Spanish Department Faculty Profiles

Egasse | Giráldez-Betrón | Gruen | Lemari | Rosales | Tamariz | Tseng

J. Egasse

Jeanne Egasse


  • M.A. and B.A. Spanish Linguistics - UCI
  • California Standard Secondary Teaching Credential in Spanish and French
  • Specialist Credential in Bilingual Cross-cultural Education in Spanish 

Prof. Egasse was born and raised in Southern California and spent much of her childhood interacting with Spanish-speaking friends and neighbors. After graduating from UCI, she spent four years as a teacher-trainer for K-12 teachers in both Bilingual Education and Foreign Languages before coming to Irvine Valley College. Professor Egasse has also taught French and Spanish at the secondary level and Spanish and Linguistics at the university level. Professor Egasse's academic areas of interest include sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, dialectology and language acquisition. She enjoys teaching Spanish at the Community College level because of the variety of students and the chance to participate in the language acquisition process with students. She is the co-author of two university level Spanish texts: Dos mundos and Tu mundo as well as two short readers: Cocina y comidas hispanas and Mundos de fantasía, fábulas, cuentos de hadas y leyendas.  She has traveled in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica and is very interested in the folklore, folk music and art of Latin America as well as native plants of the Americas. In her free time, Prof. Egasse enjoys gardening, yoga, swimming, reading and theater. She is head over hills in love with dogs!

Contact Professor Egasse or call 949-451-5338

Professor Rocio Giraldez-Betron

Rocio Giráldez-Betron


  • Ph.D. Literature - UCSD
  • M.A. English Literature - UCSD
  • M.A and B.A. Philology - Universidad Autónoma  de Madrid
  • Online Teaching Certification – Miracosta College

Prof. Giráldez is from Madrid where she studied a B.A and M.A in Philology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She came to California to pursue her graduate studies in Literature at UCSD where she taught for 12 years all levels of Spanish lower-division Language and Literature courses at the Literature Department and the Linguistics Language Program. She has also taught Spanish at University of San Diego and various community colleges in San Diego. Professor Giráldez has also taught at the Summer Intensive Program at the UCSD Linguistics Language Program, Miracosta College and Irvine Valley College. She also enjoys substituting at the Lower, Middle and Upper school at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego.

In 2012, Professor Giráldez completed a one year-long online teaching certification with a focus on pedagogy and technology of online teaching. At United States University, Professor Giráldez taught online and on-campus upper-division Hispanic literature and teaching methodology courses. She has also taught Spanish writing for heritage speakers at California State University San Marcos.

As part of her volunteering interests Professor Giráldez has served as Medical Spanish instructor and translator, has organized Spanish-Persian dance classes in San Diego, performed as a dancer of Kathak Lucknow, and served for 2 years as a Board Member of the Persian Cultural Center. Professor Giráldez´s interest on Transatlantic cultural production of migration and mobility is linked to her teaching and it incorporates the bicultural experience that stems from the proximity to the Mexican border. She appreciates the quality of people at Irvine Valley College and enjoys teaching again with Tu mundo and the Natural Approach.

Contact Professor Giráldez

Professor Linda Gruen

Linda Gruen


  • Ph.D. Spanish - UCI
  • M.A. Spanish - UCI
  • M.A Teaching Second Language - Bennington College
  • B.A. Latin American Studies and Geography - UC Berkeley
  • California Teaching Credentials - California State University, East Bay

Dr. Gruen is a southern California native. She has taught Spanish at the K-12 and the university level for many years. Consequently, Professor Gruen sees herself as a professional educator with a strong commitment to assisting California's diverse student populations in achieving their educational and personal goals.

Her academic interests include nineteenth-century Latin American literature and second language acquisition pedagogies. Dr. Gruen has co-presented on task-based language teaching for two chapters of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. She is the translator of two poetry books, Tre and Lontananza, as well as the author of academic articles in the Spanish and Portuguese Review and Journeys: The Journal of Travel and Travel Writing.

In her free time, Professor Gruen enjoys travel, theater, reading, and hiking.

Contact Professor Gruen

Karla Lemari

Professor Lemari


  • M.A. Spanish-CSUSM
  • B.A. Tourism and Hospitality - Universidad del Azuay, Ecuador
  • Online Teaching Certification - Palomar College

Prof. Lemari began teaching Spanish in 2002 in her native country, Ecuador. In 2006, she moved to San Diego, California. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Spanish at California State University San Marcos in 2016 and taught courses at the university while completing her degree. Additionally, Prof. Lemari has taught Spanish at Palomar College, and currently, she teaches Spanish at Irvine Valley College.

