Joy Renjilian-Burgy
Joy Renjilian-Burgy
  • Title:
    Associate Professor of Spanish; Faculty Athletics Representative
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  • Education:
    B.A., Mount Holyoke College; A.M., Harvard University


Associate Professor of Spanish

Co-Director of Latin American Studies at Wellesley College, I have  taught all levels of Spanish language, as well as Chicano Literature, Hispanic Literature of the USA, Caribbean Literature and Culture, and Latin American Film. In these courses, among our main foci are issues of race and class manifested in Hispanic literature and reverberated in Hispanic art and film. I also give seminars for the Education Department in Foreign Language & ESL Methodologies. A University Supervisor for state licensure in foreign language, for Wellesley and Harvard, I have won teaching prizes from both institutions.

Dedicated to educational equity and equality, I serve on regional, as well as inter/national, scholarship committees. For more than two decades, I have been co-coordinator of the Mellon Mays Fellowship Program at Wellesley. For the past  decade, I have interacted with students/colleagues from our sister school, Spelman and Morehouse Colleges in Atlanta, in immersion programs in Spanish.

Co-recipient of a mini-grant from the John T. and Catherine D, MacArthur Foundation, I have spent a lifetime giving presentations and workshops at conferences nationally and abroad, resulting also in leadership roles in the profession beyond Wellesley College: as (past) president of several associations, including the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese), NECLAS (New England Council for Latin American Studies), MaFLA (Mass. Foreign Language Association), AIWA (Armenian International Women’s Association). I also was chair of NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the oldest pedagogical conference in the country, additionally, Board member of ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). An NGO member of ECSOC (Economic and Social Council) at the United Nations, I was also elected Vice-President of UNIFEM USA (United Nations Fund for Women). A co-founder of Wellesley’s Consortium program of study abroad at the University of Cordova, Spain, I love working in teams; for example, as Lead author of the multicomponential introductory Spanish language and culture program, Caminos, as well as the intermediate Spanish program, Reflejos. Finally, I am  co-editor of the literary reader, Álbum,  about to come out in its fourth edition.

My husband Don, retired professor of Art,  and I have large family gatherings for which we cook multicultural meals and during which we have dynamic backgammon competitions. We often include Wellesley College students in our activities. I love to cook, and do volunteer work in political campaigns and ethnic initiatives. We miss our twin sons who live and work in Colorado. I represent Wellesley with the NCAA because I love sports and value the relationship between mind, body and spirit.