Photo of Dr. Ana María Rodríguez-Vivaldi Receiving the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award

Dr. Ana María Rodríguez-Vivaldi, Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Global Education for the College of Arts and Sciences, is the winner of the 2018-19 Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award from the Washington State University Association for Faculty Women (AFW).

She will be acknowledged during the Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on March 29, part of WSU’s annual Showcase celebration of faculty, staff and student excellence. See

The award recognizes “an AFW member whose leadership has advanced the role of women in the WSU system and/or who has demonstrated leadership in higher education, the community or her profession at the local, state, regional, national or international level.”  It was established in 2000 to show AFW’s appreciation to former President Smith for his leadership in advancing the role of women at WSU.

Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi’s research focuses on contemporary Latin American popular culture.  This work frequently touches upon the experiences and perspectives of women.  Through the lens of literary and film analysis, Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi explores the impact of many topics, including violence, imposed patriarchy, migration, and aging.  She has an impressive record of publications and presentations and high level of professional activity as an editor, book reviewer, and consultant.

As an Associate Dean, Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi provides leadership for a wide range of areas within the college through collaboration and development with international programs, online education, student affairs, scholarships and undergraduate petitions.  She also works closely with department chairs, undergraduate coordinators, and academic advisors to create a transformative educational experience for our students and to ensure that they are connecting their academic achievements to future personal and professional goals.

Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi has also made significant contribution to her department as an instructor, mentor, and program leader.  To date, she has developed 34 different courses, chaired the committees of 47 Masters students, and developed numerous study abroad programs to Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  Her exceptional instructional and mentoring skills have been recognized by her peers on multiple occasions, including the Honors College Outstanding Teaching Award (2008), the Outstanding Mentor Award from the WSU Women Leadership Forum (2005 & 2009), and the Honors College Outstanding Thesis Advisor Award (2010).

As the Co-Director of the Hearts in Motion medical service project, Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi has traveled to Guatemala every spring since 2011, taking 25 WSU students per trip.  As part of Hearts in Motion, Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi and Dr. Kathy Beerman started the Lucky Iron Fish project that utilizes an innovative solution to remedy iron deficiency anemia.  By boiling the iron fish and then cooking food with iron-enriched water, this project has improved health conditions for countless people in Guatemala.

Dr. Rodríguez-Vivaldi has been an active member of AFW, having served as President, President Elect, and various Officer positions.  In her role as former President, she organized meetings with the Board of Regents, Provost, Deans, and Vice Chancellors that provided university women the opportunity to dialogue directly with leadership on issues that are important to them.