Ilenia Colon-Mendoza

Assistant Professor of Art History in the School of Visual Arts and Design, College of Arts and Humanities 2014 Womens History Month

What is your current job title and responsibilities (please make sure we know your College, Department, etc.)?
Assistant Professor of Art History in the School of Visual Arts and Design, College of Arts and Humanities.

What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I was hired in Fall 2010 as tenure-track Assistant Professor.

What is your favorite UCF memory?
Receiving an Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I will always treasure that UCF memory.

If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would grant free tuition to the children of all UCF employees.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
In life one has to enjoy the simple things, at the end of the day sometimes that is all you have. Whether it’s the Florida sunshine, a kind note, or a great class discussion, it’s the little things that count.

What is your favorite restaurant or food?
Columbia Restaurant is my favorite. I enjoy the paella valenciana because it reminds me of my research trips to Spain.

If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
I would be honored if an infant daycare was named after me. I was so happy when my child was able to attend the UCF Creative School once he met the age requirement; knowing he is only minutes away makes all the difference in my day. As a single mom and women’s rights advocate I find childcare to be one of the most important life decisions. It would be a dream come true to have an infant daycare on campus with a nursing room for our UCF families.

If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
Diane Chase. I teach Mesoamerican Art and I have read some of her articles. She inspires me to work harder and be a better teacher and researcher. Also our mutual interests in archaeology and Indiana Jones would make for a great lunch conversation.

Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
My success is attributed to many people. I have wonderful colleagues in and out of the School of Visual Arts and Design that fulfill the definition of collegial. Dr. Margaret Ann Zaho has, since my interview day, provided me with helpful information, guidance, and encouragement. The staff at SVAD is also of invaluable help; Janki Maraj in particular is a wealth of knowledge. Above all, I am where I am because of my students who keep me on my toes; they are bright, inquisitive and their desire to learn is what keeps me motivated.

Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Dr. Brian Curran is everything I would like to be as a professor. He was one of my advisors in graduate school. Brian is passionate about his subject both inside and outside of the classroom. He takes time to nurture his students and mentor them, and most importantly he is an advocate for change at the Pennsylvania State University campus.

What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
When I was a sophomore I attended an excavation in Murlo, Italy that was to change my life forever. As a double major of archaeology and art history, I hadn’t yet decided what to pursue in graduate school. This experience led me to realize that art history was my true passion. After the excavation I travelled through Europe and visited countless museums including the Louvre. It was there that the art historian I am now was born.

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Linda Walters, Director of the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty
Linda.Walters@ucf.edu

Fran Ragsdale, Administrative Assistant
Fran.Ragsdale@ucf.edu

Phone: 407-823-4240

Mailing Address
Center for Success of Women Faculty
University of Central Florida
P.O. Box 160955
Orlando, FL 32816-0955

Physical Address
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816

Internal Mail (UCF)
Center for Success of Women Faculty
CL1 Room 207
32816-0955