Two U of G Profs Among Most Influential Hispanic Canadians

November 23, 2012 - News Release

Two University of Guelph professors have made this year’s “Top 10” list of most influential Hispanic Canadians.

Food science professor Alejandro Marangoni and Prof. Rosario Gomez, School of Languages and Literatures, were named among the “10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians” by Guillermo Rishchynski, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, during a ceremony at the Toronto Board of Trade Nov. 21.

“It has been a privilege to join the recipients of this year’s awards on this memorable evening,” said Rishchynski, who was named to the list in 2008. “The contributions made by Hispanic Canadians are a tribute to their commitment to Canada and to our multicultural country. I am extremely proud of each nominee, and salute their dedication to advancing further the Hispanic community. Felicidades a todos.”

The annual national awards program was created by the Canadian Hispanic Business Association in 2007. Sixty people from seven provinces and 13 countries of origin have won the award.

Both Marangoni and Gomez hail from Ecuador.

Marangoni holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging. He studies food chemistry and physics, especially lipid structure and functionality. He works with manufacturers around the world.

“As a group, Hispanic Canadians have much to offer to Canadian society and the academic endeavour,” said Marangoni.

“Out of necessity, many Hispanics have been raised to be practical, creative and hard-working – key characteristics for successful technological and scientific endeavours. I proudly accepted the award on behalf of all the students and collaborators in our lab at Guelph. I should add that Guelph is a place where creative people can flourish, something I realized early on when I arrived from McGill to do my PhD in 1987. You need a bit of anarchy to do good work.”

Gomez said she was delighted to be nominated for the award.

“Meeting the other nominees who made the list, I was extremely honoured to be part of this select group and it was a humbling experience,” Gomez said. “I am equally honoured to share the 'Top 10' with a fellow Ecuadorian and faculty member from the University of Guelph. The Hispanic community is now very aware that the U of G has ties to the community through its faculty.”

Gomez studies Spanish sociolinguistics and belongs to an international network of linguists collecting samples of Spanish dialects to track changes in the language. She has co-edited four books including El yeísmo en España y América which is soon to be published.

The majority of Canada’ s roughly 740,000 Hispanics live in the Greater Toronto Area, and more than 70 per cent of Canadian Hispanics have arrived in the past 25 years, according to Statistics Canada.

Nominations for next year’s list will open in June 2013.

Prof. Alejandro Marangoni
Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging
Department of Food Science
University of Guelph
519-824-4120, Ext. 54340

Prof. Rosario Gomez
School of Languages and Literatures
University of Guelph
519-824-4120, Ext. 52583

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or; or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982 or

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