Nov. 15: Memorial Celebration to Honor Professor Claudia Parodi

Published: November 14, 2016
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UCLA Newsroom |

memorial celebration will be held for Claudia Parodi, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center. The memorial is being hosted by her department and the UCLA Division of Humanities. Parodi died of cancer on Nov. 15, 2015, at her home in Northridge, California.

Parodi was a member of the faculty in Spanish and Portuguese since 1991. She published on a wide variety of topics related to language, including both sociolinguistic and formal themes. She was a founding member and director of both the UCLA Centro de Estudios del Español de los Estados Unidos and the UCLA Centro de Estudios Coloniales Iberoamericanos. Additionally, she aided in initiating the UC-Mexicanistas, an inter-campus research group on Mexican studies, involving faculty and students from a wide range of academic disciplines.

Colleagues remember Parodi for her sense of humor, her academic achievements and her collaborative spirit.

“When I think of Claudia, I think of her as I saw her during the 2012 Andrea L. Rich Night to Honor Teaching,” said David Schaberg, dean of humanities. “That evening she was among just six faculty members from the whole campus to receive a Distinguished Teaching Award, an honor that I regard as one of the most prestigious UCLA offers. Claudia sat quietly with her daughter, enjoying the proceedings and occasionally offering an observation, and I reflected that her students must especially have loved her steadfast, calm support and her utter devotion to teaching.”

Maarten Van Delden, former chair of the department of Spanish and Portuguese languages, recalled her commitment to teaching even in the wake of her illness, recalling a moment from a 2014 summer abroad program in Granada.

“The desk in her room was piled high with books and papers, while her nightstand was covered with pill containers,” he said. “The image of her books on the one hand and her medication on the other summed up Claudia for me: She was an incredibly strong woman, whose dedication to her work never flagged.”

Héctor Calderón, current chair of the department, said Parodi was the perfect combination of friend, scholar and mentor.

“What I most admired in Claudia was her transformation from a Mexican national from Mexico City to being a U.S. Latina in Los Angeles,” he said. “She joined the UCLA Latina and Latino faculty in meetings with the chancellor. She was supportive of the group. And most important was her appreciation for the Spanish of southern California, which proved of great benefit to her and to her students.”

She is survived by her daughter, Jordana Lynne Mosten.

The original article can be found at UCLA Newsroom.

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