This award, bestowed annually on a faculty member in the College of Arts and Letters, is named for the Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., a much-beloved former dean of the College. It recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching, informed by research, over a wide range of courses while employing innovative and creative teaching methods.
Since 2008, Professor Ruiz has taught courses at Notre Dame that focus race and popular culture, Latinx history and studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Students who nominated him lauded him as a “demanding but compassionate mentor,” praising his ability to build community, include all voices, and treat “delicate and difficult topics with respect and warmth.” Faculty nominators regard him a versatile and gifted teacher. One commented, “Rarely have I seen anyone animate their students to interweave critical thought and creative expression as well as Jason did with his students.”
Professor Ruiz graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, and a Ph.D. in American Studies. His research focuses on American perceptions of latinidad and Latin America with emphases on race, cultural and economic imperialism, tourism, gender, and sexuality. His first book, Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Porfirian Mexico and the Cultural Politics of Empire was published by the University of Texas Press (2014). He has also published in the Radical History Review, American Studies, Journal of Transnational American Studies, The Oral History Review, Aztlán, and elsewhere. He is the co-editor of three special issues and two books, including the Routledge History of American Sexuality (forthcoming in 2020), and is the co-chair of the Radical History Review editorial board. Ruiz is currently writing a cultural history of latinidad and the War on Drugs in popular media and is principal investigator of “Latinx Murals of Pilsen,” a public-facing digital humanities project focused on public art in Chicago.
Professor Ruiz is concurrent faculty in the Gender Studies Program and affiliated faculty in the Departments of Africana Studies and Film, Television, and Theatre, and in the Institute for Latino Studies. He is a 2016 recipient of the Edmund P. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Notre Dame.
Please join us in congratulating Professor Ruiz on this achievement, and please mark your calendars for the Sheedy Award Ceremony, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, in the Smith Ballroom in the Morris Inn, with a reception to follow (sponsored by ISLA).