Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—Mary Fanelli Ayala has been named the new dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. She will replace Thurman Elder after he retires on June 30.
Ayala, professor of modern languages at ENMU and assistant dean of CLAS, has also served Eastern as the interim director of Social Work; chair of the Department of Languages and Literature; and professor of Spanish since 1992.
"We have been very impressed with Dr. Ayala's performance in a variety of important positions at Eastern," said Steven Gamble, ENMU president. "The fact that she was selected as our new dean after a national search is indicative of her quality as a professor, administrator and person. Ayala is an extremely talented person whom we are confident will continue and advance the great work that Dr. Thurman Elder has done as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences."
From 1990–92, Ayala was an adjunct instructor at Temple University, and from 1991–92 was an adjunct instructor at Community College of Philadelphia.
"We are very pleased that Ayala was selected as our new dean," said Robert Vartabedian, vice president for Academic Affairs. "She has a 14-year track record of superior performance here, and a wealth of accomplishment before arriving at Eastern. We had a pool of approximately 40 candidates, and she faced extremely tough competition. The fact that she was selected is not only a testament to Dr. Ayala, but to the caliber of faculty we have at Eastern."
Ayala, has a 1992 Ph.D. from Temple University in Contemporary Latin American Literature (Allied field: Mexican Literature); a 1990 Master of Arts from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from Temple University; and a 1982 Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from LaSalle University (Summa Cum Laude).
In 1982–83 she was a D.F. Research Fellow in Colegio de México, México, after being invited as an ITT International Fellow in Mexican Studies in conjunction with the Fulbright Grant Program.
Ayala's many honors include: Commencement Speaker, Eastern New Mexico University, December 2005; NEH grant recipient, 2003–2004; Carnegie Foundation CASE Award for Professor of the Year, State of New Mexico, 2001; ENMU Spirit of Eastern Award, May 2001; Distinguished Teaching Award, May 1992 (Temple University); and Fulbright Scholar (1982–1983, to Mexico).