Professor Teresita Fernández-Viña Named 2012 Lindback Distinguished Teacher

May 14, 2012

As part of its Commencement ceremonies each year, Cheyney University presents the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award to a faculty member for demonstrated excellence in teaching students.

The candidates excel at
- Instilling in students a desire for intellectual curiosity and achievement;
- Demonstrate currency in his or her field/discipline;
- Possess an understanding of individual needs of students, and encourage excellence while fostering self-   esteem;
- Present classroom information in a unique or creative manner;
- Provide effective support as an adviser or mentor;
- And serve as an effective mentor for their students.

The 2012 award was presented to Professor Teresita Fernández-Viña at the May 12 Commencement program.

Professor Fernandez-Viña was born in Cuba and studied under the regime of Fidel Castro, a dictatorship of the left. Her entire elementary and secondary schooling was shaped in Cuba. Professor Fernández-Viña immigrated to Spain and lived under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco. While living in Spain, she experienced it's rich civilization and culture but was also exposed to censorship, curfews, and control of ideas. These experiences have shaped her perception of the world.

After coming to the United States, Professor Fernández-Viña attended Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish. She received a Masters degree and engaged in doctoral studies in Foreign Language Education at Temple University. She was influenced by the work of Dr. Ricardo Alegría, an internationally recognized authority on Puerto Rican culture. As part of her doctoral program in  1981 she studied Puerto Rican culture at the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico.

Professor Fernández-Viña teaches language courses and is co-founder of the Society for Civility at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania where she has been cultivating Spanish language and culture among her students since 1992.