Professor of Spanish
Office Location: World Languages Center 208
Phone Number: (814)641- 3499
Personal Website: http://faculty.juniata.edu/thurston/
With a B.A. (summa cum laude) from the State University of New York at Cortland, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, Professor Thurston-Griswold has been an instructor and lecturer in Spanish at several U.S. universities and an English as a Foreign Language instructor and guidance counselor in Costa Rica.
His areas of expertise include Spanish and Spanish-American literature, Spanish civilization and culture, and Spanish language pedagogy. A member of the Modern Language Association, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, he has published articles in refereed journals such as the Hispanic Journal, Cincinnati Romance Review, and Romance Quarterly, and has delivered papers at various conferences. In recent years, he has developed materials and presented workshops on the uses of Hispanic music in the Spanish classroom to build language and cultural proficiency.
He has received numerous awards, including a fellowship and a publication grant for his dissertation, titled El idealismo sintÃ?Â©tico de don Juan Valera: TeorÃ?Âa y prÃ?Â¡ctica. (Maryland: Scripta Humanistica, 1990). In 2003, he received the Beeghly Award for Distinguished Teaching, which is awarded annually at Juniata to a senior faculty member in recognition of teaching excellence.
He has participated in and led service learning trips to Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, and Honduras. In the summer of 1997 he led a group of 15 secondary and post-secondary educators to Costa Rica as the project director for a 4-week Fulbright Group Travel Seminar titled 'Culture, Ecology, and Democracy in Costa Rica.' In the spring semester of 1998, he participated in a faculty exchange at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador), where he taught two Spanish literature courses and an Advanced Spanish Grammar course for international students. He spent his sabbatical during the spring of 2001 conducting research in Madrid in Spain's National Library on the topic 'Ideological and Aesthetic Shift in Fin de Siglo Spain (1890-1905).'
As an advocate for peace with social and economic justice in developing Latin American nations, he has arranged a wide variety of programs which examine these issues for the Juniata and Huntingdon communities. He initiated and coordinates a partnership which seeks to foster a relationship of mutual understanding and support among various individuals and organizations in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Since the summer of 2002, he has organized six delegations to Guatemala, most recently in the summer of 2006 a medical delegation that offered a week of health clinics for two community based organizations, and an educational delegation which offered three days of teacher training workshops at partner school Colegio Miguel Angel Asturias, followed by eight days of follow up in the classroom and English classes for the nearly 200 students in grades ranging from pre-K through ninth grade.
He and his wife Joanne have two children: Will, who was born in January 1997; and Kate, who arrived on the scene in March of 1999. When he is not teaching or parenting, he enjoys distance running with his faithful canine companion Bo, playing the piano and guitar, and singing in choral ensembles.