Gonzalo R. Mendieta

gonzalo-mendieta.jpg

M.S. 1984

Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Written by: Meghan Honerlaw, M.S. candidate in Statistics

Gonzalo R. Mendieta, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, has always been interested in academia. He feels fortunate that he has been able to experience academia from many different positions at all levels.

Mendieta received his Master of Science degree in Statistics from Purdue University in 1984 and a Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Iowa in 1987. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Wichita State University (WSU) in Kansas where from 1990-1994 he served as Principal of the Statistical Consulting Group. Mendieta participated in several research opportunities while at WSU including work in tomography, quality engineering, and discrimination in the electoral system. In 1994, he planned a two year visit to Universidad San Francisco de Quito, the leading private university in Ecuador, and has been there ever since.

Mendieta is currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Prior to taking that position he held several positions including Academic Coordinator of the M.S. Program in Technology Management, Academic Dean of the San Francisco de Quito Community College, Food and Beverage Manager, Dean of the School of Hospitality, Gastronomy, and Tourism, Acting Director of the MBA program, and Director for Academic Excellence and Institutional Effectiveness. Since 2001, Mendieta has served as the Executive President for Spectrum Opinión y Mercado, a public opinion and market research firm whose clients include government leaders, pharmaceutical companies, banks, home appliance stores, etc.

While Mendieta currently spends much of his time in administration, he still finds time to teach at least one statistics course each semester. He believes that “statistics gives you the ability to understand the effects of randomness. That mental skill can be applied in many situations.” The academic and life experiences gained at Purdue have served Mendieta well over the years. The teaching skills he gained at Purdue have proven to be very useful in the classroom, and what he learned about the inner workings of Purdue Statistics by interacting with the faculty provided him with an early foundation upon which he has built his administrative career.

As for advice to current students, Mendieta advises cultivating interests outside of normal classroom instruction and exploring interdisciplinary studies. “Not being afraid to do things outside one’s field of expertise is very important,” says Mendieta. It was mediation skills that helped him acquire the position as Dean of the School of Hospitality, Gastronomy, and Tourism. At the time, the School was in a state of turmoil, but within two years, he transformed the curricula, opened two new restaurants and a bakery. “When you think from outside the box, you get great ideas.”

In his free time, Mendieta enjoys cooking, reading, and research on cooking and wine. He serves as a member of the board of La Cofradia del Vino, an organization dedicated to promoting wine and its culture, as well as several professional associations of chefs.

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Last Updated: Aug 29, 2017 4:22 PM

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