Juan Armando Rojas Joo has been appointed Ohio Wesleyan University’s new associate dean for diversity and inclusion.
Rojas 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.”
In his new role, Rojas will report to Provost Charles L. Stinemetz, 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.”
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.