Paqui Paredes Méndez has been appointed to serve for a two-year term as dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Western Washington University, Provost Brent Carbajal announced today.
Paredes, who is professor of Spanish and chair of the WWU Department of Modern and Classical Languages, will start as CHSS dean on July 23, 2018. She succeeds current CHSS Dean Brent Mallinckrodt, who is transitioning to serve as a faculty member in Western’s Department of Psychology.
“I am excited to welcome Dr. Paredes to the senior leadership of the university. Having served as chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages for many years, she brings strong administrative and leadership skills to the dean position. Additionally, she has institutional perspective informed of having served as co-chair of the university’s Strategic Planning Committee. I look forward to working with Dr. Paredes in her new role,” Carbajal said.
Paredes is a native of Galicia, Spain, where she lived until she completed her degrees in teaching and English at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2002, with a doctorate in Spanish literature. She joined Western’s faculty in fall 2002.
“I am very excited to take on this new role and I’m very much looking forward to serving the students, staff, and faculty of CHSS. Having been a member of the CHSS faculty for almost 16 years, I am always amazed by the quality, creativity, and the diversity of the work that takes place in the college and I am humbled by being given the opportunity to help facilitate the continued excellence of that work,” Paredes said.
Paredes teaches language, literature, culture and phonetics courses in Western’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages, which she has chaired since 2012. Her research focuses on early 20th century Spanish literature and cultural studies, as well as late 20th and 21st century Spanish literature. Many of her publications focus on the intersection between national identity and gender identity, particularly on how nation and gender are encoded in visual culture. She has been able to incorporate these topics in many of the courses she teaches at Western. She is the author (with José Ballesteros and Mark Harpring) of “Voces de España,” published by Cengage in 2004 and 2013, a textbook geared toward upper division survey courses of Spanish literature.
In 2015, Paredes received Western’s Peter J. Elich Excellence in Teaching Award. From 2017-18, she has served as co-chair of Western’s Strategic Planning Committee. She is currently serving as the CHSS representative on the University Planning and Resources Council (UPRC).
The College of Humanities and Social Services (CHSS), the university’s largest college, includes the 13 departments of : Anthropology; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Human Development; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology; Communication; English; History; Journalism; Liberal Studies; Modern and Classical Languages, and Philosophy as well as three interdisciplinary programs: East Asian Studies, Linguistics, Multidisciplinary Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.