Elizabeth Messer

Faculty & Staff


Dr. Betty Messer

Modern Languages



Department Co-Chair & Professor of Modern Languages

Office Location: Reade 203
Phone: (765) 998-5274
Email: btmesser@taylor.edu

Specialties: Spanish Grammar, Spanish Phonology, Latin American Culture and Civilization, Spanish in the United States


Vitae PDF: Dr. Betty Messer's Printable Vitae

Elizabeth Bostrom Messer

Department of Modern Languages
Taylor University
236 W Reade Avenue
Upland, Indiana  46989-1001


Telephone: 765-998-5274
E-mail:  btmesser@taylor.edu
Office: Reade Center 203


Ph.D. in Spanish, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1989
Major Field: Spanish Language and Linguistics
Dissertation:  A Quantitative, Computer-assisted, Partial Syntactical Analysis of Two Present-Day Spanish Language Newspapers Published in the United States

M.A. in Spanish, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, 1984
Major Field:  Spanish Language and Linguistics

B.A. in Sociology, Trinity College, Deerfield, Illinois 1978
Major: Sociology


Professor of  Spanish / Taylor University (Tenure Effective Fall 1996)

Courses Regularly Taught:

Elementary Spanish I and II
Intermediate Spanish I and II
Spanish Phonology
Advanced Spanish Grammar
Art of Writing Spanish

Courses Previously Taught:

Culture and Civilization of Spain
Communication in Spanish
Computers and Modern Languages
Culture and Civilization of the Hispanic World
Spanish and Hispanic Cultures in the United States
History and Geography of Latin America
Freshman Seminar Discussion Group
Senior Seminar

Travel/Study Courses Previously Taught:

Spanish for Christian Ministry (Travel/study course in Miami, FL)
Culture and Language in Ecuador (Travel/study course in Cuenca, Ecuador)

Academic Service:

Co-Chair Department of Modern Languages   (February 2012 to Present)
Faculty advisor (1989-Present)
Faculty Liaison for Latin American Studies Program (2002-Present)
Chair, Modern Language Departmental Self-Study and Review Process (2010-2012)
Faculty Departmental Liaison for the International TU Program in the Dominican Republic (2010-2011)
Faculty Departmental Liaison for the NCATE Review Process (Fall 2010)
Coordinator, Departmental Tutoring Center (2006-2009)
Chair, Department of Modern Languages (2005-2006)
Faculty Director of the Taylor University Ecuador Summer Language Study Trip (2001)
Director of the Honors Program (1998-2000)
Faculty Liaison for Oregon Extension Program (1997-2000)

Co-curricular Service:

Faculty "hook-up" for MuKappa (missionary kid) students (1994-95 and 1997-98)
Faculty "hook-up" for Minority Student Organization (1992-93)
Official mentor for new faculty member (1991-92)
Faculty sponsor for M.A.R.S. (Mature and Returning Students – (1991-1992)
Faculty "wing hook-up" with one of the student dormitories (1990-91)
Faculty mentor for a student on disciplinary probation (1989-90)
Co-Team Leader for Taylor World Outreach Trip to Guatemala (Spring 1991)
Assistant Director/Translator for Taylor Women's Volleyball Team Friendship Tour Dominican Republic (1989)

Committee Work:

School of Liberal Arts, Curriculum Management Committee (2012 to Present)
Chair, Departmental Faculty Search Committee for French and French/Spanish positions (2004-2006)
Multicultural Task Force (2004-2005)
Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Load (1999)
Curriculum Management Committee (1996-1999)
The University Cabinet (1994-96)
Hispanic Awareness Month Planning Committee (1996)
Faculty Search/Screen Committee for VPAA and Dean of the University (1992-93)
Chair, Cultural Awareness Committee (1992-93)
Chair, International Studies Committee (1991-93)
Communication Arts Department Critics Circle (1991-92)
Athletic Committee (1989-92)

Instructor of Spanish and Reading, Division of Humanities and Education, Voorhees College, Denmark, South Carolina

Responsibilities in this position were to teach first and second level Spanish courses and developmental and advanced reading courses, while working with curriculum revision and a CAI (Computer Assisted Instruction) pilot project for the reading program. Additional duties included designing a reading course for the Health Careers Opportunity Program Saturday College, and a team-taught English proficiency course, and serving on committees, as a tutor for prospective education majors, and as a faculty advisor.

