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Domènech is UW’s George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award Recipient

May 2, 2017
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Conxita Domènech, Department of Modern and Classical Languages assistant professor, is the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award recipient. (UW Photo)

Conxita Domènech epitomizes the concept of teacher-scholar, with demonstrated excellent achievements at the University of Wyoming and also regionally, nationally and internationally.

Those attributes have earned Domènech, a Department of Modern and Classical Languages assistant professor, the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award.

Named for UW’s 13th president, who served from 1945-1964, the George Duke Humphrey Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes teaching effectiveness, distinction in scholarly work and distinguished service to the university and state.

The last two years, Domènech has won both of UW’s most prestigious awards: In 2015, she received the Extraordinary Merit Award for Research and, in 2016, the Extraordinary Merit Award for Teaching, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching.

“It seems only fitting that she be awarded the Humphrey award, which recognizes unparalleled excellence in all three areas: scholarship, teaching and service,” says Joy Landeira, Department of Modern and Classical Languages chair. “As a teacher, Professor Domènech has consistently received among the highest student evaluations in the whole department, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

She says Domènech’s expert knowledge of Spanish and Catalán languages, combined with her wide-ranging international travels to study and present her scholarly investigations -- plus her tireless academic research and writing -- have equipped her with broad and deep scholarly preparation that serves as a base for all courses she teaches.

Her area of expertise is early modern Spanish, reflecting Spain’s Golden Age of literature in the 1600s and 1700s.

A colleague says Domènech has a rare teaching style that is engaging, intellectually challenging and stimulating.

“She has demonstrated a mastery level of teaching, and being successful in the classroom seems very easy for her,” Cecilia “CC” Aragon writes. “With the level of her enthusiasm, abundance of knowledge and her ability to engage students, I am confident that Dr. Domènech will be rewarded in the future for her excellence in teaching in the classroom here at the University of Wyoming.”

Domènech’s students also praise her work in the classroom.

“Conxita is a professor I will never forget. She has been supportive in everything I have done. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who made me feel so confident in myself and my work,” writes a student.

Another adds, “Easily the coolest professor in the Spanish department who genuinely cares about her students. If you have the good fortune of getting to know Conxita, you will never again take a Spanish class taught by a different teacher. Recommend, recommend, recommend!”

Yet, Domènech does not rest on her laurels. She consistently seeks to challenge herself, and graduate students also want to work with her. In the six years she has been at UW, she has directed or has been part of the M.A. thesis process for 20 students.

“I personally found myself striving to be a better student not only for myself, but for her,” a student says.

Domènech has published five books and has contributed to 22 scholarly book chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals. On campus, Domenech is the adviser for both Sigma Delta Pi and the Spanish Club.

She received her B.A. (1990) and M.A. (1992) anthropology degrees, both from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; and her M.A. (2006) and Ph.D. (2010) degrees, both in Spanish literature from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

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