Staff Spotlight: David Foshee

David Foshee is a visiting assistant professor in his first year at Simpson.

Submitted to the Simpsonian

David Foshee is a visiting assistant professor in his first year at Simpson.

by Noah Harkness, Staff Reporter

David Foshee is a Spanish professor in his first year at Simpson. He hopes to bring in more Spanish majors and to continue growing the department.

Foshee is a visiting assistant professor, with hopes of a full-time position. He is currently one of only two professors in the world language department and has been doing a bit of everything since coming to Simpson.

“There’s really no world language and culture study outside of us [two world language professors],” Foshee said. “I’m teaching classes and trying to build for the future of Simpson through heritage learning. I’m also doing things for service learning classes for the beginning of next year.”

Simpson has ten Spanish majors, which is low for that department, but Foshee has been devising a three-pillar plan to increase that number by at least double. He said he selected the three areas based on improvements the department can make.

“The first is heritage learning and bringing native speakers into our program through heritage classes,” he said. “One of the things I’m doing is planning to offer the first only heritage class beginning in the spring of 2024. That will hopefully roll into and become an ongoing class.”

Foshee spent 17 years in the commercial world working for large retail organizations, during which he raised his children as a single father and postponed the completion of his doctorate. Somewhere during those years, he found his love for teaching.

“A whole variety of different people can use Spanish,” he said. “For example, heritage speakers have different needs. They often speak Spanish well at home, but they have needs for grammar, culture, and being valued in a way they haven’t been at home.”

Foshee also lived in Spain during his graduate work at Texas Tech. He taught a fall and summer semester in Spain before the pandemic. He said he had a great dissertation professor that has tried to get him into Spanish film.

“I spent most of 2018 living in Spain, which was fantastic. My wife and I plan to take our son for the first time this summer as a vacation and maybe for some research work. There’s not a more ideal way to learn a language,” Foshee said.

A difference between American and Spanish culture is meal times. Spaniards typically have a light breakfast, a big meal in the middle of the afternoon, and another small meal around 9 P.M. Foshee said another difference he noticed was the amount of people in smaller areas.

“45 million people live in Spain, but most of them live in large cities because everything is so old,” he said. “There’s no space with people right up next to you and I have to get used to that myself every time I go to Spain. No one’s intentionally trying to get in your face. It’s just a major cultural difference.”

Foshee hopes to continue growing the world language and culture department. He encourages any student interested in a Spanish major or minor to contact the department.