Who We Are


Dr. Glenn Martinez

Glenn Martínez is professor of Hispanic Linguistics and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. His research focuses on sociolinguistics and applied linguistics of Spanish-speaking communities in the United States and along the U.S.-Mexico border. He has most recently published extensively on language policies in the health delivery system in the United States and abroad, on the linguistic practices of Spanish-speaking patients and providers in healthcare settings, and on the development and evaluation of language pedagogy for healthcare professionals. Before coming to Ohio State, Professor Martínez served as chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature at the University of Texas Pan American and as director of the Spanish for Heritage Learners program at the University of Arizona. Professor Martínez has led a number of major projects funded by the United States Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Secretaría de Educación Pública in Mexico. He has completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health disparities at the University of North Texas Health Science Center and an American Council on Education fellowship at Arizona State University.



Dr. Frederick Aldama

Dr. Frederick Aldama is founder and director of LASER–a mentoring and research hub for Latinos 9th grades through college selected as a 2015 Bright Spot in Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He is also founder and co-director of the Humanities & Cognitive Sciences High School Summer Institute. In his research and teaching he uses the tools of narrative theory and cognitive science to enrich understanding of literature, art, music, film, comic books, and video games by and about Latinos. He is the author, co-author, and editor of over 22 books.


Elena Costello

Elena Costello is a doctoral student with an interdisciplinary field of study of heritage language learners as part of Latinx cultural studies and the role of heritage speakers in health care. Before joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Costello managed La Clinica Latina, a free medical clinic for Spanish speaking people and worked as pediatric medical interpreter. Costello is a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellow and Latino & Latin American Space for Enrichment and Research (LASER) Fellow.


Diane Birckbichler

Diane W. Birckbichler received her B.A. from Otterbein College and received her M.A. in French literature and her Ph.D. in foreign language education from the Ohio State University.  She is Past President of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). She is the recipient of Les Palmes Académiques from the French Government and the ACTFL Florence Steiner Award for Leadership in Foreign Languages. She has taught French at all levels of instruction. She was instrumental in the development and conceptualization of the OSU French Individualized Language Program and previously served as its director. Her major areas of interest are foreign language pedagogy, curriculum and materials development, language testing, and language policy issues. She has co-authored high school and university-level textbooks and readers.   Her current projects include the revision of the MultiCAT computer-adaptive placement test, the continued development of distance and online courses and programs in foreign languages at OSU, and the establishment of OSU’s Advanced Language Institute.


Michele Brown

Michele Brown is the Program Director of The Academy at The Ohio State University.


Alejandro Diez

Dr. Diez is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Nephrology in the College of Medicine at OSU. Alejandro is a kidney transplant surgeon and has worked in the design and implementation of interventions to improve cultural competency and Spanish language proficiency for providers and medical students.


Milly Valverde

Milly is the Director of Interpretive Services at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. She was named Language Access Champion 2013 by the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare and is very active in interpreter training in the State of Ohio.


Terrell Morgan

Terrell A. Morgan is a phonologist and dialectologist concerned with documenting linguistic diversity and finding new ways to put students, teachers, and fellow researchers in touch with the intimate details of the sounds and structures of Spanish. He has taught and done field work in Spain, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay, as well as in Hispanic communities in the United States. His Spanish phonetics textbook, Sonidos en contexto: Una introducción a la fonética del español con especial referencia a la vida real, was published in 2010 by Yale University Press.


Shelly Hovick

Shelly is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University. She is interested in people’s perceptions of their risk for cancer and other chronic diseases and the extent to which they respond to risks with information seeking and the adoption of prevention and early detection behaviors.


Cregg Ashcraft

Dr. Cregg Ashcraft is a medicine/pediatrics doctor in Columbus, Ohio and is affiliated with Riverside Methodist Hospital-Ohio Health. He received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in practice between 11-20 years. He is one of 7 doctors at Riverside Methodist Hospital-Ohio Health who specialize in Medicine/Pediatrics.


Ed Kennedy

Coordinator of English as a Second Language at South-Western City Schools.


Debbie Stith

Coordinator of Career-Technical Programs at South-Western City Schools.


James Marion

Assistant Principal at South-Western City Schools.



Anna Graham

Anna is the Research Project Coordinator for the Impact Grant. She graduated from Otterbein University in 2012 with a BA in International Studies. She received her Master of Public Health from Tulane University in 2018. She is interested in public health and community health sciences. Contact her for any questions related to the IMPACT study at graham.1223@osu.edu.