Modern Languages

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages
Ph.D. (Second Language Acquisition), 2015, University of Iowa
M.A. (Spanish), 2010, Loyola University Chicago
B.A. (Spanish and Sociology), 2008, Northwestern College (Iowa)

Dr. Leonard joined Olivet's full-time faculty in 2015, teaching a wide variety of courses in the department. Her research interests focus on language learning during study abroad, particularly on the development of speaking proficiency.

Prior to her work at Olivet, she taught Spanish courses at Loyola University Chicago and the University of Iowa, where she also served as the coordinator for first-year Spanish courses.

Dr. Leonard is the recipient of a presidential graduate fellowship and a research grant from the University of Iowa. She conducted her dissertation research in Argentina.

Her most recent professional presentations include "Fluency development during study abroad: What exactly, if anything, changes?" for 2014 Second Language Research Forum in Columbia, South Carolina; and "Study abroad and oral proficiency: What difference does it make?" for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) conference in Philadelphia. She is a member of ACTFL.

A native of Minnesota, Dr. Leonard enjoys visiting her parents, sister and brother-in-law there. Outside of the classroom, she relaxes by reading, hiking or playing the piano and guitar. Traveling is one of her favorite leisure activities.

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages
Doctoral work in Latin-American studies with emphasis in culture and education in Latin America, Universidad de Artes y Ciencias Sociales (University of Arts and Social Sciences), Santiago de Chile, Chile
M.A., 2006, Instituto Latinoamericano de la Communicacion Educativa, ILCE-UNESCO, Mexico
B.A., 1982, Universidad Evangélica de las Américas (formerly Universidad Nazarena), San Jose, Costa Rica

With a heart for serving the Lord and many years of experience in oral and written communication, Professor Canales has much to share with Olivet students. His interests and teaching responsibilities include Latin American culture and civilization, Spanish and Latin American literature, and advanced Spanish.

In addition to his academic responsibilities at Olivet, Professor Canales works collaboratively with the Church of the Nazarene's Centro de Estudios Pastorales/Center for Pastoral Studies (Chicago Central District) and as general editor of "Reflexiones Ministeriales," a pastoral journal sponsored by the Hispanic Ministries Office for U.S. and Canada.

Before joining Olivet's faculty in 2007, he had served in a variety of institutional leadership positions, gaining a wealth of global ministry experience. He has also been the speaker in Latin American countries for many conferences, retreats and workshops on theological education, pastoral ministry and contemporary topics.

He has served as district superintendent and director of theological education of the Church of the Nazarene, Paraguay; director of the Nazarene Communications Network, Miami, Fla.; director of Latin American Nazarene Communications, San Jose, Costa Rica; president of the South American Nazarene Theological, Quito, Ecuador; and district superintendent and pastor, Central District, Lima, Peru.

He has been appointed to serve (2009-2013) in the Hispanic Strategic Readiness Team (HSRT) for USA Region, and to the USA Regional Course of Study Advisory Committee (RCOSAC) of the Church of the Nazarene. He was also named an honorary member of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society, in 2009.

Professor Canales is a member of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP); American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL); International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE); Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana (Association for the Hispanic Theological Education — AETH); Wesleyan Theological Society (WTS); and Fraternidad Teológica Latinoamericana (Latin American Theological Fellowship — LTF — USA Chapter).

He and his wife, Ada, have two sons, Marcos and Esteban. Ada works at Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene, where they are members. In his leisure time, he enjoys reading, writing and watching international soccer games.

Chair of Modern Languages and Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages
Ed.D., 2016, Regent University
M.A., 2007, Illinois State University
B.A., 1996, Olivet Nazarene University

After her college graduation in 1996, Dr. Bonilla decided to immerse herself in the Spanish language and culture. She traveled to Mexico and worked as a missionary at Niños de Mexico for one month. When it came time for her to return home, she was offered a job teaching at the Niños de Mexico school. In August 1997, she relocated to Mexico and fell in love — with the culture, the language and the people.

A faculty member since 2009, Dr. Bonilla is chair of the Department of Modern Languages. She also teaches elementary and intermediate Spanish; conversation; and Spanish education K-12. Her area of specialty is foreign language pedagogy. She serves as the study abroad coordinator for Olivet's Spanish students. Her doctoral research consisted of investigating students' oral proficiency development during their study abroad experience.

Before coming to Olivet, Dr. Bonilla taught for one year at Illinois State University, was an adjunct professor at Lincoln Christian University, and taught continuing education courses at Heartland Community College.

Her professional memberships include the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL).

She and her husband, Jorge — who is retention coordinator in Olivet's Elwood Center for Student Success — have a son, Alex, and a daughter, Abby. In her leisure time, she enjoys travel, mission work and service projects, and spending time outdoors with her family.

Assistant Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Modern Languages
Ph.D. (Latin American Literature), 2014, Purdue University
M.A. (Latin American Literature), 2009, Purdue University
B.A. (International Relations and Political Sciences), 2000, Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia

Dr. Barrero joined Olivet's full-time faculty in 2014. With her extensive knowledge in the areas of Latin American literature, she teaches courses in Latin American colonial literature, Spanish literature and indigenous studies. As a native Spanish speaker from Colombia, South America, she also teaches all levels of Spanish, Spanish for heritage students, Spanish phonetics, and Spanish culture and civilization. One of her special interests is studying the indigenous communities in Latin America and around the world.

In 2010, Dr. Barrero received a fellowship appointment to Mellon Summer Institute for Spanish Paleography at The Newberry Library in Chicago, where she studied Spanish paleography. In 2011, she received a summer grant from Krannert Executive Education Programs and studied at Purdue University. The focus of her studies was developing course materials for and teaching business language courses with authentic business concepts. In 2014, she completed her doctoral studies, and her dissertation is titled "Indian communities of early colonial Bogotá as seen through their testaments."

Prior to joining Olivet's faculty, she taught Spanish at Purdue University and was an adjunct assistant professor of Spanish at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.

Her professional awards and achievements include Outstanding Teacher Award from Purdue University in 2008, 2009 and 2010. She is a member of LASA (Latin American Studies Association), MLA (Modern Languages Association), ICTFL (Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese).

One of her passions is reading, and having a book in her hands is one of her greatest pleasures. As a Colombian, she considers herself an expert on coffee. Along with that book in one hand, she will probably have a cup of coffee in the other. She also enjoys cooking, especially Colombian food.

She and her husband, Fabian Romero, are the parents of two daughters, Camila and Ana. Fabian is an IT software engineer with IBM in Chicago.

Subscribe to Modern Languages