Professor Narváez received a B.A. degree in political science and a
Ph.D. degree in Hispanic literature and linguistics from the University of Minnesota. He finished his secondary training at Colegio Nueva Granada (Bogota, Colombia), completed part of his college work at the Universidad de Navarra (Pamplona, Spain) and has lived in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and Costa Rica. His research interests include cultural and migration studies as well as literary and linguistic analysis. He has worked as an administrator, consultant, editor, interpreter, recording artist, and translator. In addition to numerous articles, and some language games and reviews, his published work includes nine books and two workbooks edited or written by him or in collaboration with others. Narváez is the former president of the state association for teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, former coordinator of the Minnesota State Spanish Contest, and site coordinator for the Festival Quijote. He has served twice as the president of the North Central Council of Latin Americanists, one of eight regional associations for specialists in Latin America, as well as three separate times as the Director of the programs of the
Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) in Costa Rica. Of over
fifty awards/honors, some examples are: in 1987 he received the
Ricardo A. Narváez Award for excellence in the teaching of Spanish
from the Minnesota chapter of the American Association of Teachers of
Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) and in 1988 he was recognized by the
AATSP through a national teaching award as the outstanding
college/university teacher of Spanish in the United States. In 1989
he was awarded the Emma Birkmaier Award by the MN Council on the
Teaching of Foreign Languages as the outstanding foreign language
teacher in MN. In 2001 Narváez was given the Award of Merit by the
North Central Council of Latin Americanists (NCCLA) for promoting
understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Latin America. In
2007 he received awards from the NCCLA and the MN Council on the
Teaching of Languages and Cultures for excellence in the preparation
of teaching materials. In 2012 his decades of working with students
at St. Olaf to encourage their out-of-class learning through the
Spanish Conversation Table, the Spanish Club and other activities was
recognized through the Gertrude Hilleboe Award. Narváez was one of
two St. Olaf faculty members selected to give a Mellby Lecture (about
his professional work) to the campus community during the 2013-2014
academic year.