Prayer Service for Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe, Son
Beloved friend, colleague and professor Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe, director of the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies, died tragically in a traffic accident along with his 10-month-old son, Julian, on Thursday, March 19, in Santa Clara, Peru. The accident occurred when a truck driver lost control and struck several cars. Dr. Wensjoe’s wife, Joanne Houck, survived the accident.
Dr. Wensjoe was on sabbatical from the University. He had traveled with his family to his native Peru to oversee operations on a school, Colegio 1270 San Juan Bautista, in the Huyacán district of Lima. Wensjoe’s dream was to improve education for the poor of Peru. In 2004, Wensjoe created the Peruvian Education Project (PEP), with the help of fellow UST faculty, students and friends. PEP seeks to provide better educational opportunities for students ages 12 to 17 years who show academic promise despite living in the most destitute shantytowns of Lima.
Wensjoe served on the UST faculty since 1994, and as the director of the Center for International Studies since 2005. Dr. Wensjoe received the St Thomas Aquinas Award for Excellence in Teaching. He held the Endowed Cullen Trust for Higher Education/Fayez Sarofim Chair in International Studies.
Leading one of the most popular majors on campus, Wensjoe revised the degree plan to meet the demands of the global market place and challenges of graduate/professional school. His dedication to the development of global citizens is evidenced by the expansion of the Study Abroad Program, which has received national recognition. He was one of the most highly respected professors in International Studies. Under his leadership, the Center sponsored numerous well-known speakers and dignitaries to come to campus to discuss important global issues with students, faculty, and staff.
He earned graduate degrees in economics and political science. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston. He was UST’s resident political economist, and his teaching responsibilities included courses in International Politics, International Political Economy and Latin America.
The University conducted a prayer service, in remembrance of Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe and his son, Julian, at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 26 in Jerabeck Center, 4000 Mt. Vernon.
A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on July 18, 2009 in Jerabeck Center, 4000 Mt. Vernon.