Program Leader: Dr. Mary Docter

Dr. Mary DocterDr. Mary Docter is the Resident Director of Westmont in Mexico for Fall 2015. Born and raised in southern California, she received her B.A. in Spanish from UCLA. After a year in Mexico City following graduation, she returned to UCLA for her M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages in Literatures. Her specialty is contemporary Latin American Literature and her research explores the poetry of Mexican José Emilio Pacheco, whom she met and interviewed while living in Mexico and writing her dissertation.

Dr. Docter has traveled extensively throughout Latin America. She has lived in Mexico City and Querétaro and has traveled to almost every country in Central and South America, as well as Spain. She enjoys photography and recording oral histories, and with the support of the Graves Awards in the Humanities, Dr. Docter has taken thousands of photos and filmed and interviewed over 150 individuals, who graciously shared their stories with her. She looks forward to adding to her photo and video collection this fall.

Currently, Dr. Docter is Professor of Spanish at Westmont College, where she has taught in the Modern Language Department since 1992. She teaches courses in Spanish language and grammar, composition, Latin American literature, and cross-cultural studies. She views teaching as more than a career; it is her passion. In the classroom—and in Mexico this fall—she desires to draw her students into relationship: with the material, with each other, and with God.

Along with Dr. Laura Montgomery, Dr. Docter founded the Westmont in Mexico program and led its first semester in 2004. This will be her fourth time leading the program, though she has been actively involved in the orientation and reentry segments of Westmont in Mexico with all of the groups thus far.

When she is not teaching, Dr. Docter enjoys attending the Salvation Army Church, reading fiction and poetry, walking her dog in Carpinteria, traveling, visiting her enormous family in LA, and spending time with her two children, Gabriel (19 years) and Isabel (14 years), who never cease to surprise and delight her. Isabel will be joining her in Mexico this fall.