Paula Abitia and student

Paying it forward in Higher Ed: First cohort of Master’s in Higher Education students graduates this spring

May 7, 2019

Paula Abitia had always wanted to attend her “dream school,” CU Boulder, yet as a first-generation student of color, the reality of her dream included the struggle for a sense of belonging. She credits higher education professionals with helping her get through challenging times, and now she is paying it forward as a higher education professional and MA graduate.

Paty Abril-Gonzalez with her family and Bill and Connie Barclay at the 2018 Miramontes Scholars Celebration.

Meet Paty Abril-Gonzalez, a mentor for future bilingual teachers who continues the Miramontes legacy

May 3, 2019

How can we do this together in a nicer, kinder and more loving way? This key question guided 2019 Outstanding PhD Graduate Paty Abril-Gonzalez through her doctorate dissertation at CU Boulder and still guides her now in her teaching and research as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ben Erwin with the Safety Commission

Meet Ben Erwin, a policy analyst with a commitment to educational equity

May 1, 2019

As a former high school teacher and advocate for community empowerment, 2019 Outstanding MA Graduate Ben Erwin realized that he had a passion for the public policies that shape the educational field. “After my time in Mississippi in advocacy, I realized I wanted to pursue a career in education policy,” Erwin said. “My belief in education as a driver of social justice and opportunity continues to drive my passion for education.”

Kyle with her mentor teacher

Meet Kyle O’Keefe, a passionate teacher who believes in fun and fully inclusive classrooms

May 1, 2019

Kyle O’Keefe, 2019 CU Boulder School of Education Outstanding Elementary Education Graduate, believes that learning should be fun all the time. “Fun is a great equalizer in the classroom because it engages everyone in their learning,” O’Keefe said. “Even the most stubborn student can't resist joining in!”

Esmeralda teaching

Meet Esmeralda Castillo-Cobian, a passionate advocate and student of students

April 30, 2019

When Maya Angelou wrote the poem “Still I Rise,” she was speaking from her experience and validating the experiences of those who came before and after her. Her voice and sentiments are alive and well in Esmeralda Castillo-Cobian’s classroom. ith Angelou’s words still resonating in her ears, Castillo-Cobian is set to graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in ethnic studies and her secondary teacher licensure in English education from the School of Education.

Valeria Praga-Rodríguez

Meet Valeria Praga-Rodríguez, an inspiration to teachers, students and her family

April 29, 2019

It can be hard to see the distinctions between the many lives that Valeria Praga-Rodríguez lives as an educator, mother, advocate and learner. She is also setting a positive example for daughters, students and the countless educators she works with at Denver Public Schools.

Monica

Meet Mónica González Ybarra, 2018 Outstanding Doctoral Graduate

May 8, 2018

To her dismay, Mónica González Ybarra faced resistance and questioning about her readiness for college when she was a high school student. Now, González Ybarra incorporates her experiences and Latinx youth voices into her community work and research.

Brenda Ortiz Torres

Meet Brenda Ortiz Torres, 2018 Outstanding Elementary Education Graduate

May 5, 2018

Brenda Ortiz Torres has always wanted to change the world, and in finding her path to becoming a teacher, she believes she and her students can truly "be the change." Working with students is the reasons she is so hopeful for the future.

Tyler and parents

Meet Tyler LeCroy, 2018 Outstanding CU Teach Graduate

May 3, 2018

Known for his thoughtful insights and engaging lessons, Tyler LeCroy found his love for math and science when he started community college and then transferred to CU Boulder, soon driving a passion for education.

Alita Smith

Meet Alita Smith, 2018 Outstanding Secondary Humanities Graduate

May 3, 2018

With steady dedication to her studies and to her 6-year-old son, Alita Smith shows strength in every endeavor of hers. After two decades in the hospitality industry, Smith took the leap to pursue her lifelong dream of being an educator.

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