Aerial photograph of the Immaculate Conception Chapel

Get to Know Dr. Laura Villa

Laura VillaIn Spain, the discussion of languages and language policies is always present in the news. Language is an important aspect of the country. Dr. Laura Villa grew up in Spain and was surrounded by the use of languages in a political aspect. Laura became interested in the use of languages and its integration into politics. This prompted Laura to study Spanish literature in college. During her undergraduate studies, Laura especially enjoyed her History of Linguistics course. The professor of that class inspired Laura to continue her studies. He had received his Ph.D. in the United States and Laura wanted to do the same. Laura moved to New York, receiving her Ph.D. from City University of New York.

After graduating, Laura began looking for jobs. She wanted a college that had a balance between teaching and research. The University of Dayton was a perfect match. Laura has been an assistant professor for the Department of Languages since fall of 2010. She teaches courses on Hispanic linguistics and language courses at the intermediate and advanced levels.  Laura's research focuses on the social political history of Spanish and other languages.

More about Dr. Laura Villa

If Laura did not have to work anymore she would want to spend all her time with her family. All of her family lives in Spain, so she doesn't get to see them that often. She says the worst part of her job is being away from her family.

Laura's favorite aspect of her job is the balance between her research and teaching responsibilities. She also enjoys the feeling of UD's community. Laura said that when she was looking for positions, all the schools promoted having a sense of community. However, she believes that community is an actual part of the University of Dayton and not just a description used to promote the University.

One thing on Laura's bucket list is to travel more. She loves to travel and has been to many places. However, now that she is away from her family, whenever she has time to travel, she visits her family in Spain.

Recently, Laura has had a few exciting accomplishments. Laura has been developing a new course on the relationship between language and society. This semester she finally got to teach the course she has been creating. The course is called Spanish Social Linguistics. Laura loves teaching the course and her students enjoy the course, as well.

Another accomplish for Laura was learning how to drive for the first time in her life. When Laura lived in Spain, she never needed to drive, because she would either walk or take public transportation. Then she moved to New York where she did not need to drive. When Laura moved to Dayton, she soon realized that she needed to drive. Before Laura learned to drive, she used to roller skate to get her groceries. She is excited she can now drive to go grocery shopping.