Marcela Ochoa-Shivapour emerita citation, 2019
Marcela, for 20 years you have been a highly regarded member of the faculty who has shared your energy, intellect, and creativity with the Cornell community. You are an excellent teacher, scholar, colleague, and mentor who models the values of the liberal arts tradition.
As a scholar, you have made significant contributions in literary, film, and Latino studies. You came to Cornell with expertise on the literature and culture of both Spain and Latin America, and developed additional expertise on Hispanic cultures in the United States. You have produced numerous and well received scholarly works and presentations on topics including Don Quixote, Chilean film, Latinos in the U.S./Iowa, and the teaching of Latino Studies, and we look forward to following the fruits of your most current research on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. You are also a creative writer who employed a strikingly original voice in your lyrical autobiography.
You are a highly innovative teacher who drew on history, literature, film, music, and society in general to develop a wide range of courses not only in the Spanish program, but also in the Latin American Studies and Ethnic Studies programs. Your courses on race, ethnicity, and immigration helped diversify the College’s curriculum by providing important perspectives on and from Spanish-speaking communities. Your courses and original pedagogical materials engaged and challenged students, and the lively atmosphere you created in your classes fostered thought-provoking discussions. You enabled students to integrate skills from other disciplines through creative, multimedia assignments, such as a student-authored children’s book and a video of interviews with Hispanics and Latinos on the Hilltop, and gave your students opportunities to share their work with the campus community through presentations on the Orange Carpet and at the Student Symposium. You led many study abroad courses that gave students important knowledge of and opportunities to interact with other cultures.
You served the College and the wider community in myriad ways. You chaired the Languages Department as well as the Ethnic Studies and Latin American Studies programs; your membership benefited the International and Off-Campus Studies Committee and the Faculty Development Committee. You devoted a great deal of time and effort to issues of diversity and inclusion by serving on the Executive Committee of the Multicultural Council, as well as by attending multiple ACM Minorities Concerns Conferences, Latino Conferences, and Congresses devoted to the indigenous peoples of Latin America. You showed your dedication to championing the concerns of international students and students of color by acting as mentor, role model, and advocate. Your engaged citizenship, illustrated by your translation work and other volunteering, evidences a liberal arts mindset, and you brought this consciousness of personal responsibility and the habit of widely applying knowledge into your classroom. By modeling behavior and awareness, you made visible and relevant to students and colleagues the fact that what we do in the classroom has an impact in the wider world.
Your contributions have made us a richer community, and we are grateful for all you have done.