Dr. Dean Franco was awarded an honorary PBK membership by The Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at Wake Forest University in April 2019. With a BA from UC Irvine, a MA from California State University, Long Beach, and a PhD from University of Southern California, Dr. Dean Franco now holds a double appointment as Wake Forest Professor of Literature and Director of the Wake Forest Humanities Institute.

Since joining Wake Forest in 2001, he has introduced new courses into the curriculum, including Studies in Chicana/o Literature and Multiethnic American Writers, and he has taught courses on comparative race studies, human rights and literature, literature and theory, and first year seminars on secularity and religion, and uncertainty. Dean served two terms as the English department co-chair, and he was the founding director of the Jewish Studies minor. In 2010, Dean was among three faculty who co-founded the Humanities Institute.