Dr. Carla Suhr joined the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UCLA in 2016 after finishing her PhD at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Professor Suhr focuses her academic work on the integration of culture, language, and cognition as a way to improve cross-cultural communication and inclusive teaching.

She has worked in the field of Spanish linguistics and Community-Engaged Learning for the past 15 years at organizations such as Universidad Complutense de Madrid and University of New Haven. She cofounded IDESLI International Institute of Linguistics in San Francisco in 2009, where she directed the Language Courses, facilitated Spanish teacher trainings, and developed programs geared to industries conducting businesses with Spanish-speaking countries and professionals as well as non-profit organizations working with the Latinx community.

She currently directs the Community-Engaged Learning Program and teaches Spanish Linguistics and Service-learning courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UCLA, from which she emphasizes the positive learning outcomes attained from connecting students with the community. Learn more about these courses here.

In 2022, she received the UCLA URW Faculty Mentor Award for her mentorship for undergraduate students involved in community-engaged research and sociolinguistic justice projects.

Professor Suhr also cofounded UCLA EPIC Inclusive Gatherings whose mission is to provide an open space for educators to learn about issues of inclusivity and their related best pedagogical practices. Her current area of research is within the cognitive sciences, specifically on conceptualization processes and how this understanding enables us to 1) dismantle the existing links between language and identity and 2) acquire cognitive strategies as a valuable tool for Second Language Acquisition.


  • Ph.D. (2016) Comunicación Intercultural y Comunicación. Intercultural Communication and
    Cognition, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Dissertation thesis: Interlinguistic lexical study of emotive stereotypes Dir: Enrique Bernárdez
  • M.A (2008) Intercultural Communication and Cognition, Universidad Complutense de
  • M.Ed. equivalent (2006): Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching, Universidad Complutense de
  • M.A (2006) Teaching Spanish As a Second Language, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
    Dir: Jesus Sanchez Lobato


  • Spanish Linguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics
  • Conceptualization processes
  • Spanish Community-Engaged Learning
  • Spanish Service-Learning
  • Cross-cultural Communication
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Spanish as a Second Language
  • Social Psychology
  • Ethnolinguistics
  • Historical Linguistics



Suhr, C. “Cuentos bilingües: una propuesta de proyecto para cursos de aprendizaje del español a través del servicio” in Enseñanza del español: proyectos de investigación y prácticas de clase, California State University: Peter Lang (forthcoming)

Suhr, C. “Teaching Register in Spanish through Community-Engaged Learning” in the Panel “Real World Interfaces with Romance Linguistics,” MLA Convention, Philadelphia, January 2024 

Alba Peris-YagueJenna HartsteinArielle HoganCarla SuhrRafael Romero-Calderón. “Increasing Accessibility to Neuroscience Through Translation: Going Beyond the English Language.” ENeuro, 2023, 11 (1). doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0392-23.2023.   

Suhr, C. “Cuentos bilingües: una propuesta de proyecto para cursos de aprendizaje del español a través del servicio” in Experiencias en didácticas del español como primera lengua, lengua extranjera y de herencia, Instituto Cervantes, (2023) 

Suhr, C. “Connecting Classroom Pedagogy to Communities and Society at Large” in the Panel “Pedagogy of Resistance and Manufactured Ignorance in the Language Classroom,” Reimagined Critical Pedagogy, EPIC-Lang Conference, UCLA, April 2023

Suhr, C. “Mastering Spanish through Service Learning: The Development of the L2 Learner’s Multidimensional Competence,” (forthcoming) 

Suhr, C. “Sociolinguistic Justice in Community Engagement”, Nuevos horizontes en los estudios hispánicos, Sonoma State University, July 2022 

Suhr, C. “Translation and Interpreting Projects in Spanish Community-Engaged Learning Courses,” Building Sustainable Modern Language Programs EPIC-Lang Conference, UCLA, May 2022 

Suhr, C. “Spanish Community-Engaged Learning Practices in Response to COVID-19: A Social Justice Perspective” in the Panel “Teaching Romance Languages and Global civic Engagement: Theories, Practices, and Resources for Turbulent Times”, MLA Convention, Washington DC, January 2022 

Suhr, C. “Building Horizontal Relations through Spanish Community-engaged Learning,” in Campus Service Workers Supporting First Generation Students: Informal Mentorship and Culturally Relevant Support as Key to Student Retention and Success, Eds. Georgina Guzman, La’Tonya Rease, and Stephanie Youngblood. Routledge Press, (2021), 192-211  

Shorter, D. and Suhr, C. “Community Engagement in the Time of COVID: Opportunities and Challenges with Remote Experiential Learning,” CCE series, UCLA, 2020 

Suhr, C. “High Impact Practices in Spanish Community-Engaged Learning,” in the Panel “High Impact Practice in the Teaching of Romance Linguistics,” MLA Convention, Seattle, January 2020 

