Written by Guadalupe Rodriguez
Texas land is huge—with approximately 28 million people, the faces of Texas are colorful, and filled with different experiences. From rich stories of black and Latino people, to the stories of Native Americans, UT’s English Department attempts to account for some of the faces of Texas and beyond.
One colorful face from Texas that is also an advocate for these stories is Professor John Morán Gonzáles. His unique story follows a nontraditional English pathway. Initially a pre-med and English double major, he chose English for graduate school instead of medical school.
Morán González has been a professor at UT for sixteen years. The Brownsville, Texas, native is involved in both the English Department and the Mexican American Studies Department.
Morán González’s experience in these departments at UT have been positive and has enjoyed the students that come along for the ride.
“Being a professor at UT Austin has been fantastic. I’ve been able to enjoy the support and community that the English Department and CMAS have given me over the years. UT student, undergraduate and graduate, are wonderful: smart, motivated, and eager to learn,” Morán González said.
Although Professor Morán González’s experience has been pleasant, he does believe there is room for improvement in terms of diversity.
“Of course there are issues to be addressed, but overall I’ve had a great time working at UT Austin,” he said. “Like the University as a whole, the English Department needs to work on meaningfully improving diversity at all levels: students, staff, and faculty. While the department has made good strides in recent years to address the shortfall, more remains to be done, particularly at the graduate level.”
Morán González also believes that curriculum can be improved by incorporating different cultural experiences. “Opening the University to more diverse populations isn’t enough,” he said. “The curriculum and programming have to change as well to acknowledge the contributions to knowledge production that diverse communities have contributed to our society.”
Morán González has high hopes for the department, and is in front to lend a helping hand.
“I am absolutely in favor of making all courses share responsibility for increasing excellence through diversity,” he said.