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Ana Rueda named 2014-15 Distinguished Professor

By Mark Lawrence Kornbluh

The College of Arts & Sciences is very pleased to announce that Professor Ana Rueda has been named the 2014-15 Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor. Dr. Rueda received her PhD from Vanderbilt University in 1985. After teaching at the University of Missouri-Columbia for many years, she came to the University of Kentucky in 2002.

Professor Rueda's distinguished career realizes an ideal balance between research, teaching, and service, which is a hallmark of this Award. An internationally recognized scholar of modern Spanish literature, her research has widely ranged from short story theory, epistolary, and war literature to interdisciplinary studies in music, women's writing, and cultural history. She has published six books and almost fifty book chapters and articles in refereed journals, and currently she has two books in progress. A frequent presenter at professional conferences, Professor Rueda sits on the editorial boards of seven journals and two publishing houses and has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Universities of Missouri and Kentucky.

Her record of accomplishment in the classroom is equally distinguished. She has taught courses from the elementary through the undergraduate and graduate levels to rave student evaluations. She is in constant demand as a dissertation supervisor, having directed or co-directed twenty six dissertations and serving on equally as many additional doctoral committees. Known for her tireless dedication to working long hours mentoring students, Professor Rueda received the 1993 Kemper Award for teaching at the University of Missouri and a 2012 Great Teacher Award from the University of Kentucky, and in 2013 she was made a Teacher Who Made a Difference Honoree at UK.

Dr. Rueda's service to the profession, the community, and the University are just as impressive. In the midst of a very productive research and teaching period of her career, Rueda served as Chair of the Department of Hispanic Studies. During her nine year tenure as Chair, she facilitated greater research and publication among faculty and graduate students alike and further consolidated the department's reputation as one of the best Hispanic Studies programs in the country. Indeed, in 2007 the Faculty Scholarly Activity Index ranked the Department as the top program nationally in faculty productivity. In 2010, moreover, the National Research Council ranked the Department in the top 25 percent nationwide.

Under her leadership, undergraduate instruction has been revamped, and she secured funds to incorporate technology into undergraduate language courses. She created an Honors Program in Hispanic Studies and promoted quality teaching in both undergraduate and graduate offerings. A frequent reviewer of proposals for the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities, she has also found time to help organize untold professional conferences, including the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference. She has served as President of the Ibero American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. Currently, Professor Rueda is helping to bring the VIII Congreso International de Minificcion to the University of Kentucky in October of 2014, the first time that this international meeting will take place in the United States.

As one of her colleagues put it, Dr. Rueda “is the consummate professional." What’s more, she has accomplished all this with grace and humility, paving the way for generations of Spanish instructors and researchers to come.