John R. Gutiérrez, Croft Professor Emeritus of Spanish, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from New Mexico State University and his Ph. D. in Romance Languages from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Croft Institute in August 2000, Professor Gutiérrez held appointments as Director of the Basic Language Program at the University of Virginia, Director of Undergraduate Studies (for three years) and associate professor of Spanish Linguistics at Penn State University, and Director of the Spanish for Heritage Learners Program at the University of Arizona.
Gutiérrez has served as President of the Foreign Language Association of Virginia, on the Council of the Pennsylvania Modern Language Association, on the Board of Directors of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, on the Executive Council of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and as a member of the Modern Language Association's Advisory Committee on Foreign Languages and Literatures. In 1996, he won the George Atherton Award, the oldest teaching award conferred by Penn State University.
In addition to the book reviews and articles he has published, he was the lead author of ¡Ya verás!, a three-volume high school Spanish textbook series that was among the most widely used the US in the nineties. He is also co-author of the popular, introductory college Spanish program, ¡Tú dirás!, now in its 4th edition.
He has worked with the National Foreign Language Center to secure grants from the U. S. Department of Education's Foreign Language Assistance Program to implement K-6 Spanish language programs in a number of school districts in Mississippi. In addition, he has worked with the Office of Study Abroad to establish Ole Miss programs in Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. He also works closely with Croft students whose linguistic focus is Spanish, and since his arrival, over 70% of his students have achieved Advanced on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview prior to graduating. Currently, his research focus involves investigating the various factors that lead or impede American students from reaching high levels of proficiency in Spanish and Portuguese. In his free time, Gutiérrez enjoys cycling and cooking.