2013 Honors Convocation: Celebrating LAIS Award Recipients


We are pleased to announce the department awards to our 2013 graduating Majors in Latin American & Iberian Studies.  Our warm congratulations to the recipients and to all our graduates.



(Latin American & Iberian Studies)

The María-Luisa Osorio Prize is named in recognition of the many contributions of María-Luisa Osorio, a colleague now retired, who taught in the Hispanic Studies Department from 1967 to 1995.  One of Professor Osorio’s most passionate academic interests was the role of women in Spanish society; more specifically, the images of women in Spanish literature.

Grateful for her wise and dedicated leadership, her colleagues, upon her retirement, established this prize in her honor, to be awarded to a graduating Spanish major who has written an outstanding paper on the topic of women in Spanish-language literatures or who has demonstrated academic excellence and an active interest in promoting a greater understanding of the role of women in the Spanish-speaking world.

Abigail Lee Goldberger

With the María Luisa Osorio prize, the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department recognizes academic excellence in graduating Spanish majors who have demonstrated interest in promoting a greater understanding of the role of women in the Spanish-speaking world.  This year’s honors go to Abigail Goldberger for her seamless commitment to learning as an engagement with the world.  “Through my academic work in the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department at UMass [Boston],” writes Abigail, “I not only gained the ability to communicate with so many interesting people, I also began to integrate my own experiences and the experiences of the people I had worked with, with the shared experiences of people throughout history.” Abigail’s awareness and commitment to understanding social systems that, as she notes, “either offer support to people or intensify obstacles that can hold [them] back” was born out through a number of independent outreach programs including one in Perú where she became involved with a small foundation seeking to empower a local community of women.  In the future, Abigail hopes to instrumentalize the knowledge and experiences she has gained while studying at UMass Boston towards furthering her interest and efforts in confronting issues of inequality and marginalization.


(Latin American & Iberian Studies)

A renowned scholar in Castilian Medieval history, Professor Clara Estow dedicated four decades of her life to UMass Boston and the Department of Hispanic Studies (1968-2008).  During that time, Professor Estow gathered accolades for her inspiring teaching, her generous mentoring of junior faculty, her scholarly rigor, and her dedication to improving public education in Massachusetts.  Her teaching effectiveness and her capacity for mentoring were proverbial.  She inspired many students to become teachers and scholars.  She showed an extraordinary teaching range and flexibility.  Her accomplishments in scholarship were equally outstanding. Professor Estow authored several widely respected books in her field as well as dozens of articles and essays on a number of topics. Professor Estow was repeatedly selected by her peers to represent them on the campus’s most significant committees and governance structures. She was UMass Boston’s first Hispanic to lead the University Faculty Council.

In gratitude for Professor Estow’s tireless, generous, and inspiring academic work on behalf of UMass Boston, her colleagues, upon her retirement, established a prize in her honor. The Clara Estow Prize is awarded to a junior or a graduating senior who has shown excellence, determination, and inspiration in their academic work in Hispanic Studies.

Stephanie Janine Banos

We honor Stephanie Janine Banos as co-recipient of the Clara Estow Prize. Stephanie Banos has combined her passion for the Spanish language with an equal commitment for social justice.  As a freshman she first envisaged a degree in business but was soon drawn into the world of Spanish language.  Although she had always loved the study of Spanish, she found at UMB that what she “initially thought of as a language composed of letters and words soon became much more: a culture, a set of ideas and beliefs, and an entirely new way to express” herself. She recalls that, “Spanish soon took me out of the classroom and into the real world,” and writes that her studies “clarified my ethical and moral responsibilities in all facets of my life.”

Stephanie spent nine months in Costa Rica where she found that mastering the Spanish language opened the door to Latin American civilization and experience.  She sees herself as a bridge between cultures and her determination to understand other worlds is drawing her into issues of immigration and educational policy.



Franklin K. Lund Montoya

We honor Franklin Lund Montoya as co-recipient of the Clara Estow Prize.  Franklin has superb linguistic abilities and the utmost commitment to education. He completed his BA in Spanish while working full time at night, and attending classes during the day.

His initial goal at UMass Boston was to master the complexities of Spanish linguistics in order to become a professional translator: and he has became a pretty good one; however he credits his professors for widening his horizon and encouraging him to think critically about the world and his place in it. He excelled in all of his courses in all areas: linguistics, translation, literature and culture. His plans for the future include completing graduate studies and becoming a college professor in Costa Rica. It is clear from his level of success at UMass that he will teach his students with the same passion, love, dedication and skill that he has shown in all of his classes.