In her twenty years as University of Waterloo professor, Dr. Mariela A. Gutiérrez distinguished herself as a passionate teacher, outstanding researcher and dedicated administrator. She served for two terms as department chair, and was a member of the Senate (Research Council 2001-04; Honorary Awards Council 2004-06; UW “Colleague” representing the UW at the Council of Ontario Universities 2006-2008); she was a Member of the UW Teaching Excellence Council (TEC-2004-2006) as well as Member of the Board of Women Studies Program (1993-2000).
Dr. Gutiérrez holds an outstanding record of research achievements in the field of Afro-Hispanic Studies and XX century’s Latin American Women Writers. The results of her solid contributions can be noted in the remarkable number of publications, nine books and 105 referred articles and essays. Her several books and numerous articles on the work of renowned Cuban writer Lydia Cabrera have brought her national and international recognition and many honours and awards, including the Award of Excellence in Research from the University of Waterloo (2006), Award for the Best Scholarly Article from the Canadian Association of Hispanists (1993), the Medal of Honour of the City of Bagnères de Bigorre in the French Pyrinees (2004). In 2006 Dr. Gutiérrez was bestowed a most outstanding accolade by being inducted in the distinguished North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE). In 2011 she became Miembro Numerario (Senior Member) of the ANLE and Corresponding Member of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (RAE).
Dr. Gutiérrez was an outstanding and knowledgeable teacher who motivated and inspired many students through the years. Her dedication and commitment to teaching were remarkable. In 1993 she received The Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of her exceptional teaching performances.
In recognition of her outstanding service to the University of Waterloo, the title of “Distinguished Professor Emerita” was bestowed upon Dr. Gutiérrez by the Chancellor of the University of Waterloo in 2009.