Heather Kaiser, a native of Birmingham, AL, earned a BA in Spanish from Old Dominion University, with study abroad experience in Guadalajara, Mexico. After graduating, she served one year as a Young Adult Volunteer working with marginalized populations in Rosario, Uruguay, followed by another year in Ecuador as a Rotary Scholar. Upon returning to the United States, she completed her MA in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in political science from Florida International University. As a graduate student, she studied Portuguese language and Brazilian culture in Rio de Janeiro and received a Certificate in Brazilian Studies. She began teaching Spanish at King University (formerly, King College) in Bristol, TN, which inspired her to pursue a doctorate in Hispanic Linguistics. She earned a PhD in Spanish with a specialization in linguistics from the University of Florida in 2014. Her research interests include language variation, discourse analysis and pragmatics, particularly among speakers from the Southern Cone. At Samford University she teaches elementary and intermediate Spanish for the Department of World Languages and Cultures and Everyday Spanish for the Academy of the Arts. In her free time she plays tennis competitively and travels regularly to Uruguay with her husband, David, and sons, William and Luke.