Mercedes Aguirre Batty grew up on the border of the United States and Mexico. She received her B.A. in Linguistics, her M.A. in Applied English Linguistics from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her PhD in Education (Instructional Design for Distance Education) from Capella University. She has taken students to Mexico, Spain, Costa Rica, and Belize. She undertook studies in the International Field Study Program from Eastern Washington University in 1996. She was a member of the People to People program to India that year. In 1997, she completed the Online Teaching Program from UCLA Extension’s She completed several of the advanced courses in that program.

Mercedes is Dean of Art, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Northern Wyoming Community College District.

Executive Secretary

Cynthia F. Bingham, Sigma Delta Mu (SDM) Executive Secretary, holds a Master of Arts with a major in Language and Culture from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with a minor in French from Brigham Young University. She taught at Brigham Young University and at Arizona State University.

Professor Bingham grew up bilingual, with a Costa Rican mother and an American father. She lived in San José, Costa Rica for thirteen years where she studied at a bilingual school and at other Spanish-speaking schools. She also studied in Ponce, Puerto Rico for one academic year.

In 1990, she began working at Chandler-Gilbert Community College as a member of the Spanish Faculty. In the fall of 1998, she began serving as National Secretary for Sigma Delta Mu. She currently serves as a senator for the faculty association at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, in Chandler, Arizona. At the College, she has developed a very successful travel program. Her students have traveled all over the world to countries such as Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Italy and Greece. She is a member of the Travelers’ Century Club. Please visit to see what tours have been planned for the next two years.

Professor Bingham loves and understands people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Her interests include: traveling, the outdoors, eating foreign foods, and shopping. She is the mother of one daughter, three sons and the grandmother of five grandsons and four granddaughters and has been married for over forty years.

Vice Presidents


Dr. Garcia Osuna is Professor of Spanish and Literature and Chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages of Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York. Dr. Garcia Osuna was born in Havana and did his elementary and secondary education in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. He received his Master’s and Ph.D. at the City University of New York. He has published three books and numerous articles on Spanish literature and is now Associate Professor at the Kingsborough campus of the City University of New York.


María J. Fraser-Molina, Ph.D. has recently accepted a new position as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer at Craven Community College in New Bern, North Carolina.


Professor John H. Hays spent 2 years in Pilar de Peace Corps Paraguay after graduation from Stephen F. Austin State University where he majored in European History and minored in Spanish. As a Peace Corps Volunteer he served as a Agricultural Extension Agent. Soon there after, he entered Graduate School at the University of Houston, teaching ESL and graduating with a Master’s of Arts in Spanish. Immediately after the U of H, as adjunct, he began to teach the first two years of the BA degree at Tyler Junior College. Tyler Jr. College has afforded Professor Hays the vehicle to pursue his interest in indigenous languages and culture, those being Nahuatl and Maya. He has studied with Frances Karttunen at UTAustin and Standley Robes at UCLA. Professor Hays has traveled extensively throughout Latin America concentrating primarily on Venezuela and Costa Rica where he currently is service project director for Tyler Junior College. He speaks an FSI 4+ in Spanish, and a 2+ in Portuguese.

John H. Hays, Jr., Chair
Department of Foreign Languages
Tyler Junior College
P.O.Box 9020
Tyler, TX 75711


Anna Marie Pietrolonardo is Professor of World Languages at Illinois Valley Community College, Oglesby, IL. She was born in Chicago and grew up in a multi-lingual, multi-generational home where ethnicity, tradition and language where highly valued. Maintaining close contact with family throughout Europe and North and South America has blended well with a passion for romance languages. Pietrolonardo earned her B.A. in Latin American Studies at Scripps College, Claremont, CA. Next, she was an NDEA Fellow at Northwestern University where she completed her M.A. in Spanish and Portuguese while teaching undergraduate Spanish. After an M.B.A. from De Paul University and a thirty-year career switch to healthcare marketing, she returned to teaching at Northern IL University while working on IL teaching credentials as a post-graduate. Dually certified in Spanish and English, she taught high school English and Spanish, GED in Spanish and specialized classes for Portuguese speaking businesspeople. In fall 2004, a new position for a World Language Laboratory Instructor was created at IVCC. Pietrolonardo applied and began her work in organizing a World Language program supported by state of the art technological resources. In 2004, she also founded the World Language Student Organization to provide cultural enrichment beyond the classroom. In 2005, she moved to the main teaching position in the World Languages department where she developed a full complement of the first blended and fully online world language courses for the first two years of college. Also in 2005, Pietrolonardo petitioned to establish Zeta of Illinois Chapter of Sigma Delta Mu.

Anna Marie Pietrolonardo
Professor of World Languages
Faculty Advisor – World Language Organization
Faculty Advisor – Zeta of IL Chapter, Sigma Delta Mu
Vice President – Midwest Region, Sigma Delta Mu


Dr. Claudia Acosta is Professor of Spanish and Literature and Chair of the Department of Modern Languages at College of the Canyons. She has extensive experience teaching both in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Acosta is co-author of three language publications. She was born in Nicaragua where she lived until the age of fourteen. Her studies include a Master in Spanish from the University of California, Riverside and a Doctorate Degree in Education from Pepperdine University. Additionally, she has participated in numerous programs at the Council for Latin America and Iberian Studies at Yale University. Dr. Acosta is an educational leader and advocate for international education (IE) in community colleges. She is the liaison for international education for the Santa Clarita Community College District. She serves as vice president of the board of directors of Santa Clarita International Programs (SCVIP). She is very active in her community and is involved in social projects and literacy programs in South America.

Dr. Claudia Acosta
Department of Modern Languages
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, California 91355
Tel. 661.362.3530