Verónica Gutiérrez, MFA, Ph.D.

Director of Undergraduate Research
Associate Professor of Latin American History, Department of History and Political Science
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3134
Photo of Verónica Gutiérrez, MFA, Ph.D.

Video Introduction


Verónica A. Gutiérrez, MFA, Ph.D, joined the Department of History and Political Science in the Fall of 2012. The first Latin American specialist at APU, her training in Colonial Mexico, Mesoamerican Cultures, Medieval Castile, Franciscan Spirituality, and the Early Modern Catholic World landed her a position as an Internationalization Faculty Fellow in APU’s Center for Global Learning and Engagement, where she worked toward improving student experience, particularly during the Semester in Ecuador. She is currently serving as APU’s Director of Undergraduate Research, responsible for advancing undergraduate scholarship across the disciplines by reimbursing undergraduate conference travel, funding student research projects, and organizing Undergraduate Research Showcases.

Gutiérrez’s own research examines the development of indigenous-Christianity in sixteenth-century Mexico, especially by native peoples ministered by Franciscans. This work finds voice in her book project, Converting a Sacred City: Franciscans, Nahuas, and Spaniards in San Pedro Cholula, 1528-1648. Of her publications, “Quetzalcoatl’s Enlightened City: A Close Reading of Bernard Picart’s Engraving of Cholollan/Cholula,” received the Hubert Herring Award from the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies. She has received a variety of institutional research support, including from Fulbright, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Spain’s Ministry of Culture, the Academy of American Franciscan History, the Latin American Institute at UCLA, the Faculty Research Council at APU, and the Graves Award in the Humanities.

Gutiérrez has presented widely at academic conferences and has spoken at the San Gabriel Mission, the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, Our Neighborhood Homework House in Azusa, and for APU’s Juan Bruce-Novoa Series on the Chicano/Latino Experience. She has provided keynote addresses in both the U.S. and Mexico, serves as Faculty Adviser for her department’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (the National History Honor Society), and is President-Elect of the Western Regional Conference on Faith and History. She was one of seven featured faculty speakers for the 2017 APU TEDx Event. In her talk, “Resilience in the Oldest City in the Americas,” she discusses Mexico’s cultural legacy via the Great Pyramid of Cholula, demonstrating how all Mexican history is as complex and multi-layered as this man-made mountain (see Related Links on right).

In addition to her degrees in history, Gutiérrez holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. She and her husband enjoy an active life near the beach with their two toddlers and new baby boy.


  • Ph.D., Colonial Mexican History, UCLA
  • C.Phil., Colonial Latin American History, UCLA
  • M.A., Latin American History, UCLA
  • M.F.A., Creative Nonfiction, Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A., Creative Writing, University of San Francisco

Academic Area

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Department of History and Political Science


  • Early Modern Catholicism
  • Latin American History
  • Mesoamerican Cultures

Courses Taught

  • HIST 120 – World Civilizations to 1648
  • HIST 201 – World Civilizations and Geography
  • POLI 300 – Research and Writing
  • HIST 300 – Introduction to Historical Studies
  • HIST 392 – Colonial Latin America
  • HITS 393 – Modern Latin America
  • HIST 484 – Historical Themes: Native Peoples Before and After the Spanish Conquest
  • HIST 484 – Historical Themes: Gods and Demons in Sixteenth-Century Mexico: Franciscan Evangelization of Native Peoples in New Spain
  • POLI 496 – Senior Seminar in Politics and Religion: Encounters with Christ

Office Hours

Monday 10:35am - 12:35pm and Wednesday 10:45am - 12:15pm

Related Links

Related APU News