August 09, 2015
Doug, whose Aug. 8 death was due to complications of cancer, joined the Ursinus faculty in 1986 and became fulltime the following year. As a scholar of Don Quixote, he loved bringing Cervantes to life for his students. Other favorite courses included Mexican Cinema and Spanish Golden Age Literature. He taught all levels of Spanish language, from introductory to advanced, and for many years led summer programs that took Ursinus students to Cuernavaca and Puebla, Mexico, for the study of language and culture. He taught in the Ursinus first-year program, the Common Intellectual Experience (CIE).
Matthew Mizenko, Chair of Modern Languages, notes that, “Doug had a passion for theory, tirelessly engaging his students and colleagues in discussions of narratology and film theory. His enthusiasms overflowed literature, into architecture, music, and the visual arts. An ardent supporter of the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, he challenged students and colleagues to debate the connections and dissonances among works in a wide variety of artistic forms.
“Doug had an extraordinary commitment to Ursinus and to the vocation of teaching, continuing to teach classes in spite of his often frail condition in recent semesters,” Mizenko said.
Born in New York City, Doug lived in many countries in his youth. His family left Cuba just ahead of Castro taking power. He first came to our neighborhood as a student of The Hill School, a prestigious Pottstown preparatory school. He graduated cum laude from Harvard University, and earned his Ph.D in Spanish and Comparative Literature from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining the Ursinus faculty, Doug taught at the University of Nevada—Reno, Rice University, the University of Houston and Holy Family College.
He is survived by his wife, Edith Guay, and daughters, Maya Houston of Houston, Texas, and Rima Cameron of Harrisburg. He has five loving grandchildren.
In his long career at Ursinus, Doug influenced the lives of thousands of students, inspiring them with his playful love of life and literature. He will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be held at Trinity U.C. C. Church in Collegeville on Wednesday, August, 12, at 4 p.m. (viewing at 2:30)—welcoming all whose lives Doug touched. A celebration of his life, learning, and teaching at Ursinus College is being planned for the fall.