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Intellect

BYU Dean of Humanities honored by Spanish Government

John Rosenberg, dean of the College of Humanities at Brigham Young University, was recently presented the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by His Excellency D. Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo, ambassador to the United States from Spain, on behalf of his Majesty King Juan Carlos I and the Government of Spain.

The award, which was presented at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C., was established in 1926 by King Alfonso XIII and honors both Spanish citizens and foreign subjects whose extraordinary efforts have served the interests of Spain.

Rosenberg has written three books and many journal articles and has lectured in Spain and throughout the United States on Spanish literature and cultural history.

“Dr. Rosenberg has worked relentlessly for many years on improving Spanish educational and cultural relations here in the United States,” said Ambassador Dezcallar. “John Rosenberg is, above all, a humanist and a lover of Spain. As a humanist, he has an extraordinary sensitivity to speak of all the visual and performing arts, and in fact he always carries a classic of Spanish literature with him.”

The ambassador praised Rosenberg’s love for the Spanish language and the Iberian Peninsula.

“It is no accident that the humanities building [the Joseph F. Smith Building] at BYU, where John spends many hours, has an inner courtyard which pays homage to the cloisters of the Spanish classic monasteries, and includes construction materials that John himself went to find in the quarries of Northern Italy,” he said.

“Rosenberg sponsored the creation of the Spanish Resource Center. It was he who made it possible for the relationship between the Spanish Government and BYU to be extended to include Utah State Office of Education, with whom we have a memorandum of understanding to develop all the programs of the Ministry of Education of Spain in the state,” said Ambassador Dezcallar.

Since 2004, The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Rosenberg grants totaling more than $500,000 for a project titled “Art and Literature in the Prado Museum,” a joint project of NEH, Madrid’s Prado Museum and BYU that brings together school teachers from around the country to engage in professional development through intensive study and collaborative research.

He is also a partner in CITES, the David O. McKay School of Education’s Center for the Improvement of Teacher Education and Schooling, which organizes the collaborative efforts of the colleges at BYU and the five public school districts of Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo and Wasatch. 

Rosenberg was named an AED (Agenda for Education in a Democracy) Scholar for his CITES-related initiatives to strengthen public education in 2007 by the Institute for Educational Inquiry of Seattle, which promotes democratic values through the renewal of educational practice.

In addition, Rosenberg’s Introduction to Spanish Literature course was named one of the “25 Best World Language Courses at U.S. Colleges and Universities” in 2007 by the Educational Policy Improvement Center in Eugene, Ore.  

“We are extremely grateful for John’s contribution to the relationship between Spain and the United States, [and] we thank him for everything that he has done and continues to do,” said the ambassador. 

For more information, contact John Rosenberg at (801) 422-9797, john_rosenberg@byu.edu.  

Writer: Cecelia Fielding

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