MCKEESPORT, Pa. – Verónica Montecinos, professor of sociology at Penn State Greater Allegheny, was named distinguished professor in recognition of her outstanding academic record.
Montecinos joined the University in 1990 as an assistant professor of sociology at the then McKeesport campus. In her 29 years at Penn State, Montecinos has developed her expertise in several areas, including gender and politics, pension reform, and the history of the economics profession in Latin America. In the classroom, Montecinos challenges students to use course content to analyze current global trends and as a basis for original research projects. She received the Penn State Alumni/Student Award for Excellence in Teaching and was Penn State Teaching Fellow in 2013.
“For the past decade, students from all my classes have presented research posters at the Student Research Conference on campus,” she said. “Often these posters have received awards as the best of those selected for presentation, serving as an inspiration for other students to learn about world issues.”
“These research projects are related to the Teaching International program, an innovative initiative to internationalize the curriculum by focusing on a global theme --water, human rights or migration-- and a country or region of the world,” said Montecinos.
Montecinos has led the Teaching International program since its inaugural year in 2004, bringing nationally recognized scholars to Penn State Greater Allegheny to share their expertise with the campus and broader community.
Montecinos’s collaborative work does not end with the Teaching International program. She has been a member of several international teams of scholars and policymakers. Recently, she and MaryEllen Higgins, associate professor of English, were awarded the General Education Integrative Studies Seed Grant from Penn State’s Office for General Education. They created a new course, Cinema and Globalization, which can be offered throughout the University. “It was an honor to work with such a distinguished scholar on designing a new integrative studies course, Cinema and Globalization,” said Higgins. “Verónica is an exceptional colleague. She brings intellectual vigor, strong commitment, and creative energy to any table.”
Professor Montecinos holds a doctorate and two masters degrees. She is a driving force in global education at the Penn State Greater Allegheny campus.