Hispanic Studies Advisory Board

Bringing together accomplished professionals, scholars and community leaders, our Hispanic Studies Advisory Board plays a pivotal role in shaping the direction of the program, fostering collaborations and enhancing the impact of our initiatives. 

Adelaida Uribe Bennett 


Mrs. Bennett is a former art consultant and community volunteer whose parents came to the U.S. from Colombia. Maintaining her heritage while raising a family in the United States has been very important to her, and supporting Hispanic Studies at CofC is a way she sees as helping others do the same thing.



Sarah Lee Copeland Beck

Immediate Past Chair

Mrs. Beck earned her B.A. in Spanish from the College of Charleston, and she studied abroad in both Spain and Switzerland, where she also focused on language studies.  She fondly remembers her professors at the College of Charleston as fun, knowledgeable and supportive of students.  After graduation, she managed to use her language skills in both her professional career--former Import Export Specialist for Ciba-Geigy Corporation and broker at BecMen Trading, among other roles--and personal travels, and she is honored to give back to the College of Charleston as an inaugural member of the Hispanic Studies Advisory Board.

Suzette Bussey

Chair Elect

As an entrepreneur and businesswoman, Suzette Bussey has owned, operated and successfully sold several diverse businesses, including a wedding magazine and tradeshow, a Charleston event venue, and an import/export company. As the founder of the import/export company, she represented the company as it was selected for the National Export Initiative by the Brookings Institute. She also represented South Carolina commerce at the Trade Winds Conference in South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria.  She is a published author and founder of Norton and Hodges, which creates handbags, jewelry and accessories that focus on sustainability, promoting economic independence for women artisans and reconnecting clients to the wild. 

Suzette is an alumna of the study abroad program in Trujillo at the College of Charleston and credits it for her passion for international business. 

Celina P. Anthony


Celina Anthony, a native of Peru, earned her Masters in Secondary School Administration at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, and her South Carolina Teaching Certificate in Spanish, and South Carolina English as a Second Language teaching certificate through the College of Charleston. Mrs. Anthony has been working for the Charleston County School District (CCSD) since 1997.  She also worked as the ESOL bilingual coordinator for five years and currently works for the CCSD Department of Federal Programs as the Title I bilingual coordinator, where she continues to assist English language learners and families.  

Mrs. Anthony coordinates Abrazos, a family literacy program for Hispanic mothers; CCSD Migrant Education program; after school English classes for parents and enrichment classes for children; and Spanish for Educators, a professional development course for teacher re-certification credit. She also works with select Title I school principals to ensure compliance with federal guidelines. She has presented at different professional conferences about educating English language learners and the role parents play in their children’s education.  Her bi-cultural background and focus on community collaboration has led Mrs. Anthony to play an important role in the Hispanic community in the Lowcountry through various organizations: president of the Círculo Hispanoamericano de Charleston; board member of Young Women Christian Association (YWCA), board member of the Eastern Girl Scouts of South Carolina, member of the MUSC Healthy Families America Advisory Board, and currently the Policy Council chair of the Charleston County First Steps Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership.

Mrs. Anthony has been collaborating with the Department of Hispanic Studies for many years, particularly with hosting Service Learning student interns in the programs she coordinates at CCSD.

Drew Fanning

LCWA Liaison

Mr. Fanning is a Cum Laude graduate of The Citadel where he earned his BA in History and Spanish. At The Citadel, he was inducted into Phi Alpha Theta and Sigma Delta Pi academic honors societies.  He twice participated in The Citadel's study abroad program, spending his summers studying in Madrid and El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain.

Mr. Fanning's first career was with the United States Marine Corps from 1993-2018.  While on active duty, Mr. Fanning was selected as an Olmsted Scholar.  The General George and Carol Olmsted Foundation Scholarship is awarded to the highest performing officers to develop language and cultural expertise with an understanding that the greatest leaders are educated broadly.  Mr. Fanning studied immersive Arabic at the Defense Language Institute (East) and attended graduate school at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. The focus of his research was the failure of Wilsonian Doctrine and the confluence of strategic communications and Just War theory in the prevailing Middle East conflict.

Mr. Fanning also led advisor teams in Afghanistan and in the United Arab Emirates, leveraging his language abilities and cultural expertise to help senior leaders create and implement strategy and develop operational proficiency for improved outcomes.

Mr. Fanning is the Founding Principal of Fanning & Company and is the Vice President of Business Development and Head of Government and Public Sector at Chooch Intelligence Technologies, a Visual Artificial Intelligence company.

William Applegate

William was born in Charleston, SC and with the exception of studying abroad in Seville, Spain to study Spanish, he has remained in SC his entire life. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston and the University of South Carolina School of Law. William has a deep commitment to South Carolina and is very involved in his community in Charleston. He serves on the board of the Historic Charleston Foundation, and actively supports numerous charitable organizations, including One80 Place in their fight against homelessness, Communities in Schools, the Coastal Conservation League, and the Southern Environmental Law Center. When not working, William and his wife, Lydia, are enjoying raising their two children in South Carolina.

