With three university brochures in hand, then-16-year-old Adriana Alvarez went to her high school guidance counselor's office eager to discuss options for college. To her dismay, the counselor suggested she explore options for vocational school instead of applying to college. Alvarez, a teacher for 11 years, a doctoral alumna and former Miramontes Scholar, is now at the CU Denver School of Education and Human Development. Throughout her teaching, she has dedicated her work to bilingual and culturally diverse students and families.

Miramontes Scholar Celebration

Created a decade ago, the Miramontes Doctoral Scholars program offers fellowship funding and a supportive, family-like cohort for doctoral students and graduates like Alvarez. The program was created by Bill and Connie Barclay, and it was named in honor of his late wife, Ofelia Miramontes, a beloved education professor and CU Boulder’s first associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity.

“The Miramontes fellowship has given me the life-changing opportunity of holding on and achieving a dream beyond what I could have ever imagined,” Alvarez said. “I will be forever grateful to Bill and Connie, and I will strive to convey and portray the Miramontes mission and the legacy that Professor Miramontes left.”

Miramontes Scholars and Graduates—Where are they now?

  • Magda Chia, director for strategy, impact and policy at Understanding Language/Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity in the Stanford Graduate School of Education
  • Christina Paguyo, director of academic assessment at the Office of Teaching and Learning at University of Denver
  • Hannah Jones, academic initiatives coordinator at CU Boulder
  • Elizabeth Mendoza, postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine
  • Vincent Basile, assistant professor in the School of Education at Colorado State University
  • Ruth López, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston
  • Edilberto Cano-Rodríguez, assistant principal at Columbine Elementary, Boulder, Colorado
  • Jaclyn Hernandez, assistant professor of Multicultural Education and Critical Pedagogy at Western Oregon University
  • Karla Del Rosal, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning of Southern Methodist University
  • Michael Domínguez, assistant professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University
  • Sam Severance, postdoctoral research associate at the College of Education at Michigan State University
  • Jessica Alzen, research associate at the CU Boulder Center for Assessment, Design, Research and Evaluation (CADRE)
  • Adriana Alvarez, assistant professor in bilingual/bicultural education at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Vanessa Santiago Schwarz, postdoctoral research position at CU Boulder
  • Paty Abril-Gonzalez, assistant professor in bilingual/bicultural education at the University of Texas at Austin

Current scholars: Ana Contreras, Derek LeFebre, José Ortiz, Jennifer Pacheco, Joshua Prudhomme, Robbin Riedy, Maria Ruiz Martinez, Christopher Saldaña, Ashley Scroggins, Elizabeth Silva and Cecilia Valenzuela.

Photo caption: Current and past Miramontes Doctoral Scholars with BIll and Connie Barclay at the 2018 Miramontes Scholars Celebration.

Supporting students 

These fellowships have had a huge impact on students and alumni, but we have a long way to go in supporting all students. Contribute to student scholarships and learn about other areas of highest need at colorado.edu/education/give.