BA, Universidad Catolica Santa Maria, Arequipa, Peru
MA, University of California, Santa Barbara
She first came to teach Spanish in the United States at St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Maryland, where she was awarded the Olson Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to the School and Distinguished Teaching. In 2002, she moved with her husband and fellow Spanish teacher, Oscar Urizar, to begin teaching at Cate. What I like best about working here is that teachers and students really get to know each other as people because we see each other in so many different situations. The relationships that emerge go beyond the typical teacher and student connection.
Monica sees important ties between what happens in the foreign language classroom and a student's success across the curriculum. Learning a language is much more than just learning grammar and vocabulary. It involves exposure to the richness of other cultures, idiosyncrasies, and being transported to new worlds of experiences through literature. There is so much to discover and to be connected with what students already know or are learning in other classes. Beside that, students need to be curious, recognize patterns, make connections, take intellectual risks, question, exchange ideas, discover, be creative, and feel challenged. The more practice they have on those skills, the better they get as scholars.
She received her Masters in Spanish Language, Literature and Culture from U.C. Santa Barbara in 2005.