VOLUME 13, NO. 2 NOVEMBER 2000
Ana Shephard de Mendez of Milaville, P.R., a former local coordinator for WPI's Puerto Rico Project Center, died in San Juan in December after a long illness. Known to all as Anita, she was the wife of Eduardo Mendez '67 and the mother of Eduardo Louis Mendez '95.
In 1991 she helped Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld, now director of academic programs and planning for WPI's Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division and director of the University's Costa Rica and Puerto Rico project centers, establish the center and served as its local coordinator until 1996.
A New Jersey native, Mendez earned a B.A. in economics at the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown in 1966 and a master's degree in economics at Catholic University in Ponce, P.R. For many years she was a professor of statistics at the Ponce and Bayamon campuses of the University of Puerto Rico. A landscape designer from 1982 to 1991, she was also a talented ceramist who crafted works for pleasure and for sale.
"In many ways, Anita was a pioneer," notes Vernon-Gerstenfeld. "She helped build the foundation for our project center in Puerto Rico by introducing WPI to project sponsors and by building links between the University and the local culture and services. In the process, she helped create the model for the local project center coordinator that WPI has since implemented in many other corners of the globe. She was a tireless ambassador for WPI and a good friend to many members of our community. She will be missed."
In addition to her husband and son, Mendez is survived by two daughters, Ana Mendez, wife of Rajeev Jayavant, and Maria Eugenia Mendez.
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