Verónica A. Gutiérrez
GREAT BOOKS MODERATOR / DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT BOOKS PROGRAM EN ESPAÑOL
Dr. Verónica A. Gutiérrez is the Director of the Great Books Program en español. A Latin American historian, she has spent her career studying the past and has come to understand that though the past teaches us about brokenness and sin, it also reveals our salvation. Specializing in the origins of Mexican Catholicism, her research focuses on Franciscan-indigenous partnership in the development of local Christianity in sixteenth-century Mexico. While pursuing a B.A. in creative writing at the University of San Francisco, she took classes with Fr. Fessio at the St. Ignatius Institute; as part of her Great Books experience, she spent a formative year abroad at Oxford University. Wishing to write family history, she obtained a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree in Creative Nonfiction at Penn State, where she produced a spiritual memoir. Desire to understand why she was Catholic prompted her to pursue a Ph.D. in colonial Mexican History from UCLA, during which she spent her research year in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico on a COMEXUS Fulbright García-Robles. A trained writer, award-winning scholar, and sought-after speaker, Dr. Gutiérrez has provided keynote addresses in both the U.S. and Mexico, given a TEDx talk about Cholula, co-led a faculty development tour through Mexico, “From 1519 to 2019: Indigenous Christianity in Mexico 500 Years after Cortés,” and has published in English and Spanish. She is currently writing a Vision Book about Juan Diego for Ignatius Press, introducing readers to the beauties of Nahua culture and the Nahuatl (Aztec) language. She spent 10 years at Azusa Pacific University (APU), attaining the rank of Associate Professor of Latin American history. Serving six of those years as Director of Undergraduate Research, she awarded competitive research grants and travel funds for students to present at academic conferences across the globe. She also spent a year directing APU’s NEH-HSI-funded Summer Bridge Program for incoming Gen1 students and serving as faculty mentor to APU’s Catholic Student Ministry. Her most important role, however, is as a wife and mother of four – one of whom is in Heaven.