María Asunción Córdova

Originally from Chile, Dr. Córdova co-founded the Círculo Hispanoamericano de Charleston in 1978, and currently serves as its president since 2015.  A retired dentist in the Charleston area, she has served the local community in numerous leadership capacities to include Lowcountry Cultural Vice President of Partners of the Americas (1980-1993), SC and GA Area Coordinator of Amnesty International USA, board member of the South Carolina Humanities Council (1987-1989) and the Robert Ivey Ballet (1982-2000), and president of YWCA Charleston (2012-2015), among other activities. In 2017 she was recognized for her extensive service record and advocacy for the Hispanic community and culture by her appointment in 2017 as Honorary Consul of Chile, her native country. 


Victoria de la Maza 

Victoria de la Maza is an award-winning cookbook author and columnist. She writes about lifestyle, entertaining at home, and food for numerous magazines and newspapers, and for her website: Diary of a Serial Hostess.  Born in Madrid, Spain, Victoria grew up at her family’s cortijo in Sevilla and attended boarding school in England. She moved to New York in her early twenties and has lived in the U.S. since then. Ms. de la Maza has produced and written editorials for shelter magazines and newspapers including Veranda, Town & Country, Cottages & Gardens, and Food & Wine.

She wrote a food column for the Palm Beach Daily News and hosted a series of TV shows for Canal de Casa in Spain and PBS in Florida. In 2013, Victoria launched a collection of award-winning artisanal condiments under the label Victoria Amory & Co. sold in top specialty food stores in the US and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the UK. A passionate entrepreneur, Victoria has consulted and helped tabletop companies launch their products in the US, developing brand awareness and creating content for trade shows, social media, and websites. Ms. de la Maza has sat on the board of the American Red Cross in Palm Beach, FL, and the Rodgers Memorial Library in Southampton, NY. She was instrumental in raising funds for the Ann Norton Gardens in West Palm Beach, FL, American Red Cross, and the Spanish Institute in NY.

Mark P. Del Mastro

Mark P. Del Mastro is former chair of the College of Charleston’s Department of Hispanic Studies (2010-19), and now serves as the Associate Provost for Academic and International Programs.  In 2017 he founded the Hispanic Studies Advisory Board and worked with members to establish the Hispanic Studies Trujillo Scholarship. On August 1, 2019 he was named inaugural life member of the Hispanic Studies Advisory Board for his related contributions.


Louis Richard Doelling

Mr. Doelling is a graduate of The Citadel where he earned his B.A. in Spanish. During his undergraduate career, he participated in a summer study abroad program sponsored by The Citadel in Sucre, Bolivia and a semester study abroad program sponsored by the University of Virginia in Valencia, Spain. He also was the recipient of The Citadel's 2008 Star of the West scholarship, which assisted his travel to Mérida, Venezuela to study Chávez-era literature, culture and politics. While at The Citadel, he served as the student body representative to the International Studies Committee. After graduating from The Citadel, Mr. Doelling was granted a fellowship at the University of Colorado at Boulder to teach introductory/intermediate level Spanish classes at the university while obtaining an M.A. in Spanish literature. The primary areas of concentration of his master’s degree are 19th century Spanish literature and 20th century Latin American literature. Currently he is an attorney, working as General Counsel of a hotel management and development company.

Esther B. Ferguson

Esther B. Ferguson is a native of Hartsville, SC, and a lifelong philanthropist and community leader who holds six honorary doctorate degrees, to include her most recent in 2016 from the College of Charleston.  Ms. Ferguson was the catalyst behind the decision to donate her and her late husband James Ferguson’s historic properties in Trujillo, Spain to the College of Charleston in 1996. 

Over two decades later, these generous gifts serve as the hub of the College of Charleston’s vibrant study abroad programs in Trujillo, Spain, where each semester and summer the College’s students and faculty enjoy rich and unforgettable academic and cultural experiences. 

Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer is an alumna of the College of Charleston Honors College with a B.A. in Spanish magna cum laude.  She participated in the study abroad program in Trujillo, which she credits for her passion for international affairs.  As part of her Bachelor’s thesis, she completed a summer internship in Mexico studying archival letters from an 18th-century convent.  After internship and volunteer experiences in Latin America – including Ecuador, Brazil, and Costa Rica – Megan returned to the College of Charleston for additional coursework in Political Science, Climate Change, and Economics to prepare for a career in international affairs.

She earned an M.A. magna cum laude from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy and Washington DC, with a focus on Energy and Environmental Economics. Megan began her professional career at the World Bank in the Climate Change Group, and is currently a Senior Energy Specialist in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) team within the Energy and Extractives Global Practice of the World Bank, supporting developing countries in LAC with their clean energy transition. She also lived in and worked on clean energy projects in West Africa.

Henry B. Mullin 

Raised in downtown Charleston, Henry Mullin returned to his hometown after attending boarding school in North Carolina to attend the College of Charleston where he majored in Spanish and Political Science. While attending the College, he was vice president of the Spanish Club, an active member of the Tertulia program, a global scholar, and a member of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (Sigma Delta Pi).  As a fifth and sixth former at Asheville School, he had the opportunity to study Spanish in Salamanca for two summers where he fell in love with the language, culture, and cuisine. At the College, he studied abroad in Trujillo for a semester and recognizes this experience as the crown jewel of his undergraduate education.

