What is your current job title and responsibilities?
I am currently the Chair of the Department of Political Science. My responsibilities include all aspects of leading the department, including budget, curriculum (undergraduate, MA, PhD), faculty development, and partnerships, among others.
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities?
I was hired as a tenure-earning Assistant Professor in 1995; I was then tenured and promoted to Associate Professor and subsequently promoted to the rank of full Professor. I have also served as the department’s assistant chair and as graduate coordinator. I also served as a Provost Faculty Fellow
What is your favorite UCF memory?
My favorite memory is when the Provost contacted me to congratulate me on having been selected as the winner of the UCF Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award. That was such a huge honor and it really meant a lot to me.
If you could change one thing at UCF, what would it be? ($ and time no object)
I would hire more faculty to share the load of research, teaching, and service better
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
Find out what you are most passionate about in your job, and make sure that many of the other things you do line up with that.
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
My favorite restaurant is Zully’s in Santiago, Chile.
What is your favorite book or movie or song?
Favorite book: Goethe’s Faust.
What is your dream vacation spot?
What is your favorite sport to watch or participate?
I prefer to be active rather than watch sports. While my favorite sport is running, I enjoy almost all outdoors activities, including swimming, skiing, scuba diving, bicycling, hiking, and kayaking.
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be?
A student scholarship for international graduate students. I benefited from one myself when I came to the U.S. as an exchange student, and it truly changed my life. I would like others to have the same opportunity.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF, who would you choose and why?
Dean German. I think it takes a lot of courage to come to a place to build a new medical school from scratch, and I would love to learn more about that experience.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
There are so many individuals that contributed to my success – many to thank individually, including the wonderful teachers at UCF Creative School, who made sure my kids were happy and safe while I was at work; computer technicians, who fixed my computer problems and rescued files; staff members, who have helped and assisted in countless ways; colleagues, who have been fierce critics of my work and provided invaluable feedback, as well as great collaborators; the outstanding staff at the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning and Course Development, who have greatly improved my teaching skills; chairs and colleagues, who have been wonderful mentors; and administrators, who have been supportive and have provided an infrastructure that have allowed me to be successful, and many more. I am truly grateful to all of them.
Name and describe a teacher from you past who truly inspired you.
My high school English teacher, who was incredibly passionate about teaching and about the United States as a model of a multi-cultural society.