Modern Languages Faculty and Staff

darwin asycue

Darwin Ayscue

Instructor of American Sign Language


Miller Hall 105

Darwin Ayscue, born in Cambridge, England, graduated from Southern Adventist University with his BA in Religion. In 1980, he graduated from the Beginning Interpreter Training Program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK). At UTK, he also attended the National Consortium Program for the Training of Sign Language Instructors. Ayscue has served the deaf community for over 25 years. Much of that time he has worked as an interpreter for a community-based service center for the deaf. Throughout the years, he has also taught American Sign Language to various individuals and worked at the Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults, Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He has taught at Southern Adventist University since 1997.

Ana BarriosAna Barrios, MA

 Adjunct Instructor of Spanish


Miller Hall 105

Ana Barrios, born in Cuba, holds a BA in Education from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned her Master’s degree in Spanish at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2011, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Modern Foreign Languages. Her doctoral research focuses on Hispanic American women writers in the nineteenth century. She has presented her research at professional literature conferences in the United States and Mexico. Ana has a broad teaching experience that includes K-12 to higher education. She has been teaching Spanish at UTK for the past five years and more recently participated as Teaching Assistant in a Study Abroad program in Santander, Spain. She feels blessed to be teaching in Southern Adventist University beginning in the fall of 2015. 

claryce caviness

Claryce Caviness

Instructor of French


Miller Hall 105

Claryce Caviness, born in Midland, Michigan, graduated from Southern Adventist University with a BA in International Studies with French emphasis. Claryce earned an MA degree in French from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She completed her degree with a special emphasis in methods of teaching a foreign language to adult learners, as well as 17th and 20th century French literature. She enjoys showing others that language learning can be fun! She has taught at Southern Adventist University since 2004.

jeff jordan

Jeffrey Jordan

Instructor of American Sign Language


Miller Hall 105

Jeffrey Jordan, born in Santa Clara, California, received his BA in Deaf Studies with an emphasis in teaching from California State University-Northridge. He received a M.Div. degree from Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in 1996. He was born deaf with an unknown cause, and American Sign Language (ASL) is his first language. He is an ASL instructor and also the pastor of the Southern Deaf Fellowship of Seventh-day Adventists. He has taught at Southern Adventist University since 2005.

pierre nzokizwanimana

Pierre Nzokizwa, Ph.D.

Professor of French

Southern's ACA Program Director


Miller Hall 106

Pierre Nzokizwa, born in Burundi (Africa), holds a BA in French with a minor in English from the Institut Pédagogique National of Butare (Rwanda), an MA in French from the Université Nationale du Rwanda, a graduate diploma in library management from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and a Ph.D. in French from Michigan State University with an emphasis on sub-Saharan francophone literature. His previous professional experience includes teaching French at the high school and university levels in Rwanda, in Ghana, and at Michigan State University; it also includes school and library administration. He has taught at Southern Adventist University since 2006.

adrienne royo

Adrienne Royo, Ph.D., Chair

Professor of Spanish


Miller Hall 107

Adrienne Royo, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a near native-speaker of Spanish, having grown up in Mexico. She earned a BA /A.B. in Spanish Education/Library Science/Romance Languages, an MA in Spanish-American Literature, and a Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has studied abroad in Spain at both the Universidad de Sevilla and Colegio Adventista de Sagunto, where she received S.D.A. denominational certification in elementary education. Before coming to Southern Adventist University in 2009, Royo taught at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College and was a teaching fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has also taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Hampden-Sydney College, and Randolph-Macon College. She has participated in mission trips to Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico, in the capacity of speaker, guest lecturer, and/or evangelistic group team leader. She has published a textbook entitled Civilización y barbarie, appropriate for an upper division Spanish-American literature course. She has presented at professional conferences in the United States, as well as, Spain and China. She has participated in editing and advisory council, activities, as well as, judge for convention presentation competitions. God is her constant source of inspiration, and her teaching career is her passion.