Mariela Gutiérrez, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 1993


Mariela Gutiérrez came to the University of Waterloo in 1988 and has been teaching in the Spanish department since then. In five years at this University she has been nominated for the Distinguished Teacher Award four times. In the short time that she has been a member of the Spanish department she has made many contributions to the department itself and to the lives of its students. She has been undergraduate officer, library representative, and director of the Latin American option. She is also the department's representative to women's studies. In spite of her heavy load in teaching and service, professor Gutiérrez has done some excellent research. She has given numerous scholarly papers, has published many articles, and has produced a book. This being her fifth year at this University, it has also been a special one for professor Gutiérrez; she has been awarded tenure and has been promoted to the rank of associate professor. As undergraduate officer, professor Gutiérrez is much more than an academic adviser. Students go to her for academic advice but they also go when they have personal problems or simply drop by her office to say hello. Perhaps professor Gutiérrez's extraordinary talent as a teacher has been best described by her students. They have described her as enthusiastic, energetic and thoughtful. As one student put it, “she is fair, patient, insightful, and creates an atmosphere of familiarity and belonging.” Another student puts it this way: “she expects our personal best, she gives 110% and expects us to do the same.” Other students describe her teaching as “inspiring, enthusiastic, interested, zestful, and encouraging.”