Ph.D., Comparative Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2000MA, Comparative Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1993BA, Spanish and History, The College of William and Mary, 1990
About Professor Tolman
Elizabeth was drawn to Comparative Literature because she enjoys making connections between different fields of study. In graduate school, she took classes in history, English, Spanish, and Portuguese and wrote her dissertation on Edenic and apocalyptic imagery in Ubaldo Ribeira's O sorriso do lagarto, Morrison's Beloved, and García Márquez's Cien años de soledad.
In her last year of graduate school, she was invited to join a team of faculty members creating materials to teach Spanish to health care professionals. This team of faculty consisted of members from Instructional Technology, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the School of Social Work, and Romance Studies. The Office of the Provost, which funded the initial project, gave them the charge of building "The Cadillac of pedagogical materials on the budget of a Hyundai."
From the beginning the team decided to film a feature-length movie and to center all of the activities on the film. ¡A su salud! – Spanish for Health Professionals, is the best-selling intermediate-level textbook that resulted from the team's efforts.
Elizabeth was instrumental in securing over $1 million in grants that allowed for the production of both that project and the introductory-level program that followed, Salud: Introductory Spanish for Health Professionals. She helped write the script, was on site during much of the filming, wrote many of the multi-media exercises, and worked closely with the software engineers to design and develop the multi-media exercises. Elizabeth was the sole author on the workbook for the second project. Both texts are taught in universities across the country.
Elizabeth continues to teach and coordinate the three courses she helped to create at UNC: PUBH 610, 613, and 615. While housed in the School of Public Health, these courses are facilitated by Romance Studies and are taught by faculty from that department. She is proud that health professionals working throughout the state are now able to communicate effectively with their Spanish-speaking patients as a result of these courses. She also loves the challenge of teaching undergraduate language courses. Helping students to gain a new skill that can open new cultures and experiences to them is a joy.
Publications, Articles, & Presentations
Salud: Introductory Spanish for Health Professionals, Pearson, 2012. Package contains a textbook, workbook, and multi-media package complete with a full-length film and a wealth of multi-media exercises.
¡A su salud!: Spanish for Health Professionals, Yale University Press, 2009. Package contains a textbook, workbook, and multi-media package complete with a full-length film and a wealth of multi-media exercises.
PUBH 610 (Introductory Spanish for students in the schools of health science)
SPAN105 Spanish for High Beginners
SPAN 203 Intermediate Spanish