ROCK HILL, S.C. - As Winthrop University’s newly appointed Thompson Scholar, Spanish professor Pedro Muñoz will spend the next year developing a service learning course for academically at-risk Hispanic students at Sullivan Middle School in Rock Hill.
Muñoz plans to spend the year researching similar courses at other institutions and writing a syllabus that will involve Spanish majors and fellow instructors. "The steady growth of Spanish majors at Winthrop calls for the creation of new courses and the enrichment of the academic experience," Muñoz wrote in his proposal.
In addition, Sullivan administrators are anxious to provide support and resources to help their non-English speaking students adjust, Muñoz said.
A member of the Winthrop faculty since 1992, Muñoz has taught a wide range of courses in language and literature from introductory Spanish to graduate-level courses. He also has published a textbook, now in its second edition, that is relevant to his teaching. Muñoz has been involved in several service learning initiatives in the local Hispanic community and frequently assists individuals and groups as a translator.
A native of Spain, Muñoz holds a bachelor’s degree in European History from the Universidad de Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) and a master’s degree and doctorate in Spanish literature from the University of Cincinnati.
This is the second year for the Thompson Scholarship, created by former Winthrop Board of Trustee Bob Thompson and his wife, Norma, of Rock Hill. The fund provides for reassigned time for two classes per year for a faculty member "to work on projects that strengthen the academic, intellectual, and co-curricular life of the university."
The Robert and Norma Thompson Endowment was established during the university’s first capital campaign. The first Thompson Scholar, photography professor Phil Moody, has worked with senior photography students to use digital photography in rural schools along the I-95 corridor. The area was highlighted in the recent documentary "Corridor of Shame" for its poverty and lack of state funding to provide basic education to its students.
For more information, contact Academic Affairs at 803/323-2228.