Keynote Speaker 2020

Dr. Mary Risner

Exploring the Boundaries of Languages for Specific Purposes in a Global Context
Overview of  LSP & ESP around the world, areas of overlap, how might the two areas benefit through strategic collaboration to prepare all students with the language skills needed for personal and professional success?


Dr. Mary Risner has a diverse educational background, which includes Marketing, Latin American Studies, languages, and educational technology.  She has worked in the private and public sectors. As such she is a strong supporter of interdisciplinary approaches to education and understands the importance of connecting students, faculty and employers.   Mary is currently Associate Director of Outreach and Business Programs at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida (UF).  At UF she develops and manages initiatives that infuse world languages and area studies into secondary and post-secondary education curriculum.  Throughout her 25 years as an educator, she has taught language in a variety of educational and corporate environments, always emphasizing the importance of global skills and career connections. Her research and course development focus on the integration of intercultural competence and language through the integration of emerging technologies and innovative pedagogies to provide students with authentic and experiential learning opportunities.

Mary is very active in the field of Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) through publications, delivering faculty professional development, service on professional association executive boards, and conference presentations. She recently organized the fourth biennial ISLSP at UF and regularly organizes workshops bringing together faculty and industry professionals. In 2009 she founded the Network of Business Language Educators (NOBLE), an online community supporting educators to prepare students to successfully navigate the workplace in an increasingly globalized and connected world. Over the years she has worked closely with the United States Department of Education Area Studies Centers (NRC) and Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).