Crossing borders and more: A professor profile on Dr. Jorge Majfud

Misha Khan

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Photo Courtesy of JU.edu

Dr. Jorge Majfud became part of the Jacksonville University team when he started working here in the fall of 2010 as a Spanish teacher. At first sight, he may seem like every other JU professor but his soft-spoken attitude, well- traveled background, extensive research, as well as his philosophy make him a little more distinct, a little more diverse, and definitely more delightful.

Dr. Majfud was born and raised in Uruguay and graduated in 1996 from the Universidad de la República in Montevideo as an architect major, which he said was somewhat of a norm in his country.

“There were engineers and architect that were respected careers,” Majfud said. “I studied architecture simply because of that.”

However, he fell in love with teaching shortly afterwards. He taught math and art in Costa Rica and Uruguay and in 2003, became a faculty member and student at the University of Georgia where he received his doctorate in romance languages.

“There was an economic crisis in Argentina and Uruguay and a professor asked me to come to Georgia and teach,” he said. “I used to be a teacher of math for a long time and I enjoy it a lot. There are some students I am still in contact with and I helped them get scholarships in Europe and other places. I still talk to them.”

Having been in over forty countries, he had gathered information from all parts of the world. Information that would become part of the several novels and essays he later published. His works have been published in newspapers and magazines all over the world and even though Spanish is their primary language, his stories and articles have been translated into several other languages including French, German, English and Italian. Majfud has also been part of several international competitions and won the Excellence in Research Award in Humanities and Letters from the University of Georgia in 2006. This is not the full extent of his accomplishments.

One quality that really stands out about Dr. Majfud is perhaps his philosophy on teaching and his students. He would agree that even though there are many students in the beginner- level classes who view the course as a core, he still tries to bind the language with culture and every now and then do something different to change the lecture style in his classes.

“You know I am not like a priest or pastor,” Majfud stated. “I cannot tell them they should always do something this way. I don’t like to impose my ideas on someone. So I try to just present the material and have them see it.”

He is also a professional member of the PEN American Society, the Honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, and on the scientific committee of Araucaria of Spain. For right now, the Majfud is enjoying his time at JU and hopes to continue working for the university.

Dr. Jorge Majfud is a well-respected, well-cultured, well-traveled, well-accomplished, interesting and intelligent man yet his humble attitude about himself leaves one wanting to know more about him, and I can only imagine how captivating and insightful his classes are.

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