Suhr, C. “Language and Cognition in the Construction of Emotive Stereotypes,” in Cognition in Context. New Insights into Language, Culture, and the Mind, Eds.  Bernárdez, E., Jabłońska-Hood, J., and Stadnik, K. Switzerland: Peter Lang, (2019), 174-193  

Suhr, C. “Multiple Models for Community-engaged Teaching,” CCE, UCLA, October 2019 

Suhr, C. “High Impact Practices in Service Learning,” Teaching at UCLA: A Symposium to Showcase Innovation and Inspire Excellence, UCLA, March 2019 

Suhr, C. “Community Engagement and the Advancement of the Linguistic, Sociolinguistic, and Pragmatic Multidimensional Competence,” Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, University of Texas, Austin, October 2018 

Moreno, J. and Suhr, C. “Joining Forces: From Writing Composition to Service Learning in Enhancing Production of Spanish Heritage Speakers,” Third International Conference on Heritage/Community Languages, University of California, Los Angeles, February 2018 

Suhr, C. “Evaluation in Spanish Service-Learning Courses,” MLA Convention, New York, January 2018 

Suhr, C. “Mastering Spanish through Service learning,” Bringing Together Research and Practice: Language Learning, Language Teaching, and Teacher Training in Portuguese and Spanish, Facultade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, November 2017 

Suhr, C. “Construction of Emotive Stereotypes,” Culture, Cognition, and Communication,Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej, Lublin, Poland, Sep 2017

Suhr, C. “Spanish Service Learning in Higher Education,” Misión Inversa, Córdoba, Argentina, August 2017

Suhr, C. Estudio de estereotipos de sentimientos desde una perspectiva actual de la lingüística cognitiva sociocultural, Ediciones Complutense, Madrid, 2016 

Hoeltje, A. and Suhr, C. “Cross-cultural Approaches to Innovation and Communication,” Founderspace, San Francisco, November 2015 

Audiovisual work: Arcioni, A. Hirault, P. and Suhr, C. “Bonjour, Pauline” Beginner and Intermediate Blended-Format French Course (for private organization’s staff professional development use), 2014 



Taking it to the Streets: Spanish in the Community
Service learning course to give students opportunity to use cultural and linguistic knowledge acquired in Spanish classes in real-world settings. Students required to spend a minimum of eight to 10 hours per week at agreed on site in Latino community.

Latinos, Linguistics, and Literacy
In-depth study of various topics related to literacy, including different definitions of literacy, programs for adult preliterates, literacy and gender, approaches to literacy (whole language, phonics, Freire’s liberation pedagogy), history of writing systems, phoneme as basis for alphabetic writing, and national literacy campaigns. Required field project involving Spanish-speaking adults in adult literacy programs.

Spanish Language and Cognition
This course is an exploration of the relationship between Spanish language, cognition, and culture by looking at the origins of cognitive linguistics, its central concepts (including categorization, stereotype construction, and metaphorical and metonymic mechanisms), and research.

Melon-EPIC Fellow – Inclusive Classrooms
This seminar focuses on inclusive teaching approaches that address the needs of historically underrepresented minority students at UCLA. While “underrepresented minorities” is a term commonly used to refer to race, gender or class, physical and developmental disabilities may be added to provide a more comprehensive definition of the term. This STE will discuss ways in which courses can be adapted to comply with the university’s Diversity Requirements, as well as read and discuss various frameworks and approaches to inclusive teaching, which include but are not limited to acknowledging/combating social constructions of identity, implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threats, and Universal Design for Learning.

Select Felowships and Awards

  • Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s Faculty Development Award, Academic year 2023-24 
  • Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award, for sociolinguistic justice research, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Academic year 2022-2023
  • SfN Next Generation Award, SfN, translation project, 2022 
  • Information Literacy Institute Fellowship, UCLA Library, Summer 2022 
  • 2022 URW UCLA Faculty Mentor Award, Academic year 2021-2022 
  • Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award, for community-based project development and presentation, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Academic year 2021-2022  
  • PAROSL Observation Innovation Cycle, a collaboration between CRESST, CEILS, CAT and EPIC, Academic year 2020-21 
  • Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award, for project-based assignment development for undergraduate community-engaged courses and presentation, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Academic year 2019-20 
  • Andrew W. Mellon EPIC Teaching Innovation Grant, Inclusive Gatherings (PIs: Jimena Rodriguez, Carla Suhr and Kip Tobin), Academic year 2018-19 
  • Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award, for innovative curriculum development in undergraduate service-learning courses and presentation, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Academic year 2018-19 
  • Andrew W. Mellon EPIC Fellowship, Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms, Inclusive Classrooms, Academic year 2017-18 
  • Dean’s Discretionary Fund, for visual project “Bridging knowledge through service learning”, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Academic year 2017-18 
  • Misión Inversa EEUU – Argentina, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Academic year 2016-17