Beyond the Classroom with Dr. Raul Galoppe

By Brandon Drayton, Contributing Writer

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Department chair of Spanish and Latino Studies, Raul Galoppe, working in his office in Dickson Hall. Photo Credit: Brandon Drayton

While there are age restrictions on many things like consuming alcohol, getting into an R-rated movie and enlisting in the army, there’s no age restriction on advancing your education according to Dr. Raul Galoppe. He’s the department chair of Spanish and Latino Studies. Galoppe believes it’s his duty to remind his students to always push their limits and embrace what makes them happy.

Galoppe has always been interested in education and has been at Montclair State University for 15 years. The associate professor was born in Argentina and came to the United States after college. He was part of an international educational exchange program provided by the government called the Fulbright Exchange Program. He worked in Colorado for six months and then returned to Argentina for a year. When he came back to the United States, he went to Columbia, Miss. for his graduate studies.

“I always had a passion for education and knew the more that I got, [then] the more I would succeed,” said Galoppe.

The highly educated professor has a well-crafted résumé that matches his craft. Galoppe has written a number of articles and has a few books under his belt. When he isn’t teaching a class, answering emails, attending meetings or helping his students, he is invested in his research.

“Even though I have stated office hours, I make myself available to all my students at any time, but when I go home it’s a lot more manageable and quiet for me to work on my research,” Galoppe said.

The common themes of Galoppe’s research are based on queer theory, feminism, psychoanalysis and Lacanian psychoanalysis, which is based on the French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan.

“In class, I incorporate my studies with my students, which we both enjoy,” said Galoppe.

Considering the tense political climate, Galoppe says his research is more imperative than ever.

“Addressing political situations are always very tense,” Galoppe said. “When I began my research in the early 90s, there was a confusion as to what I was bringing to the table. But now, more than ever, my research of queer studies, which can also connect with politics and Latin studies, is all relevant and important.”

Throughout Galoppe’s years of teaching, he has inspired numerous amounts of students, some who discover they want to pursue something similar to his research after taking his class.

“Thanks to social media and particularly Facebook, I have been able to connect with students that I had in Argentina over 30 years ago,” said Galoppe.

One student that Galoppe had 35 years ago, messaged him on Facebook and called him her inspiration.

“It definitely is one of the more rewarding moments in my career,” Galoppe said.

While his research is very time consuming, he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Galoppe plans to preserve and research short films from a film institute that once existed in Argentina but was closed and destroyed by the military government in the ’70s.

“While this may not be relevant now, I believe my research will display the concept of Latino sexuality and how it differs from mainstream culture,” said Galoppe.

Galoppe’s energy, knowledge and inviting personality make students enjoy and respect his craft. When asked about his advice to students, he suggests they become well-rounded individuals and take full advantage of college.

“Let’s face it, everything changes–people change, jobs change and your life changes, but once you learn how to transfer certain skills from one area to another, there’s no stopping you,” Galoppe said.

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