Prof. Lemari enjoys helping students learn about her native language and culture using differentiated instruction because she understands that every student has different needs and challenges. She takes advantage of her personal experience as a language learner in English and Italian to remind her students that the sky is the limit. Professor Lemari has presented workshops on the use of technology tools and strategies at the World Languages Symposiums hosted by Cal State San Marcos, Palomar College, and Mira Costa College. Additionally, Prof. Lemari has completed courses on online teaching including Irvine Valley College "Pedagogy for Online Teaching" and "Online Teaching & Design" @ONE.

In her spare time, Prof. Lemari is passionate about exploring new cities in the United States and other countries. She enjoys making connections and learning from people of different backgrounds. Also, she loves to dance Latin music. She gave salsa dance classes during several events hosted by the World Languages Department at Palomar College.

Prof. Lemari is living her dream of becoming a Spanish instructor. She is very grateful that Mark Twain’s quote applies to her profession: "Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

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Lisbeth Rosales

Professor Rosales


  • M.A. Spanish-Hispanic Literature, Linguistics and Civilization at Cal State San Bernardino
  • B.A. Hispanic-Spanish Literature, Language and Civilization and B.A. Spanish Cultural Studies at Cal State San Bernardino
  • Certificate in Spanish for Public Services at Cal State San Bernardino

Professor Rosales was born and raised in Guatemala, Central America. In 2009, she moved to the United States. In 2013, she found her passion for teaching when she was a student and a tutor at the English as a Second Language Department at Victor Valley College.

Besides teaching, she also enjoys learning about people and the diverse population in the United States. As our country strives to become more progressive by the day, the importance of learning about our similarities and differences increases as well.

Teaching a foreign language allows Professor Rosales to inculcate in her students the desire to learn about other cultures, the importance in forming their own points of view and, consequently, the necessity to be more understanding towards each other. Additionally, it provides her with an individual opportunity to instill in her students a love for education as she shares her passion for teaching and learning with them.

Contact Professor Rosales

Santiago Tamariz

Professor Tamariz


  • M.A and B.A Spanish Linguistics at Cal State Fullerton
  • Online Teaching Certified at @ONE

Prof. Tamariz was born and raised in Lima, Perú. He moved to the United States in 2004 and started his fervor for the Spanish language while getting his A.A at Saddleback College, where he worked as a Spanish tutor for 4 semesters while getting his M.A. He considers himself an enthusiastic and professional Spanish instructor; he is passionate about his culture and his country. It is a wonderful experience for him to teach his language to different people. He enjoys engaging and motivating pupils to learn a foreign language by helping them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of a different language and culture. Teaching Spanish is much more than just a job. Whether you call it a vocation, a calling or a passion, teaching Spanish requires a unique skill set that goes way beyond effective lesson planning (although, of course, that’s essential, too!). Prof. Tamariz loves learning from students as well as colleagues.

Prof. Tamariz is also a singer. He leads a live salsa band and performs once in a while at private and public venues in OC.

Contact Professor Tamariz

B. Tseng

Beatrice Tseng


  • M.A. Spanish Literature - UCLA
  • B.A. Spanish and Portuguese - UCLA
  • Graduate Certificate: E-Learning and Online Teaching - University of Wisconsin @ Stout

Prof. Tseng was born in Taiwan but lived in Brazil and Colombia until age ten and spent the next eight years in Panama, where she attended Junior and Senior High at an American school in the former Panama Canal Zone.  She came to California in 1984 when she began her studies at UCLA. During her junior year, she studied in Madrid and has traveled extensively in Europe. Professor Tseng has been teaching Spanish at Irvine Valley College since 1991. In 2003, she was selected IVC's 2004 Teacher of the Year and was awarded a "Model Online Course" grant by the California Virtual Campus for the exemplary design of her Spanish 4 Online course. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Most Inspirational Professor of the Year award presented by IVC's Psi Beta Chapter, the National Honor Society in Psychology.  

Prof. Tseng is the co-author of the "Instructors' Resource Kit" which accompanies the Spanish textbook Dos mundos and has presented numerous workshops on the "Natural Approach", Dos mundos, and the usage of technology in foreign language classes. In 2007-2008 Professor Tseng completed a series of graduate courses through the University of Wisconsin @ Stout and earned a certificate on E-Learning and Online Teaching. Since then, she has taken courses and workshops on online teaching to stay current.

In addition to teaching, Prof. Tseng enjoys traveling, gardening, spending time with her family and friends, volunteering at her children's school and in the community, and dining at ethnic restaurants. She breaks the stereotype of a "typical" Spanish instructor by bringing into her lectures her passion and knowledge of both of her heritages: the Hispanic and the Chinese.

Cal 949-451-5343 or Contact Professor Tseng | Professor Tseng's Website



Brooke Bui, PhD
Dean, Languages & Learning Resources

O: LA 209

Erika Arendts
Sr. Admin. Assistant, Languages & Learning Resources

O: LA 207