Henry has called Manhattan home for the past 6 years and is a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman in New York City. A member of the Real Estate Board of New York, he was selected as a "rising star" at Elliman out of 7,000 agents nationwide in 2020. He relishes New York City’s quintessential espíritu de cuerpo --- In his spare time, he enjoys frequenting New York's many museums and cultural institutions, exploring the five boroughs on foot, ferry and train, and seeking out the city's best restaurants. 

Simón Muñoz-Alvarez

Simón Muñoz-Alvarez obtained a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Simón has lived in Tampa, FL, Charleston, SC, Madison, WI and relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016. He currently serves as the Secretary for the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte Board of Directors, and is involved in Wells Fargo’s Hispanic & Latino Employee Resource Group.

Simón joined Wells Fargo in 2016 and leads program-wide initiatives in the Recovery & Resolution Program Office, collaborating with various lines of business throughout Wells Fargo, to ensure recovery and resolution planning is executed in a disciplined and controlled manner. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Simón served as a Relationship Manager for an independent financial services firm in Madison, Wisconsin.

Simón regularly volunteers with Charlotte’s Latino Leadership Council, Charlotte’s Rescue Mission’s Young Professionals Group, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art to advance equity, representation, inclusion and diversity in both the workplace and in the community.  

Danny Pasko

Danny Pasko is a Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician at Prisma Health–Upstate in Greenville, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston Honors College, where he obtained degrees in Biochemistry and Chemistry and minored in Spanish. Studying at the College of Charleston offered Danny the opportunity to cultivate a love for the Spanish language while studying abroad in Trujillo, Spain. In his clinical practice, Danny derives great joy from drawing upon his Spanish language skills and the enriching cultural experiences made possible by the Department of Hispanic Studies. Beyond his professional endeavors, Danny enjoys exploring the southeast with his wife, Johanna, and their two young boys. 


Hallie Ritzu

Hallie Ritzu graduated from the Honors College at the College of Charleston with a double major in Spanish and Political Science. Ms. Ritzu participated in the College's Study Abroad Programs in Trujillo, Spain and Santiago de Chile.  She earned her M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. At current, Ms. Ritzu is an attorney in Chicago, Illinois.

Ex-Officio Members

Michael A. Gómez

Department Chair, Hispanic Studies

Michael Gómez is Professor and Chair of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston. He received his doctoral degree from Boston University in 2002 and has since taught courses both in and outside of the department on a variety of topics, including the Generation of 1898, Federico García Lorca, Spanish Science Fiction, and Western Civilization.



Carmen M. Grace

Associate Chair, Hispanic Studies

Carmen María Grace is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston. She is a native of Spain and received her doctoral degree from The Ohio State University in 2009. She is a specialist of Spanish sacred oratory in the 16th and 17th centuries. Grace teaches a variety of courses including Medieval and Early Modern Spanish literature.  


Devon Wray Hanahan

Coordinator, Basic Spanish Language Program

Devon Wray Hanahan has been teaching Spanish at the high school or college level for 30 years. She received her degree in Spanish and a secondary education certification from the College of Charleston in 1987, and an MA in Spanish from the University of South Carolina in 1995. She loves traveling to Spain with students and teaching all levels, from Spanish I for ninth graders to Advanced Listening Techniques for Masters in International Business students!

She has taught at the College since 1995, and she is the Faculty Member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. In addition to teaching full time and traveling, for six years she has been the coordinator of the Basic Spanish Language Program at the College of Charleston, where she also serves as the Faculty Marshal. She has presented several workshops on language pedagogy at SCOLT and AATSP in the past ten years, and she loves spending time with her husband Bill and two grown sons, Will and Thomas.

Aimee Arias

Dean, School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs

Dr. Aimee Arias is the Dean of the School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs (LCWA) at the College of Charleston. LCWA’s mission is to prepare students to become discerning, knowledgeable, and engaged citizens in an ever changing, interconnected global world. The School has nine majors and twenty-three minors; offers courses in twelve languages, cultural, and international studies; and provides international opportunities such as study abroad and internships. LCWA is home to the John Edwin Mroz Global Leadership Institute, which offers special programming, mentoring, and experiential learning, all to honor the legacy of John Edwin Mroz and to prepare students to become global leaders.

Dr. Arias holds a Ph.D. in international studies and an M.A. in inter-American affairs from the University of Miami. She received her B.A. in international relations from The George Washington University. From 2017-2023, she served as the Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activity in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). From 2012-2017, Dr. Arias was the Chair of the Political Science Department at FAU.

Dr. Arias’ research focuses on minority rights and the European Union (EU). With funded support from the Erasmus+ Programme of the EU, she created the South Florida High School European Union. Before joining FAU, Dr. Arias was the Associate Director of the European Union Center at the University of Miami.