Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
On the 1st day of October in the year of 1968 I was born unto this world in the fine city of Rome. That would be Rome, New York. My father was a combat photographer in the Air Force so we moved around a bit: Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC and then in 1973 we moved to Panama. I spent 5 formative years there and they ended up being the reason I learned Spanish and decided to make it a career. In 1978 we were forced to leave Panama and we drove through Central America to Arizona where I would live for the next 22 years. I attended the University of Arizona for both undergraduate and graduate school and in the meantime I taught scuba diving on the weekends in San Carlos, Mexico.
After receiving my MA in Hispanic Literature I taught for three additional years at the University of Arizona before accepting a position as Caribbean Operations Director for an adventure travel company for teenagers called Broadreach where I taught scuba diving and experiential education before running the operation. The years I taught for them afforded me travel to Mexico (Baja and Oaxaca), Ecuador, Fiji, The Solomon Islands and nearly all of the Caribbean.
I was employed as a lecturer at NC State from the Fall of 2005 through Spring 2013 and in the Fall of 2013 I was made Senior Lecturer. I love teaching at NC State. There is genuine camaraderie within our department and I enjoy coming to work every day. I am afforded many opportunities here such as teaching an online course and running a summer study abroad program in Segovia, Spain.
In the spring of 2012 Dr. Shelley Garrigan and I started a program called VOLAR (Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh) and in May 2012 we won a seed grant of $10,000 to help jump start the program. Since hiring Debbie Kane to direct the program we’ve seen it blossom into a student organization and we’ve received multiple awards. More importantly, it’s given our Spanish speaking students the opportunity to work and interact with the Spanish speaking community in Raleigh and beyond.
Among the courses I especially enjoy creating and teaching are conversation, introduction to culture and grammar through the use of film and constantly improving on the Segovia, study abroad program.
Extension and Community Engagement
Co-founder of VOLAR program with Dr. Shelley Garrigan in 2012.
VOLAR partners students of Spanish with organizations that address the needs of the Hispanic community. These collaborations are mutually beneficial — students practice and enhance their language skills while gaining professional experience and “soft skills,” and outreach organizations are better able to fulfill their mission with the help of these valuable volunteers.
Instructor for FLS 101, FLS 212, and FLS 332.
Supervisor for 2nd semester GTAs in FLS 101 and for GTAs in FLS 102.
Program Director for the Segovia Summer in Spain.
- Mon: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- Wed: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Educating Globally Competent Engineers in Segovia. http://www.asee.org/public/conferences/1/papers/1153/view
McConnell, James. (2019) Engaging Language Learners in the Digital Age. Workshop for Lebanese Fulbright Scholars at NC State, August 2019.
McConnell, James. (2019) Investing in Your Students: How to Build a Great TA Partnership, April 2019
McConnell, James. (2019) Free Web 2.0 Tools. Presentation through DELTA, April 16th & 25th 2019.
McConnell, James. (2019) Free Web 2.0 Tools. Presentation through DELTA, January 2019.
McConnell, James. (2018) Mission Possible: Apps and other tools to encourage students to speak more. Presentation at FLANC and ACTFL in Fall 2018.
McConnell, James. (2016) Technology You Can Eat: Using Apps to Create a Menu to Organize your Class. Interactive presentation at FLANC and ACTFL.
McConnell, James. Tharrington, Karen. (2016) Engaging Language Learners in the Digital Age. Workshop for Lebanese Fulbright Scholars at NC State.
McConnell, James (2010). Gmail and Beyond: Google applications and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. Workshop at the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC)
M.A. Hispanic Literature University of Arizona 1997
Area(s) of Expertise
Communicative courses that focus on language production in familiar environments outside of a classroom setting.