|Born in Panama and raised in Chile (childhood in northern Chile and high school in Santiago), Arms came to the U.S. for his undergraduate education (Economics and Spanish majors at Earlham College). After one year of meeting requirements for certification at the secondary level at Peabody College in Nashville, TN, he entered the graduate program in Spanish at Vanderbilt University and received the M.A. and the Ph.D. degrees.
The small, liberal-arts college has always been the academic atmosphere preferred by Arms, something reinforced by his undergraduate years at Earlham College. When the opportunity to join the Hendrix faculty came up in 1971, he came to the campus and has been in residence ever since. He very much enjoys the one-on-one contact with students, the opportunity to help students pursue their individual goals (regardless of their majors or career objectives), and the chance to teach in many different areas of Spanish and Latin American literature. He is particularly fond of the Golden Age literature of Spain and of early 20th -century Spanish poetry, but he teaches a wide variety of courses. He is particularly proud of the many students who, after graduation, have gone successfully into the world of work, as well as into professional and graduate studies.
Among Arms’ interests is travel, particularly to Spain. He has traveled there numerous times over the past three decades and has felt privileged to witness the changes in that country’s society that have occurred since the death of Francisco Franco in 1975. He is also active in various professional organizations, particularly the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, at which he has presented papers; he was also a member of the Executive Council of the Circle Discussion Group of SAMLA on the State of the Profession and Graduate Studies in Spanish. As an active participant in professional meetings, he has been to the annual SAMLA meeting regularly over the past three decades. He is also interested in computer-assisted-instruction and is the author of a number of programs—distributed without charge to students, upon request—that help students with their acquisition of the Spanish language.