OUR TEAM / NUESTRO EQUIPO
WE ARE NOT A GIANT AND IMPERSONAL "LANGUAGE NETWORK" - THE FACES YOU SEE BELOW ARE THE FOLKS WHO WILL WORK WITH YOU. YOUR BUSINESS WILL NEVER BE OUTSOURCED TO SOME RANDOM PERSON WITH UNKNOWN SPANISH SKILLS IN TEXAS, IDAHO OR PERU!
We are not "someone who knows Spanish"or "someone who studied Spanish in college" - everyone on our team has experience living, working and traveling in Spanish-speaking countries, as well as advanced degrees in fields of Hispanic Studies for our translators & educators. We have native expertise to understand local dialects and metaphors, coupled with in-depth study and training to ensure subject-matter understanding.
Dr. Elda Stanco Downey is the Founder + CEO of Roanoke Spanish. Languages and communication are at her core - she was born in Venezuela and grew up trilingual, speaking Spanish and Italian at home, and English at the International school she began attending at age 4. Dr. Stanco Downey earned an Honors Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Romance Languages & Literatures at The University of Chicago. She holds an M.A. and a PhD in Hispanic Studies from Brown University, and has been a visiting scholar at the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain and at Harvard University.
Dr. Stanco Downey has over 25 years of experience working, living and traveling in domestic and international settings. She has been on the Faculty at Roanoke College, Hollins University and Brown University, and she is currently on the Faculty of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. She is also the Executive Director of the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network (VALHEN). Dr. Stanco Downey has served on multiple Boards of Directors, including the Roanoke Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Roanoke Valley, Local Colors, and the City Market Foundation. She was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to the Board of Trustees of the Roanoke Higher Education Authority in 2017, and serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board. In 2018 she was appointed by Governor Ralph Northam to the Virginia Complete Count Commission. Dr. Stanco Downey's TEDxRVA talk on resilience can be seen here.
Iris Myers is a native of Venezuela and has lived cross-country, from San Diego to New York. Iris holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from National University, San Diego, California. Her M.S. is in Instructional Technology and Media Management in Education from Potsdam College of the State University of New York. Iris is a Professor of Spanish and Director of the Language Resource Center at Roanoke College. She leads Spanish classes at the Grandin CoLab. When she is not in the classroom, Iris is doing yoga, Tai Chi, macrobiotic cooking - you get it, she is the healthiest member of the Roanoke Spanish Team!
Maria Moreno Chinda is the Graphic Designer for Roanoke Spanish. She was born in Costa Rica and grew up in Venezuela. She studied graphic design at Loyola University in New Orleans. Maria's portfolio includes incredible designs for Playbill Magazine. She is the brains behind Roanoke Spanish's iconic bull, whose name has yet to be agreed upon. Maria is based in South Florida, where the sun shines every day and her half Romanian family keeps her language-learning skills in top shape!
Dr. James Downey (also known as "Dr. D") is Managing Partner of Roanoke Spanish. He holds B.A., M.A. and PhD degrees in Philosophy from The University of Virginia. Dr. Downey has taught at colleges and universities across Virginia for more than 30 years. His expertise includes logic and critical thinking. A native of the Shenandoah Valley, Dr. Downey's work has been published internationally by Cambridge University Press, amongst other academic publishers. Dr. Downey designs curricula for Roanoke Spanish and handles all logistics, of course! Dr. D is a runner (you might see him on the Greenway in his UVA colors) and he plays the guitar, much to the joy of his very active bilingual children.
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