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Born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, Olivia earned her MA and PhD in Latin American Literature from the University of Arizona. She has taught Spanish language, culture and literature courses at academic institutions including the University of Arizona, Guilford College and Arizona State University, where she has been teaching in the Spanish for the Professions Program since 2014.  

Additionally, she has taught specialized Spanish courses in the medical, business, translation and interpretation fields. She developed her interest in the field of translation while directing the translation and interpretation program at Pima Community College. She is passionate about implementing curriculum that is connected to students’ interests, experiences, talents and the real world using authentic texts. 

Areas of Interest

Dr. Elias’ research interests include thematic language teaching, foreign language instructional technology, Latin American literature and culture, Border Studies, Translation and Interpretation, and Spanish for professional purposes.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Spanish, Latin American Literature Border Studies, University of Arizona
  • MA in Spanish, University of Arizona
  • BA in Bilingual Education, University of Arizona

Professor Elias has been teaching at the Institute since 2016.