James McConnell II

Picture of James McConnell II

Senior Lecturer

Biography

On the 1st day of October in the year of 1968 I was born unto this world in the fine city of Rome.  That would be Rome, New York.  My father was a combat photographer in the Air Force so we moved around a bit: Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC and then in 1973 we moved to Panama. I spent 5 formative years there and they ended up being the reason I learned Spanish and decided to make it a career.  In 1978 we were forced to leave Panama and we drove through Central America to Arizona where I would live for the next 22 years.  I attended the University of Arizona for both undergraduate and graduate school and in the meantime I taught scuba diving on the weekends in San Carlos, Mexico.

After receiving my MA in Hispanic Literature I taught for three additional years at the University of Arizona before accepting a position as Caribbean Operations Director for an adventure travel company for teenagers called Broadreach where I taught scuba diving and experiential education before running the operation. The years I taught for them afforded me travel to Mexico (Baja and Oaxaca), Ecuador, Fiji, The Solomon Islands and nearly all of the Caribbean.

I was employed as a lecturer at NC State from the Fall of 2005 through Spring 2013 and in the Fall of 2013 I was made Senior Lecturer. I love teaching at NC State.  There is genuine camaraderie within our department and I enjoy coming to work every day.  I am afforded many opportunities here such as teaching an online course and running a summer study abroad program in Segovia, Spain.

In the spring of 2012 Dr. Shelley Garrigan and I started a program called VOLAR (Voluntarios Ahora en Raleigh) and in May 2012 we won a seed grant of $10,000 to help jump start the program.  Since hiring Debbie Kane to direct the program we've seen it blossom into a student organization and we've received multiple awards. More importantly, it's given our Spanish speaking students the opportunity to work and interact with the Spanish speaking community in Raleigh and beyond. 

Among the courses I especially enjoy creating and teaching are conversation, introduction to culture and grammar through the use of film and constantly improving on the Segovia, study abroad program.

Teaching and Research Interests

In my spare time I enjoy reading, travel, mountain biking, hiking, playing tennis, photography and cooking.

Publications

Educating Globally Competent Engineers in Segovia.  http://www.asee.org/public/conferences/1/papers/1153/view

Education

  • Masters in Hispanic Literature from University of Arizona, 1997