I strive to foster a classroom environment of collaborative work and equality, where students share ideas and help each other. This way, students have an active role in their learning process and volunteer to participate more in class, whether in group work, presentations, or open discussions.

In my free time I love to spend time with my husband and friends, work on creative texts, paint (last two as a purely recreational hobby), discover new places in the Twin Cities and small towns nearby, or go for a hike at national and state parks in the area when possible.

Kristina I. Medina-Vilariño is originally from Puerto Rico. She generally teaches intermediate and advanced Spanish courses. Her teaching philosophy has been highly influenced by Paulo Freyre, who stated that, "Only authoritative educators deny solidarity between the act of educating and the one of being educated by a student." Her studies emphasize theoretical approaches to transitional film and literatures, migration studies, gender and sexuality, national identity, and racial theory. She specializes on Hispanic Caribbean contemporary literatures, film, and cultural studies. Other main areas of her research include Latino/a Studies and Latin American literature and cultures.