Teaching Assistant, Department of Modern Languages & Linguistics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Responsibilities in this position were to develop and teach first and second level Spanish courses.

Assistant to the Coordinator of Spanish Graduate Teaching Assistants, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

Responsibilities in this position were to plan, design and write syllabi for first and second level Spanish courses as well as develop exam guidelines and organize teaching material for the coordinator.


NCLRC (National Capital Language Resource Center) and Embassy of Spain sponsored Summer Institute at George Washington University, June 2009.

Cincinnati Council for International Education Faculty Travel Program to Brazil, June 2003

Workshop -- "Hispanic/Latino Patterns of Communication", the Institute  for Intercultural Communication, Pacific University, OR, July 1999

Cincinnati Council for International Education Faculty Travel Program to Cuba,  June 1997

Sabbatical project entitled, "Computers, Higher Education and Foreign Languages in Indiana,"  Fall 1997

Forester Instituto Internacional, San José, Costa Rica, Juli 1989

Intensive Language Program in Spanish, Millersville University, Millersville, PA,  June-July, 1983


American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL)

Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages   (CSCTFL)


Spanish in the United States

Stories of Bicultural/Third Culture Latinos in the United States


Participant and informal translator on a missions trip to the Quintana Roo Presbytery in Puerto Moreles, Mexico—July 2004

Participant in the Christian Center for Urban Studies, Chicago, IL, January 1995

Lived in Quito, Ecuador, Summer 1993


"Guide to Language Related Resources on the World Wide Web: French and Spanish-speaking Countries, Language Helps, Language Programs, Language Related Jobs." Upland, IN: Taylor University Press, May 1999.

"The Professor as Mentor: Lowering Student Anxiety and Improving Writing Skills."  Proceedings of the North American Association of Christian Foreign Language and Literature Faculty, Seattle, WA: Seattle Pacific University, 1992.


"Faith, Spanish, and Urban Ministry: Living and Learning in Miami" at the Christian Foreign Language Association Conference, Point Loma University, San Diego CA,   April 6, 2000

"Chad, Chadian Society and Life in N'Djamena" for the Sojourner's Group held at the First Christian Church, Fort Wayne, IN. April 21, 2000 

"Cuba and Its Present Reality: A Christian Perspective" at the North American Association for Christian Foreign Language Faculty Conference, Eastern College, St. Davids, PA. April 4, 1998

"Present-day Cuba and Cuban Culture" at Anderson University, Anderson, IN. May 3, 1998

Moderator of session entitled, "Tecnología" at the Tercer Congreso de Didáctica del Español at IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN, September 1998

"Computers, Higher Education and Foreign Languages in Indiana" at the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 8, 1997

"Racial Reconciliation Issues" at the Multicultural Ministry Committee of the Indiana-Kentucky ECLA Synod at Trinity Creation Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN, Dec. 9, 1997

"Beyond the Weapons of Gender: The 'Tragic Optimism' of the Catholic Grotesque in Isabel Allende's Of Love and Shadows" with Dr. Barbara Heavilin at the Midwest Modern Language Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN, Nov. 11, 1996


"Capítulo Cinco: Los Fonemas /los-fo-ne-mas/" Rev. of Proposed Text Nuestra voz hispana: La fonética y fonología del castellano  New York: Thomson Heinle, March 2004.



Participant in Aldersgate United Methodist Church Small Group Ministry 2004-Present

Volunteer Spanish Tutor to a number of adults in Upland and Fort Wayne  2003-Present

Volunteer at First Presbyterian Church Theater, Fort Wayne, IN  2002-2006

Participant in Aldersgate United Methodist Church/Habitat for Humanity Work Project at Bear Creek Indian Reservation, South Dakota – July 2006

Lay Administrator for Summer Urban Day Camp, St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, IN June-August 1999

Volunteer, St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church Mid-week Outreach, Fort Wayne, IN 1998-99

Deacon 1992-95, lay reader 1990-1996, and member of the bell choir 1993-1995 at the First Presbyterian Church of Hartford City, IN


Adventure Cycling 1996-2007

Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Fort Wayne, IN 2004-Present

Arbor Day Foundation  2010-Present

Compassion International 2004-Present

Fort Wayne Community Harvest Food Bank  2004-Present

Fort Wayne Habitat for Humanity 2008-Present

Fort Wayne Matthew 25 Center  2005-Present

Habitat for Humanity Partners Council 1994-2007

Little River Wetlands Project  2010-Present

Sierra Club  2005-Present