Associate Professor of Spanish
B.A. (2002) The Ohio State University
M.A. (2004), The Ohio State University
Ph.D. (2010), The Ohio State University
About Dr. Ruggiero
Dr. Diana Ruggiero is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Memphis where she currently specializes in world languages for specific purposes (WLSP; Spanish focus) and community service learning. An engaged scholar recognized by her professional peers worldwide for her contributions to scholarship and teaching in WLSP and Spanish language and culture, her current teaching and research focus is on WLSP pedagogy, Spanish for healthcare and the Latinx Community in Memphis. Among the many Spanish for specific purposes courses that she develops and teaches for the Department of World Languages, such as Spanish for healthcare, Spanish for commerce, Spanish for community engagement, Dr. Ruggiero teaches medical Spanish interpreting and translating, which is a pre-requisite to obtain the national certification for medical interpreting. Dr. Ruggiero's graduate course on teaching Spanish for specific purposes is a methodology course that prepares future language teachers to teach WLSP and Spanish for the professions. Other research interests to date include WLSP, Linguistics in healthcare, heritage language learners, cultural competence and intercultural sensitivity development, service-learning project design and assessment, Medical interpreting and body language, and issues and methods in WLSP, L2 and heritage language learner pedagogy. She serves the Latinx community in collaboration with local non-profit organizations, including serving as a board member of Latino Memphis. In response to Covid-19 and social distancing measures, Dr. Ruggiero is most recently active developing, participating in, and supporting engaged scholarship initiatives (remote and face-to-face) focusing on the mental, emotional, and physical health needs of the local Latinx and other underserved populations of Memphis. In partnership with local non-profits Cazateatro and Latino Memphis, she developed and produce content for a Facebook page (Bienestar901) and a related podcast series addressing the health and wellness needs of the local Latinx population during the pandemic. Dr. Ruggiero provides support for the Memphis Latinx population in the way of translation and interpreting services, educational talks, workshops, and materials, and support and discussion groups, among others. Dr. Ruggiero is the recipient of an American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Teacher of the Year Award (College Level), an American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award for Excellence in The Teaching of Culture, a Strengthening Communities Capacity Building Grant (University of Memphis), and an Early Career Award (University of Memphis) in recognition of her many contributions to research and teaching in the areas of WLSP and community service learning and Spanish language and culture. Dr. Ruggiero's research appears in the Cuadernos de ALDEEU, Revista Signos, Revista de lenguas para fines específicos, Journal of Languages for Specific Purposes, Global Business Languages, ADFL Bulletin, Hispania, and Latin American Music Review among other peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes.