February 4, 2021 at 5:13 pm

Alumni News | Jesus Toapanta ‘Learned to be Home Away from Home’ in Athens

Jesus Tuarez Toapanta MA ’08 at home in front of his children’s artwork

Jesus Tuarez Toapanta MA ’08 at home in front of his children’s artwork

For Ohio University alumnus Jesus Tuarez Toapanata, there are so many things that bring back “breathtaking” memories of his time at Ohio University.

“My first winter with snow, the river path, the farmer’s market, the amazing colorful trees in autumn, the movie rentals on E. State Street, Gordy Hall, my appreciated professors, and so much more,” says Toapanata, who earned an M.A. in Linguistics in 2008 from the College of Arts & Sciences.

One not so good memory was the time he spent in O’Blenness Hospital. But after he got out of hospital and was recuperating at home, “my classmates and friends visited me. They would come over to say hello and to share delicious homemade food from all around the world. This was indeed a very kind gesture which I often look back on with gratitude and mixed emotions,” he says.

Jesus Toapanta on his way from Gordy to Alden Library in the winter of 2006-07.

Jesus Toapanta on his way from Gordy to Alden Library in the winter of 2006-07.

“I carry these memories everywhere I go because they mark a significant part of my life. I think Athens is where I learned to be home away from home. My wife and I learned to be away from our families and become the couple we are now.”

Since graduating from Ohio University in 2008, Toapanata has taught in the Linguistics Department at PUCE (the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador) in his hometown of Quito and at its regional campus in Ibarra. He has taught courses in translation, second language acquisition, language teaching methodology, English/Spanish for business, research methods, and linguistics.

In 2014 he collaborated with Dr. Marleeen Haboud, professor of sociolinguistics at PUCE, on the publication Voces e Imagenes: Lenguas Indigenas de Ecuador. Later, in 2018, Haboud visited the Athens Campus and gave a colloquium talk on Emerging collaborative methodologies for the revitalization of indigenous languages in Ecuador.

In 2019, Toapanata completed his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta. His dissertation, Metacognitive Instruction in L2 Listening, is an intervention study that looks at the effects of three instructional approaches to L2 listening.

And now he and his wife and their three children live in Edmonton, Canada. He is teaching Spanish in the Department of Modern Language and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta.

And how have they been coping with the Covid 19 pandemic?

“I have been busy playing hide and seek, baking desserts, reading bedtime stories, and watching Disney movies,” he says. While his students and his family have definitely kept him busy, he appreciates that “they have certainly given meaning to my life. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I am certain that tomorrow will be even better.”

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