creative writing. Dr. Rojas de Massei’s research publications include: “Cuerpo deseante, poder político en Flor de otoño de José María Rodríguez Méndez,” “La literatura fantástica y la voz femenina en el motivo del gólem en Omar amor de Cristina Fernández Cubas” and Los escenarios de la memoria en el teatro español contemporáneo.

Dr. Rojas de Massei with her students (SPAN 3050, fall 2018)

George Palacios, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish (

Dr. George Palacios received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. His broad research and teaching interests encompass the literatures, cultures, philosophy and political thought related to the African diaspora in the Americas. He is particularly interested in the relations between Afro-Hispanic (i.e., Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean islands), Afro-Brazilian and African-American literatures and cultures (i.e., the Harlem Renaissance). His recent publications include: “Las estrellas son negras o los rostros afrocolombianos a mediados del siglo XX en Colombia,” “Apuntes sobre la música, el folclor, lo nacional-popular y la literatura en algunos de los escritos tempranos de Manuel Zapata Olivella,” and “El motivo de los bogas.”


Dr. Palacios with his students (SPAN 3080, fall 2019)

Graciela Tissera, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish (

Dr. Graciela Tissera completed her graduate studies in Spanish, Literature, and Latin, with honors, at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina, and received her Ph. D. in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Tissera’s research and teaching interests include Hispanic and comparative literature and film, literary and critical theory, and Spanish for the professions. Her Creative Inquiry projects focus on international health, global business, film studies, and service learning activities. Students in her classes present their research at national and international professional conferences. As Director of the L&IH Program (2009-2016), she coordinated the L&IH Symposiums and the study abroad program in the Dominican Republic. She also directed the International Spanish Program and Internships in Seville, Spain (2014-2018). Dr. Tissera serves as a Contributing Editor for national and international literary journals. She has been recognized as an outstanding professor by Clemson University Student Government, and her “Introduction to Hispanic Literary Forms” course was selected as one of the ten best courses in the national study of Spanish literature courses conducted by the Education Policy Improvement Center (EPIC). Dr. Tissera was inducted into the Order of the Discoverers, one of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society’s highest honors. She was also awarded the Certificate of Service by the State of South Carolina and the Frank A. Burtner Award for Excellence in Advising.


Dr. Graciela Tissera’s students (SPAN 4010, fall 2019)