Raquel joined the department in 1998 as a CSMP scholar and dissertation fellow. Raquel teaches all levels of the Russian language curriculum, and also teaches a course based on her research, "The Theme of the African in Russian Literature and Culture." Her research takes her to Moscow on a regular basis, most recently in December of 2008. She is especially well known as a scholar of the interplay of race, ethnicity and culture, and actively publishes in the fields of language pedagogy, Russian literature and culture, and children's literature. She has been active in improving diversity in student recruitment and in the teaching of Russian nationwide. Raquel was promoted to Associate Professor in Spring 2008.