Name: Nadia Avendaño

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Education/Background: B.A. in Spanish and French from University of California, Davis; M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish from University of Arizona; specialization in 19th- and 20th-century Latin American literature and U.S. Latinx literature.

Job title: Associate Professor of Spanish, Director of the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (fall 2018–spring 2023)

How long have you worked at the College? Since 2003, 20 years!

What are your job responsibilities? Designing, planning and teaching my courses; advising students, recruiting students to our programs, serving on departmental and campuswide committees. I am a mentor to our Spanish Heritage Language Distinction Program students. This is a program that was created and spearheaded by my colleague, Silvia Rodríguez-Sabater. It is for our students that are Spanish heritage speakers. I am a heritage speaker myself, so I love getting to know this part of our ever-growing student body.

What do you like most about your job? I love teaching and connecting with our students. I co-directed our Maymester Trujillo, Spain, study abroad program this year. We had 28 students, and it was wonderful getting to know them on a more personal level. I enjoy teaching for FYE because I meet first-year students. I enjoy advising them and preparing them for a successful four years in college. I also love collaborating with my colleagues on different projects and committees.

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? I like the little green area on George Street next to the Sottile Theatre [Barnet Courtyard]. It’s nice to bring your lunch and eat there with a friend.

What are your hobbies? Working out. I love to jog with my neighbor. I love Zumba and other group classes. I recently started playing pickleball and would like to find more time to include that in my routine.

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Directing the Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why? I just finished María Hinojosa’s memoir, Once I was you. She is an award-winning journalist. Her memoir interweaves historical moments with her life. I loved this memoir because I listen to her podcasts, In the Thick and Latino USA. It was interesting to learn more about her life and how she became the only Latina to ever found an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of producing multimedia content from a POC perspective.

What was your favorite TV show growing up? That’s a tough one. I loved so many shows: Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Three’s Company, Growing Pains and Family Ties.

What’s next on your bucket list? I would like to walk part of the Camino de Santiago. The plan is to do it in 2027, but if I can do it sooner, even better.

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? I’m an introvert.

What was your first job? Besides babysitting, my first real job was when I was 15. I worked at Sacramento Sweets in Old Sacramento. It was a candy store much like the ones on Market Street in Charleston. It was so much fun working there.

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? I love S.N.O.B.

Describe your perfect day: A perfect day for me starts with a cup of coffee and no obligations. I can go jogging at my leisure, have lunch with girlfriends and then have time to read a book. In the evening, my husband and I walk our Yorkie around our beautiful neighborhood. Oh yeah, and the weather is perfect, no humidity. 

 To nominate a faculty or staff member to be featured in the “CofC Faces to Know” series, please send the person’s name and email address to Please include “CofC Faces to Know” in the email subject line.