Ellen Lismore Leeder, PhD

Professor Emerita of Spanish

Teaching Philosophy

The principal objective in my Spanish classes is to instill students with a greater knowledge of other cultures and ways of life through the learning of the Spanish language and literature. By these means they will acquire a greater understanding of other peoples and cultures. Through the learning of the Spanish language and literature students will broaden their lives by opening up to a real international dimension.


Born in La Habana, Cuba, Ellen Leeder came to the United States in 1959. She received her Ed.D. from the University of La Habana, Cuba and her MA and PhD in Spanish from the University of Miami, Florida. She has taught Spanish and English at schools in Cuba and Spanish at colleges and universities in Miami, Florida. She has also taught at Summer Programs Abroad in Madrid, Spain. Her research and publications interest is in Contemporary Spanish and Cuban literature.

Professional Positions

  • St. George's School and Emilia Azcárate School, (La Habana, Cuba) Spanish and English teacher (1950-59)
  • The Cushman School, (Miami, Florida, USA) Spanish teacher (1960-62)
  • Miami-Dade Community College, (Miami, Florida, USA) Spanish Instructor (1974-75)
  • Miami Education Consortium (Barry/Embry-Riddle) (Miami, Florida, USA) Spanish Instructor (1975)
  • Barry University, (Miami Shores, Florida, USA) From Spanish Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor to Professor (1960 to the present: 2000)
  • Valdosta State College Studies Abroad Program and FORSPRO (Foreign Studies Abroad Programs) (Universidad Complutense, Colegio Mayor, Madrid, Spain) Spanish Visiting Professor (1981;1989;1990)

Selected Publications and Papers Books

  • La voz de la mujer en la literatura hispanoamericana fin-de-siglo,
    San José, Costa Rica: Editorial de la Universidad de Costa Rica, 1999
    (Author of a chapter in the book)
  • El arte narrativo de Hilda Perera, Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1996
    (Co-editor and author of a chapter in the book)
  • Dimensión existencial en la narrativa de Lera, Miami: Editorial Arenas, 1992
    Justo Sierra y el mar, Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1979
  • El desarraigo en las novelas de Angel María de Lera, Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1978


  • "La poesía de María Elena Cruz Varela", Círculo de Cultura Panamericano convention, Miami, USA (July, 1995)
  • "El mundo poético de María Elena Cruz Varela", Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas convention, Birmingham, Great Britain (August, 1995)
  • "El tema de la soledad en Celestino antes del alba y El mundo alucinante de Reinaldo Arenas", Círculo de Cultura Panamericano convention, Miami, USA (July, 1996)
  • "La presencia negra en la novelística de Reinaldo Arenas". American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese convention, Kissimmee, Florida, USA (August, 1996)
  • "Realismo histórico e ideales de libertad en El aullido de las muchedumbres" Círculo de Cultura Panamericano convention, New Jersey, USA (November, 1997)
  • "Imagen de patria en la narrativa de Hilda Perera y Josefina Leyva"
    NACAE conference, Miami, USA, (October, 1999)
  • "Rut de la Biblia y Rut la que huyó de la Biblia" ALFH conference,
    Toronto, Canada (October, 1999)
  • "El aspecto racial en la obra de Reinaldo Arenas". Círculo de Cultura Panamericano, Miami, USA (July, 2000)
  • "Entorno histórico-cultural en El mundo inagotado de Irene Marquina", ALFH conference, Toronto, Canada (September, 2000)
  • "Imagen de patria en la poesía de Gladys Zaldívar", CCIE conference, Toronto, Canada (September, 2000)

Membership in Organizations

  • Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas
  • Círculo de Cultura Panamericano
  • American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • Florida Foreign Language Association
  • Asociación Cubana de Mujeres Universitarias
  • South Atlantic Modern Language Association
  • National Association of Cuban Educators in Exile

Honors and Awards

  • Two Thousand Notable American Women, 1994; Floridana Award, 1993
  • Barry Professional Achievement Awards from 1978 to 1999
  • Listed in Who's Who of American Women
  • Phi Alpha Theta, International Honor Society of History
  • Kappa Delta Pi, National Education Honor Society
  • Sigma Delta Pi, National Language Honor Society
  • Zeta Tau Chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma, National Language Honor Society
  • Listed in the International Who's Who in Education, 1982
  • Listed in the 7th Edition of the Directory of American Scholars, 1978.