A new face among the faculty


Lauren Rhodes, Staff Writer

Professor Julio Enríquez Ornelas is a new faculty member here at Millikin University. He teaches one section of Beginning Spanish 103 and two sections of Continuing Spanish 114 and Spanish 321, which is Survey of Spanish Literature.

Even though Ornelas didn’t graduate from Millikin University he still has at least one thing in common with our community here. He graduated with a B.A. in English and Spanish from Wabash College. During his time at Wabash, Millikin’s very own President White was his college president, so he saw President White’s great leadership in action.

He also graduated from University of California Riverside with a masters in Hispanic literature and culture and a Ph.D. in 20th century Latin American literature. That Ph.D. focused on Mexican narrative from the late 19th century so there was a combination of past and present literature.

Ornelas didn’t always want to be a teacher of Spanish. He initially wanted to go to law school and was on track to graduate with a political science degree with a minor in Spanish until his teacher suggested he take an English class and think about teaching Spanish. He was hesitant at first, but once he did he never looked back. He dropped the political science major and picked up both English and Spanish majors.

Ornelas declared Millikin University and the Midwest as “a great place to be” because everybody has a friendly and nice attitude. Also being two to three hours from where he graduated didn’t hurt either. He enjoyed the sense of community here and was attracted to the campus because he could work with the students on a one-on-one basis.

Ornelas hopes that his students feel comfortable speaking Spanish and lose the fear of saying the wrong thing. He wants to inspire his students to at least try and grow their skills so they will be able to communicate in Spanish. He also wants to foster a sense of appreciation in his students for the Latino/ Latin American community as well as the diversity within the community.

He aims for his students to become critical thinkers and not be afraid to ask questions. In class Ornelas can be found asking his students “Isn’t learning Spanish fun?” With his infectious positive attitude his students are quick to answer “Sí!”

If you are interested in learning more about the culture of Hispanic/Latin American communities he suggests some of his favorites Roberto Bolaño a Chilean author’s book “Los Detectives Salvajes” translated to mean “The Salvage Detectives” and or Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza’s book “Nadie Me Verá Llorar” which means “No One Will See Me Cry.”

If movies are more your speed there is a political satire movie called “La Dictadura Perfecta,” – The Perfect Dictatorship – on Netflix that was censored in Mexico due to its content about the corruption involving government and the media.

Ornelas is glad to be here and Millikin University is glad to have him as a part of the community.