Since coming to ABAC in 2016, Lucia Ona Ruales has done many things. Ona was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She attended high school and earned her bachelor’s degree there. Ona earned her B.A. in economics from the Catholic University of Ecuador in 1994. At the University of Kentucky, she earned an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Commerce, M.S. in Economics and finally a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics.
Shortly after earning her Ph.D. Ona worked as an adviser for the ministry of Agriculture in Quito. While working as an adviser, she taught microeconomics at Broward College Ecuador and Universidad de Los Hemisferios in Quito as well. Ona has also worked as a professor at the Institute of Higher National Studies and as a research associate and post-doctorate scholar at the University of Kentucky.
Ona was first invited to ABAC’s campus in April 2016. Her first-semester teaching at ABAC was in the fall of 2016. She taught ag. marketing and applied economics. Since then Ona has had one of the heaviest workloads out of most professors on campus with having taught well over 1200 students in only three years. “On average I have 190 students per semester.”
Recently, Ona took students on a study abroad trip to Argentina as part of the Global Experiential Learning Class. The students spent the entirety of spring break touring various farming and agricultural locations in Argentina. Her favorite part of the study abroad trip was seeing how much the students learned.
When asked why she came to ABAC, Ona said it was because she loved to teach. Her advice for students is to keep trying. “Even if you fail you need to continue. You will find obstacles, but don’t be discouraged. It’s all about trying.” Ona said it’s all about effort and students are able to learn whatever they put their minds to. “If you want to learn, make a big effort on your own.” Ona also stressed the importance of taking advantage of technology.
In her free time, Ona likes to spend time with her two daughters (aged 9 and 10) and her dog. She said she likes going to the beach and going on trips to Tennessee and Kentucky. She also enjoys visiting Argentina with her daughters whenever they can.