A Champion for Race and Equity

Dr. Paola Ehrmantraut, the Endowed Chair in the Humanities and director of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, has had a busy year. It’s no wonder her faculty peers at St. Thomas selected her as the 2022-23 St. Thomas Professor of the Year – an honor that recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

Professor Ehrmantraut speaks during the inauguration ceremony for President Robert K. Vischer. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

As faculty chair for the 2022-23 academic year, she led the development, implementation and launch of St. Thomas’ new master’s degree in diversity leadership, she serves as vice chair of the Race Equity Advisory Council to the Hennepin Board of Commissioners and she oversees Walking Together, a student research project that maps Latinx migration in Minnesota through the decades.

“Race, equity and education are my passions,” said Ehrmantraut, who also teaches Spanish in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and is affiliated faculty for American culture and difference, an interdisciplinary minor at St. Thomas that offers students a critical perspective on the diversity of American culture. She also makes time for her role as an executive board member on the American Men’s Studies Association. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bill Tolman cited several reasons why Ehrmantraut, who started at St. Thomas in 2009, was selected as Professor of the Year.

“We commend her for the innovative courses she has designed (especially her community-engaged courses where her students conducted research to assist lawyers who were preparing asylum applications for immigrants to Minnesota); the works she has published (especially on how masculinities are negotiated in Argentine film and literature); and the service she has performed (especially in her role as Endowed Chair in the Humanities).”

Professor Paola Ehrmantraut, Modern and Classical Languages, speaks during an International Women’s Day Celebration event. (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Ehrmantraut moved to the U.S. for her graduate studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Most of her family still lives in Argentina, but she makes a home in Minneapolis with her husband Steve, her 11-year-old child and a poodle they call Ginger.

“I love living in a city where there are always things to see and explore, although I have not gotten used to the cold,” she said.

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