Carnegie Mellon University

Felipe Gómez

April 29, 2020

Felipe Gómez Wins Teaching Innovation Award

Carnegie Mellon University honors faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions in teaching, advising and mentoring with its annual Celebration of Education Awards. The awards recognize the accomplishments of those who exemplify the university's standards of excellence in education, and celebrates CMU’s distinguished faculty members and educators for their outstanding contributions and devotion to the university.

Modern Languages' Felipe Gómez was honored with the Teaching Innovation Award . A full list of recipients are detailed here

Teaching Innovation Award

Felipe Gómez, Teaching Professor of Hispanic Studies, Department of Modern Languages

Comics, coding and Hispanic culture: all of these attributes can be found in the innovative courses led by Felipe Gómez. Gómez’s courses, such as “Superheroes and Beyond: Spanish Language Comics in Digital Humanities” and “Comics, Community, and Coding: Electronic Textuality and Culture in Latin America,” help students learn a new language of code while developing their skills in Spanish language acquisition.

Gómez’s classes integrate digital humanities and Hispanic studies through an online platform he created called the Latin American Comics Archive. Students are taught the basics of Comic Book Markup Language (CBML) to code and analyze the literal and symbolic language of comics.

For his work on the Latin American Comics Archive, Gómez was awarded “Best Formative Initiative Developed in 2018” by the Hispanic Digital Humanities, an international professional organization that fosters digital humanities projects in the area of Hispanic Studies globally.

Susan Polansky, head of the Department of Modern Languages, emphasized the varied interdisciplinary aspects present in Gómez’s courses. 

“In addition to engaging students with cultural content that explores popular culture, politics, social, historical, and economic circumstances,” Polansky said, “Felipe has guided students to develop their proficiency in Spanish and build their experience in the digital humanities.”

Gabriele Maier, an associate teaching professor of German, believes Gómez is bringing a greater appreciation of comics and graphic novels as a valuable literary genre.

“Felipe cleverly draws interest in and experience of comics many students might have and encourages them to view their youthful passion in a different light,” Maier said.

Innovation is not without compassion. Alumna Haili Adams describes a unique situation where the class schedule of her major conflicted with the required 400-level courses needed for her minor in Hispanic studies

“To solve this issue, Professor Gómez offered to enroll me in his 300-level course, while changing certain course aspects to satisfy the necessary workload and rigor of a 400-level course,” Adams said. “For this reason, I was already impressed with his dedication to teaching before even stepping foot into the classroom.”

Adams continued, “Professor Gómez continually demonstrated a passion for teaching the entire time I was in his class. He worked tirelessly to design course material that integrated history, society, computer science, and comics.”

by Cameron Monteith