2024 IUHPFL Instructors


From left to right: Alicia Sanchez de Ibarguen Ojeda, Mónica Vega Gonzalez, Gabriela Mendoza

Alicia Sanchez de Ibarguen Ojeda

Alicia is an exchange student from the University of Seville, currently working in the Hispanic Linguistics Department at Indiana University - Bloomington. She completed her Masters degree in Translation and Interculturality in 2023 at the University of Seville, and holds a B.S. in English Studies from the same university. She is originally from Spain and her primary research interests concern Second Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics. She has studied abroad in Ireland, Poland and France and is looking forward to mentoring and walking alongside a new generation of learners. In her free time, Alicia likes traveling.

Mónica Vega Gonzalez

Mónica is originally from Puerto Rico. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puerto Rico (2014) and did a Master’s in Editing and Publishing at UAB, Barcelona (2015). She completed a second Master’s in Hispanic Linguistics at Indiana University. Mónica is now pursuing her graduate Ph.D. degree in Hispanic Literatures in Bloomington. Her primary research interests are in Puerto Rican and Caribbean contemporary art and culture. She has been teaching for five years at the IU Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She enjoys listening to music, dancing salsa, reading, outdoor activities, South Korean culture and traveling. She will be teaching Literature.

Gabriela Mendoza

Gabriela is a Spanish teacher at Carmel High School. She is originally from Mexico but grew up in Frankfort, Indiana. Gabriela obtained her BA in French at IU Indianapolis. She is currently working on her MA from the University of Salamanca (Spain). Gabriela comes from a large family and enjoy spending time with her nephews. She also loves animals and has a cat named Sese.

Ciudad Real

From left to right: Lindsay Giacomino, Ari Plymale

Lindsay Giacomino

Lindsay is originally from Minnesota and teaches Spanish at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she is currently the coordinator for the Intensive first-year Spanish course, S105. She has been teaching Spanish to undergraduate students since 2015. During undergrad she studied at the Universidad de Concepción in Concepción, Chile through St. Cloud State University, and she also worked for a year in a Colombian university as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She completed her Masters in Hispanic Linguistics at IU in 2017, focusing on second language acquisition, phonetics, and sociolinguistics. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys music, cooking, and dancing. She participated in the Viña del Mar program in the past and is so excited to be back with students this year to explore Spain for the first time alongside them.

Ari Plymale

Ari Plymale is a Doctoral student in the Hispanic Literatures program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at IU. She holds a BA in Spanish Language & Literature and German Language and Literature/German Studies from New College of Florida. Her research interests include modern and contemporary Spanish literature, 20th century avant-garde movements, theatre and performance studies, and comparative literature.


From left to right: Nikole Langjahr, Susan Fritschi

Nikole Langjahr

Nikole will be your grammar and linguistics instructor. She is  originally from Germany, and  has taught German at Indiana University since 1999. She is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Germanic Studies Department, and also organizes extracurricular events for undergraduate students. In her spare time, Nikole loves to cook, crochet, listen to podcasts, and spend time with her two teenage children.

Susan Fritschi

Hi! I’m Susan Fritschi. I’ve been teaching for 23 years. I’ve taught from 1st grade (5-6 year olds) to high school now. I am passionate about teaching and learning. Sharing information is a way to explore new thoughts, perspectives and increase people’s understanding. 

My husband and I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren.We are blessed to spend time with all of them frequently. My husband and I love spending time with our family, including our mothers and siblings. We enjoy remodeling our home as well. 

I like to learn about history and science most of all, and find gardening and cooking to be a favorite pastime. I enjoy traveling as well. I’ve been in all the major bodies of water around the US. I’ve ridden on the USS Constitution in Boston Harbor, walked along North Shore in Hawaii and been to the Grand Canyon twice. I’ve been to the Yooper in Michigan and down to Orlando in Florida. I’ve also been many places in between. Now that the children have flown the coop, international traveling is on the list.


From left to right: Vania Castro, Gaby Jarrin, James Lang

Vania Castro

Vania is originally from Brazil. She has a Law degree from the University of Brasilia in Brazil and a MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Indiana University. She is a Senior Lecturer and the Undergraduate Portuguese Supervisor at IU where she teaches both Portuguese and Spanish classes. Vania is married and lives in Bloomington with her husband, Mike. She has two daughters. Nina is 24 and lives in Austin, Texas and Lia is 20 and is a junior at IU.

Gaby Jarrin

Gaby is originally from Quito, Ecuador and now lives in Bloomington, Indiana. She is currently a M.A student of Hispanic Linguistics at IUB, having completed her BA in Applied Linguistics at Universidad Católica de Quito. She also has an MA in Lengua Española at The Universidad Atutónoma de Madrid.

James Lang

James is from Indianapolis and teaches Spanish at North Central High School in the same city. During college he studied at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid through Indiana University. He also worked for two years in Spain as an Auxiliar de Conversación in the regions of Galicia and La Rioja. He completed his Masters in Hispanic Literatures at IU in 2016. In his spare time, James enjoys music, cooking, and riding his bike. He participated in the Oviedo program in the past and is so excited to be back with students this year.


From left to right: Shannon Swann, Corentin Mazet

Shannon Swann

Shannon was born and raised in Indiana and has been involved with IUHPFL since she was in high school - first as a participant in Saint-Brieuc, then as a parent when her son Tarik studied in Mérida, Mexico in 2011, and most recently as a 2017 and 2023 instructor in Saint-Brieuc.  Shannon has a B.A. in French and Political Science and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Purdue. She teaches upper-level French and is Director of International Programs at University High School of Indiana in Carmel, where she has been since 2002. Before joining the University faculty, Shannon taught English as a Second Language at Purdue University, the University of Grenoble, and Kuwait University, and she owned and ran an English language school for ten years in Indianapolis. Shannon loves to read, cook, travel, and spend time with family and friends. She has been to France many times on her own and with students, and she knows firsthand the value of the immersion experience.  She can’t wait to spend the summer with her new colleagues and a new group of stagiaires!

Corentin Mazet

Corentin grew up in Moissy-Cramayel, a small town in the suburbs of Paris. He is a PhD student in French Linguistics at Indiana University, and holds an MA in French Linguistics, and another in Teaching French as a Foreign Language. Before starting studying at IU, Corentin spent a few years teaching French in France, Scotland, Ireland, and England, and he still teaches as an Associate Instructor in the French and Italian department. This will be his second time working with IUHPFL, but his first was in Saint-Brieuc! When he’s not teaching or working on his research, he likes to exercise, watch and play sports, watch videos on YouTube, travel, and discuss (argue) anything linguistics related with his friends.


From left to right: Jane Gilbert, Jennifer Yuska

Jane Gilbert

Jane grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, but when she’s not in Bloomington, she calls Atlanta, Georgia home. She is now a PhD student in French Linguistics at Indiana University. She has studied French in the classroom for many years but knows from experience that nothing matches immersion. Jane holds an MA in French Linguistics and has several years of teaching experience, but this will be her first time teaching in Saumur. When she’s not teaching or studying, she likes to do yoga, bake, listen to podcasts, and spoil her cat Dorothy Ann. This will be her third time as an IUHPFL instructor, and she is excited to discover Saumur with the students!

Jennifer Yuska

Jennifer Yuska is a high school teacher at East Noble in Kendallville, Indiana. After graduating from Stetson University, she taught as an adjunct for IPFW for two years before becoming a high school teacher in 2014. This is Jennifer’s first year with the program, but she participated in a similar program in college where she studied in Avignon and lived with a host family.