Juan Armando Rojas Joo, Ph.D., Tapped to Fill Newly Created University Position
DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s new associate dean for diversity and inclusion says “equity, diversity, and inclusion” are his primary goals.
Juan Armando Rojas Joo, Ph.D., has been appointed to the administrative role to provide leadership on diversity-related issues within Ohio Wesleyan’s academic division. Rojas, a member of the university’s faculty since 2004, is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages.
“I’m excited about working with faculty to encourage the development of curriculum and pedagogies that continue to engage increasingly more diverse student populations,” Rojas said. “The growth and future of higher education in the U.S. relies on how and how much colleges and universities include and embrace diversity.
“As associate dean for diversity and inclusion, and along with the appropriate faculty committees, I anticipate finding ways to improve organizational culture and existing polices with the goal of creating a more inclusive academic environment,” he continued. “I have high expectations to bring possibilities and support underrepresented students in accomplishing their personal and academic goals and in helping them see the lifelong transferable skills that quality higher education provides.”
In his new role, Rojas will report to Provost Charles L. Stinemetz, Ph.D., who said the faculty member’s history of leadership in diversity-related issues makes him ideal for the important position.
“I am very pleased that Dr. Rojas has agreed to serve as the associate dean for diversity and inclusion,” said Stinemetz, an OWU alumnus. “Dr. Rojas already has considerable leadership experience as chair of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages, and he has actively participated in a variety of internal and external initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion on college campuses. His energy and passion for increasing the OWU community’s appreciation and commitment to a diverse and inclusive campus will greatly benefit current and future Ohio Wesleyan students.”
In the classroom, Rojas has a primary area of specialization in Latin American literature and its cultures, with secondary specialization in literary theory and post-colonial literature. Currently, his main professional and personal interests are academic leadership, Mexican and border studies, and poetry.
His scholarly and literary works have been published in reviews and anthologies in several countries, and he has published six books of poetry including his most recent, “Santuarios desierto mar / Sanctuaries Desert Sea,” in 2015. Rojas also co-edited the anthology “Canto a una ciudad en el desierto,” a poetic denouncement against femicide, in 2004, as well as a bilingual anthology, “Sangre mía / Blood of Mine: Poetry of Border Violence, Gender and Identity in Ciudad Juárez,” in 2013.
He has been invited to teach literature seminars at the Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca and at the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, México. He also has been selected by the Universade de Coimbra, Portugal, to serve a term as its resident poet.
Rojas earned his both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and his doctorate from the University of Arizona. He completed postdoctoral studies at Amherst College, serving as its Andrew W. Mellon Fellow and a visiting assistant professor between 2002 and 2004. Learn more about Rojas and the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Modern Foreign Languages at www.owu.edu/mfl.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.