Megan Myers appointed chair of world languages and cultures department

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Megan Myers
Megan Myers, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures (Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Megan Myers, associate professor of Spanish, has been named chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) at Iowa State University.

Myers will begin her five-year term on July 1. She succeeds interim chair Michael Bailey, Distinguished Professor of history.

“I’m excited to work with Dr. Myers as we both learn new administrative roles here in LAS. Dr. Myers brings to her role a deep respect from her colleagues as an educator and scholar, a department leader who has already demonstrated success as associate chair and in other roles,” said Benjamin Withers, dean of LAS. “She will build on her excellent relationships across the college and campus to achieve her entrepreneurial vision for the department. She has the skills and experiences to foster a vibrant community within the department and beyond.”

Myers earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in 2011, followed by a master’s degree in Spanish in 2013 and a Ph.D. in Hispanic literature in 2016, both from Vanderbilt University. Myers joined Iowa State as assistant professor of Spanish in 2016 and was promoted to associate professor of Spanish in 2020.

A literary critic by training, Myers’ research explores the interconnections between the Dominican Republic and Haiti as well as between the Hispanic Caribbean and its diverse and wide-reaching diasporas. Her publications analyze and include a wide range of literary texts written in English, Spanish, and Haitian Kreyòl. Among other research products, she is the author of “Mapping Hispaniola: Third Space in Dominican and Haitian Literature” (2019) and co-editor of “The Border of Lights Reader: Bearing Witness to Genocide in the Dominican Republic” (2021).

Myers’ work reaches beyond traditional academic audiences. Her scholarship in Caribbean studies and in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and community engagement impacts practitioners, students, educators, and communities outside of academia, including Dominican and Haitian border communities.

Among her numerous research and teaching awards, Myers received a Fulbright Award in 2022, the LAS International Service Award in 2023, a Big 12 Faculty Fellowship for 2022-23, an Iowa State University Teaching Innovation Award in 2020, and the LAS Cassling Family Faculty Award for Early Achievement in Teaching in 2019.

“Dr. Megan Myers possesses a vision to foster collaboration, build partnerships, create new opportunities for excellence, and enhance the strengths of this already strong department,” said Brad Dell, chair of the Department of Music and Theatre, and search committee chair. “The Department of World Languages and Cultures is truly fortunate to have such a dynamic and forward-thinking leader at its helm.”

Myers is eager to lead the department as it continues to grow and excel.

“I feel honored and privileged to serve as chair of an interdisciplinary and forward-thinking department such as world languages and cultures,” Myers said. “I see exciting opportunities for growth as we build a clear assessment plan for curriculum revisions and online courses, better articulate degree completion goals, and strategically re-engage our recruitment and retention efforts.”