What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
My degree is a Doctorate of Arts. I am an Associate Professor of English in the College of Arts and Humanities and also the Department of English Honors in the Major Coordinator. I serve as the faculty advisor for two student organizations serving diverse students: UCF’s Hispanic American Student Association and Lambda Theta Alpha.
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I was hired in 1999; I directed the UCF’s Women’s Studies Program in 2000-2001.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Attending my daughter Lilian Milanés’ graduation from UCF in 2012; she was a McNair Scholar and anthropology major.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
Expand the McNair Program; the outstanding director Michael Aldarondo-Jeffries should be cloned!
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
A scholarship for women of color who wish to study literature and writing; I’d prefer to name it after my mother—Isabel Rodríguez, whose example inspired me.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
My husband, Jorge Milanés, an accountant in UCF Housing Office; we never get to eat lunch together because we’re both so busy at UCF.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
Again, my husband, Jorge Milanés—his love, support, encouragement and help, allow me to do what I do.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Dr. Barbara McCaskill, a specialist in African American literature and culture at the University of Georgia; she was my first woman of color mentor—an engaged, caring and extremely supportive teacher/scholar/friend.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
Doctoral studies at the State University of New York at Albany transformed me; it is where I learned to love the art of teaching, especially literature, writing and women’s studies.