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New Department Chair for Spanish and Portuguese

Scott Alvord appointed department chair as Jeffrey Turley completes his service.

On July 1, 2023, Professor Jeffrey Turley (Hispanic Linguistics, Medieval Literature) ended his tenure as department chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Associate Professor Scott Alvord (Spanish Linguistics and Phonology) has taken over as the new chair.

Portrait of Scott Alvord
Photo by BYU Photo

Turley served as chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department from 2017 to 2023, but his BYU journey began after he returned from his mission to Peru. He completed a BA and MA in Spanish linguistics at BYU before attaining a degree in romance philology from UC Berkeley. He returned to teach at BYU in 1989 and has been an integral member of the department since. A fellow member of the Spanish and Portuguese Department, Professor David Laraway (Hispanic Literature and Culture) says, “Jeff Turley was an exemplary chair who brought a deft personal touch to everything he did. I don't think that there's a single one of us that wouldn't consider him not just an exceptional chair, but a dear friend as well.”

Alvord received his BA in Spanish from Weber State University and his MA and PhD in Hispanic linguistics from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include Spanish phonetics and phonology, bilingualism, Spanish in the United States, and second language acquisition. In 2019 he was awarded the Douglas R. Stewart Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellowship. Another colleague, Professor Alvin Sherman (Spanish Peninsular Literatures and Culture) says, “Dr. Alvord will bring a broad range of experience to the department leadership. His innovative eye towards curriculum and department governance will keep the momentum moving forward as the department strives to provide the best, most current, educational experience to its students. Undoubtedly, he will approach this responsibility the same way he has in other university duties—with enthusiasm, energy, and a collaborative spirit.”