Esther Andrés Montecatini hails from Valencia, Spain. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Universidad de Valencia and a master’s in teaching foreign language at Universidad Católica de Valencia. In 2013, Esther moved to the United States to pursue a master’s and doctorate in Hispanic studies at the University of Oklahoma, where she was initiated in 2020.
During her time at OU, Esther mentored incoming graduate students and instructors, was co-president of the Student Advisory Committee, and served on the Cecil B. Woods Award for Excellence in Teaching Committee. She also was a peer reviewer for the University of Tennessee’s journal, Vernacular: New Connections in Language, Literature, & Culture, and became an official OU LGBTQ ally in 2015.
Esther is a Spanish instructor at OU, teaching introductory, intermediate, and advanced Spanish language and literature since 2013. She has received the prestigious Provost’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching award seven times. Her first book, “Don Vampiro: de monstruo a amante,” will be published within the next year.
Let’s get to know Esther!
Why did you accept the invitation to join Phi Kappa Phi?
I was honored to receive an invitation from such a prestigious academic honor society. To me, it is a great opportunity to connect and get to know other colleagues in my field and their work.
What is your favorite movie?
It is hard to pick one because I am a cinephile, but I have to admit I have a soft spot for B movies, especially horror and comedy. One of my favorite mainstream ones is The Lost Boys, and I really enjoy watching horror/low-budget hosted movie shows, like “The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.”
What is the best gift you have been given?
Probably my parents’ willingness to visit me in the U.S. for enough time for me to be able to finish my Ph.D. dissertation. I was also an instructor of record and a new mom, so I consider their being here to help me a pretty big gift.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Frankly, juggling being a mom to a toddler while teaching several courses, working on transforming my dissertation into a book, and still being awarded prestigious teaching awards feels amazing. Although exhausting, I am not going to lie.
What is your favorite thing about your hometown?
It is very cosmopolitan and welcoming to foreigners while not being overwhelmingly big. It was recently named the best city to live in by People magazine.
What is your favorite food or type of cuisine?
I am a foodie, so I love all kinds of cuisine, but Mediterranean is my go-to.
Do you have any pets?
I have four dogs, Pluto, Astro, Luna, and Sol. I adore them and cannot imagine my life without them.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy traveling, listening to music, watching movies, exercising, drawing, painting, playing with my dogs, cooking, and spending time with my family and friends.
Who is your favorite musical artist or group?
I love very different music genres. I’m really into rock/funk bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers but also love post-punk like The Cure or Joy Division. I also really like more modern bands like The Garden, Washed Out or Toro y Moi.
How many languages do you speak?
I am fluent in Spanish, Catalan, and English. I also took several years of German in middle and high school but never really use it.
To learn more about Esther and connect, visit her profile within our online member community here.
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