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Highlights & News

AMY-KATRYN-ANDREAThree ELP people win awards at the 2017 Regional NASPA!

Congratulations to Kathryn Coquemont (Doctoral candidate) for Outstanding Mid-Level Professional, Andrea Salcedo (Higher Ed Masters Student) for Undergraduate Rising Star, and Amy Bergerson, Professor, for Fred Turner Outstanding Service to NASPA. Click here for more>>

Liliana Castrellano - Judith Perez-torresLiliana Castrellón, ELP doctoral candidate, and Dr. Judith Perez-Torres, ELP alumnus, recently published a chapter in the book, "Culturally Engaging Service-Learning with Diverse Communities". The title of their chapter is "I see myself in them: Understanding racialized educational experiences of students of color through critical race service-learning".  The book provides scholarly research on service-learning models that deconstruct systemic social injustices within historically marginalized communities.  For more information on the book, click here >> 


ELP graduate, Alonso Reyna Rivarola, had his article, "Undocumented" Ways of Navigating Complex Sociopolitical Realities in Higher Education: A Critical Race Counterstory, published in the Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher education and Student Affairs. For more on his article which was based on his master capstone, click HERE>>

Erin CastroAssistant Professor Erin Castro was featured in a Harvard EdCast, The intersection of education and incarceration. Dr. Castro engaged one of her incarcerated students, Michael Brawn, in a dialogue exploring the challenges of educating a population within the constraints of a carceral system. 
"Michael Brawn, my coauthor, is a student in the Education Justice Project (EJP), a model college-in-prison program affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has extensive experience with critical pedagogy, as he outlines in our article in the Spring issue of the Harvard Educational Review, because many of his instructors—including me—attempt to engage the spirit of critical pedagogy in the prison classroom. His criticism of emancipatory authority, a key tenet of critical pedagogy, served as an impetus for our collaboration." An excerpt from The Blog of Harvard Educarion Publishing.

Irene YoonAssistant Professor Irene Yoon spoke with The Voice about her 2016 article in Teachers College Record, “Trading Stories: Middle-Class White Women Teachers and the Creation of Collective Narratives about Students and Families in a Diverse Elementary School.”(It is currently on the TCR website, and is also available here.) The Voice posts video-based dialogues of researchers talking about their studies, with a platform for commenting and asking questions about the video. Dr. Yoon has commented a bit in response to questions, if you would like to engage with her about the study!

Alonso RivarolaELP graduate, Alonso Reyna Rivarola, and ELP Masters Student, Brianda De Leon, were featured in the Salt Lake Tribune’s article titled, “Dreamers celebrate five years of DACA as its fate looms”. Reyna Rivarola is the director of the newly founded Dream Center at the U and De Leon is the first graduate assistant attributed to the center. Student advocacy along with faculty and staff support called for the university to pay attention to the needs of undocumented students and their families. Thus, the Dream Center was created. The Dream Center is critical in today’s political climate as we approach the decisions of September 5th, 2017 which will determine the future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), the 2012 executive order which provides a two-year relief from deportation and access to a temporary work permit. Read More >>

Feng WeiDr. Feng Wei, ELP’s Visiting Professor from Nanjing Normal University, China, was awarded the 2017 National Social Science Funding of China, one of the highest levels of academic funding in the national social science research. His project is a case study about compulsory education governance in rural China. In addition, the second edition of his book, Elasticity and Toughness, has been published by Shanghai Joint Publishing Press. The book was an ethnographic study that analyzed the relationship between educational policy and rural culture, based on many rural teachers’ life histories that were influenced by educational policy in one county in China from 1950s to 1990s. Read an excerpt from his October. 3, 2017 presentation on Understanding the Roles of Local Educational Departments in School improvements in China

Deneece HuftalinELP graduate, Dr. Deneece Huftalin receives the 2017 Athena Leadership Award at the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon. Read more >>


The Student Affairs Recognition Awards recognize exemplary work in the Division of Student Affairs at Salt Lake Community College. This year, Sean Crossland, PhD. student In ELP, received the Leadership Award to recognize his sustained leadership in the Thayne Center for Service & Learning. The award recognizes Sean’s commitment to staff development consistent with the mission of values of Salt Lake Community College, innovative development of student leadership, and leading by example to create an inclusive and civil environment conducive to student success.


Gerardo Lopez, and Laurence Parker each published a chapter in Critical Approaches to Education Policy Analysis: Moving Beyond Tradition  (Young & Diem, Eds., 2017). The book is published by Springer Press. Lopez’s co-authored chapter is titled "When Parents Behave Badly: A Critical Policy Analysis of Parent Involvement in Schools.” Parker’s co-authored chapter is titled "Silent Covenants in the Neoliberal Era: Critical Race Counternarratives on African American Advocacy Leadership in Schools.” 

Wanda Pillow, faculty member in the department of Education, Culture, and Society, also has a chapter in this same book titled "Policy Studies Debt: A Feminist Call to Expand Policy Studies Theory.”

Maria Ledesma2017 AERA Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award

Congratulations to MarÍa Ledesma, ELP Assistant Professor! The Committee on Scholars of Color in Education Awards recognize scholars in various stages in their careers who have contributed significantly to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations, and minority scholars who have made a significant contribution to education research and development.

Erin CastroEarly Career Teaching Award

Please join us in congratulating Erin Castro, ELP Assistant Professor, on receiving the University’s Early Career Teaching Award!  The Early Career Teaching Award is given to outstanding young faculty members who have made significant contributions to teaching at the University of Utah. Dr. Castro's award came with commendations for her tremendous work both in the classroom with groups of students, and individually with students who benefit from her caring approach to the challenge and support that are key to the learning process.

Paula SmithNew Policy Brief

Co-authored by Paula Smith, ELP Professor

Smith, P. , Larson, J., & Scott, T. B. (2017). High quality early childhood education: Good for children, good for the economy. National Prevention Science Coalition–Translating Prevention Science for Policy and Practice.


ELP & ECS students as co-authors in new book chapter on legacy of Derrick Bell

Larry ParkerAna Carollina Antunes, Rosie Connor, Kathryn K. Coquemont, Kehaulani Folau, Allison Martin & Laura Tood are all co-authors with Dr. Laurence Parker of a book chapter entitled The Utility of the Space Traders and its variations as critical race theory teachable moments in the edited book Covenant Keeper: Derrick Bell's enduring education legacy (2016) edited by Gloria Ladson Billings & William F. Tate (published by Peter Lang). The book highlights the importance of Derrick Bell's legal scholarship and activism as one of the founders of critical race theory and the chapters profile different parts of his legacy as they apply to education contexts. Read more about this chapter >>

Last Updated: 10/18/17