WSU Full Immersion Spanish Institute
René Baca will be the Lead Instructor for 2023. He is originally from Alamogordo, New Mexico. He attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM for his B.A. in Spanish (2004) and M.A. in Spanish (2008). René studied abroad at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Monterrey, México. In 2009, he began his professional career at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM where he served as Director of the Language Learning Center and as an Instructor of Spanish. He has taught elementary and intermediate courses in the Spanish language for both Second Language Learners and Heritage Language Learners as well as undergraduate courses in Advanced Composition, Spanish Translation, and Spanish Linguistics. In 2015 he took a position as assistant professor of Spanish at Wenatchee Valley College. Having the opportunity to teach is a great gift and there is no other work that could be as satisfying for him. René has traveled to México, Spain, Honduras, and Puerto Rico,
Emerson Peek was born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley and, after several chapters living outside the area, is thrilled to once again call it home. Emerson’s educational journey took him from Wenatchee Valley College as a Running Start student to The Evergreen State College, where he earned a B.A./B.S (2013) with an interdisciplinary focus on language, culture and environmental studies. He later pursued his M.A. (2019) in Applied Spanish at Middlebury College, which included nine months studying abroad in Madrid, Spain. He taught advanced Spanish at the high school level for two years at an independent school in Wyoming and joined the World Languages department at Wenatchee Valley College in 2020. Learning Spanish has helped Emerson to find transformative experiences, whether in his travels through Central and South America or his efforts to foster inclusion and respect for Spanish-speakers in the Wenatchee Valley. When teaching, he aims to prioritize humor, diverse activity types and cultural curiosity.
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