Instructor returns to oversee new department

Dr. Pedro Talaverra-Ibarra, head of foreign language department, talks with Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of Institute of International Studies, after one of the Russia Semester events held this week.

Dr. Pedro Talaverra-Ibarra, head of foreign language department, talks with Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of Institute of International Studies, after one of the Russia Semester events held this week.

Melissa Widner

The department of foreign languages at Missouri Southern has undergone changes as the new department head returns to the University.

Dr. Pedro Talaverra-Ibarra has returned to Southern as head of the department of foreign languages.

He has set goals for the department to somehow iron out the wrinkles.

“Professors are spread too thin,” Talaverra-Ibarra said. “Turnover at Southern has left instructors with overloads of classes and too many tasks.”

Talaverra-Ibarra has come back to Southern with tunnel vision. He plans to make the foreign language department bigger, with more enrollment, more language choices and to create a graduate program for the University.

“I like this school, that’s why I came back,” Talaverra-Ibarra said. “I want to see the program prosper and grow.”

To accomplish this, the jobs need to be distributed throughout the department. This will help achieve his goal of “more production and less work.”

He wants his instructors to be able to spend more time on their scholarship programs.

Upon returning to Southern, he has brought with him his eagerness to help make the department better for the faculty and students.

“I want to see the students and faculty bloom academically here at Southern,” Talaverra-Ibarra said.

Talaverra-Ibarra was born in Morelia, Mexico where he lived until the age of 16. Studying abroad was a goal of his, so while studying in Russia, he received a bachelor’s of arts and a master’s degree in philology. He then moved to the University of Texas in Austin where he received his master’s degree and doctorate in comparative literature.

He began his career at Southern as associate professor and has returned to lead the department in its growth. With the turnover at Southern, he is still teaching four classes in Spanish. He teaches both beginning Spanish classes and upper division courses.

“I think that I’m better at the upper division courses,” Talaverra-Ibarra said. “I love to see the eagerness to learn of the beginners though, because they think they can conquer the language so quickly.”

He had advice for the students on campus.

“Go abroad and do your homework,” he said.