What started out as an assignment, ended as a valuable opportunity to catch up with one of the greatest professors in our university. Marta Viada Bellido de Luna is the mother of three successful adults and proud grandmother of—soon to be—five children. She did her BA and MA degrees at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, San Germán campus, and her PHD was done at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. She specializes in Linguistics and Anglophones of the Caribbean. She’s been teaching at our university as a full-time professor since 2002, and she is now the Director of the Language and Literature Department. Most importantly, she is one of the best, and nicest professors I’ve had the pleasure of being taught by; apart from being an excellent professional, Dr. Viada is also one of the sweetest, kindest, and most amazing people I’ve ever met, and most of her students can attest to this fact. Below are a few questions she was glad to answer for us.
HC: Since when have you been teaching?
MV: For the past thirty years. I’ve taught all levels including elemental, high school, and higher education.
HC: What made you want to be a teacher?
MV: My love for children and youth. I really enjoy being around young people and I just believe that being a teacher is one of the noblest professions.
HC: What’s your favorite thing about it?
MV: My daily contact with my students and see them grow both personally and professionally.
HC: How does it feel to be the Director of the Department of Language and Literature?
MV: It is a challenge, and you hear many, many things. You see the university in a different perspective, but most importantly, you are in a position to help students.
HC: Is it a stressful job?
MV: Well, sometimes, but it’s manageable. It’s stressful in a positive way, not in a negative way.
HC: If you could change any aspect of it, would you? If so, what would you change?
MV: Honestly, no; I think I wouldn’t change my profession for the world. I love being a teacher, it is part of who I am.
HC: Any other thoughts?
MV: I really thank my students because everyday I learn from them and everyday I feel young because of them. I also feel very loved by them, so it’s made this career absolutely worthwhile.
Teachers like Dr. Viada who are kind, caring and take the time to engage with their students and make them feel welcome, are greatly needed not just in college but in every single learning field. Professionals like these are the ones that really help children and learners not only by teaching well but by treating them like equals. I’m very grateful to her for having taken time from her busy schedule to answer these questions, and as many other of her previous students, I hope to take class with her again soon.