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Lilia Malave Gomez

Lilia Malave Gomez (Venezuela)
PhD Candidate in Hispanic Studies

Lilia is studying Spanish sociolinguistics, and specifically telenovelas that are produced outside the United States but for a U.S.-based audience. "The U.S. is the biggest Spanish laboratory in the world. It's changing, and I would like to see how TV is contributing to creating a different dialect of Spanish that is spoken in the U.S.," she said.

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Lilia holds a master's in Spanish from Auburn University and bachelor's in Journalism from Universidad Central de Venezuela. After doing some master's coursework in discourse analysis, Lilia decided to apply to study in the United States. "I really love speaking English and studying Spanish," she said, "so I thought I could do it. It was a big turn in my professional life, but I decided to do it."

Lilia loves UK's campus - from the new graduate study room at the William T. Young Library to Champions' Kitchen cafeteria in the Gatton Student Center. She said that working with her advisor, Dr. Yanira Paz, has been a highlight for her so far, as well as the departmental atmosphere in general. "The thing that I appreciate most is the climate of professionalism and respect in my department, amongst professors and also from professors to students," she said. She was awarded a Lyman T. Johnson Diversity Fellowship which has allowed her to teach one course a semester while focusing on preparing for her qualifying exams.

In the future, Lilia hopes to work for Hispanic media outlet - writing news content or even working with telenovelas from a linguistics perspective. She is also interested in teaching Spanish at a university and continuing to study linguistics.