Eva Mehl

August 27, 2019

If Eva Mehl’s career path hadn’t led her to UNCW, she might well have gone to work for the FBI.

Academia and a lifelong love of learning won out, however, and Mehl is making her mark as the associate director of the UNCW Honors College and as an associate professor of history, specializing in the history of Latin America and the Spanish Empire.

“I would love to have pursued a career with the FBI,” she said. “I believe in the principle of respecting and doing good unto others as you would have them do unto you, and I think this premise is absolutely relevant to both law enforcement and higher education.”

Her journey began in her birthplace, Columbus, Ohio, but when she was 3, the family moved to Spain, where her American father had fallen in love with both the country and Mehl’s mother, a Spanish native.

“Spain had effectively seduced my father, and after graduation he accepted a position on the Spanish Mediterranean coast,” she said. “I completed all my education in Alicante, including a Ph.D. in Early Modern European History.”

Mehl received a postdoctoral opportunity at the University of California, Davis and obtained a second Ph.D., in Latin American history. In 2011, she accepted a position in the UNCW Department of History and in 2017 became the undergraduate coordinator for the department. She assumed her role in the Honors College in May 2019.

“A very satisfying aspect of my appointment is the awareness that we are collectively building and refining something that has an immediate impact on students,” she said.

Mehl describes herself as disciplined, hardworking and passionate, both in her job and in her personal life.

“If I am not in my office, you will likely find me at the Student Recreation Center. I try to make it there four to five times a week for weightlifting and some cardio,” she said. She also enjoys reading books to her son, curling up with a good thriller novel, traveling and indulging in a guilty pleasure: action movies.

“It is not a secret to many on campus that the Jason Bourne movies are my favorite series,” Mehl said. “I watch them all every year in December, as a prelude to Christmas.”

-- Tricia Vance