Joan E. Ciruti was born in Ponchatoula, but grew up in Hammond. She received a Bachelor's
degree at southeastern in 1950, a Master's degree at the University of Oklahoma in
1954, and finally her Ph.D. at Tulane University in 1959.
Ciruti taught at the University of Oklahoma from 1967 - 1963. She worked on the Language
Development Program in the U.S. Office of Education from 1969 – 1960 while on leave
from the University of Oklahoma.
She later Taught at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA from 1963 – 1992. While
at Mount Holyoke she was chair of the Department of Spanish and Italian and the Latin
American Studies Program for many years, and was Dean of Studies from1971 – 1974.
She also served on numerous college committees. She the chair for the Day Gould Professor
of Spanish from 1977 – 1992. Upon her retirement in 1992 she was named Professor Emerita
and the then new Language Learning Center was renamed the Joan E. Ciruti Center for