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☰ In This Section

Our professors are distinguished scholars, active researchers, published writers, and faithful Christians who demonstrate what it means to be both Christ-followers and leaders in their academic fields. As mentors and role models, they play a huge role in the integration of faith and learning at Bethel.

Department Chair

Donna LeGrand

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Spanish Education | legdon@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2001

Teaching Specialty

LeGrand developed and directs Bethel’s Spain Term and works with the World Languages and Cultures education program at Bethel. Her interests include teaching all levels of Spanish, teaching about and applying theories of second language acquisition, and researching reading in a second languag. . . read more.


Gina Maltese-Preciado

Adjunct Instructor in World Languages and Cultures | gim74778@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2012

Teaching Specialty

Languages: Spanish

Cristina Plaza Ruiz

Adjunct Instructor in World Languages and Cultures | cplazaru@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2008

Areas of expertise

Spanish for Health Professionals, Latino immigration, immigrant families in transition, mental health of immigrants

Gretchen Ricci

Adjunct Assistant Professor of American Sign Language | glr55742@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2009

Teaching Specialty

Instructor in American Sign Language

Laura Sanchez Gonzalez

Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures | laura-sanchez@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2006

Areas of expertise

Sánchez is from Guadalajara, Mexico, and has taught and administered in a K-12 bilingual school. She has a passion for Latin American culture and film.

Sarah Tahtinen-Pacheco

Associate Professor of World Languages and Cultures | s-tahtinen@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2006

Areas of expertise

30 years experience in teaching & research in: Teacher Education, Bilingual-Bicultural and World Languages and Cultures Ed.; Pre-K -Adult, Curriculum, Assessment, and Instructional Design, ESL/Bilingual/Foreign Language Program, Development & Evaluation, Faculty Development/Teaching Mentor, and. . . read more.

Ishaa Vintinner

Adjunct Instructor in World Languages and Cultures | isv84686@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2014

Teaching Specialty

Languages: American Sign Language

Ruslana Westerlund

Adjunct Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures | r-westerlund@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2002

Areas of expertise

English language development, bilingual education, academic language, ESL/bilingual program evaluation, teacher change, science of implementation, and policy implementation

De Zhang

Adjunct Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures | d-zhang@bethel.edu | Started at Bethel: 2007

Teaching Specialty

Zhang is from China. Her major research and teaching interests include computer-assisted language learning, heritage language education, technology and teacher education, and multicultural education. Zhang has taught beginning and intermediate level Chinese courses at Iowa State University and . . . read more.

More from World Languages and Cultures

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Learn about the language placement exams and the language requirements at Bethel.

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