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Ileana Cortes-Santiago Named Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to August Holmes Scholar of the Month Ileana Cortes-Santiago of Purdue University (IN)!

Cortes-Santiago’s research interests include Latino/a family literacies and engagement, English language learning, multicultural education, and community-based research. Her commitment to being a change agent in the field of education is evident not only by her scholarship, but in practical application.

This past May, she spent 3 weeks in Nigeria collaborating and volunteering with a colleague and friend at Foresight Schools in Ikom, Cross River State. She developed, with Genevieve N. Aglazor from the University of Calabar (UNICAL), a comprehensive educational program for teachers, secondary students, and families. The program included professional development workshops and separate roundtable discussions for mainstream educators and parents while the roundtables for secondary students focused on multilingualism and national identity. Cortes-Santiago also completed multiple classroom visits to nursery, elementary, and secondary classrooms. In addition, she co-led a roundtable discussion on gender and leadership at the June 2016 meeting of the Obudu/Obanliko Women’s Organization at UNICAL.

Some of Cortes-Santiago’s local service work this year includes volunteering for Girl Scout Troop 3800 and at Hanna Community Center. She also serves as a peer educator for Purdue’s Center for Advocacy, Response, and Education, and she works with the social media group “Latino Parent Network of Lafayette” and its various community-based projects and partnerships with local libraries, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations.

In May, Cortes-Santiago published a book chapter in Recontextualized (2016, Sense Publishers) focused on employing a linguistic framework to integrate social justice conversations and English language learning into classroom practice. She also has an upcoming article on the experiences of Brown Women Teaching Assistants in Gender and Education (2016).

A review of her growing list of accomplishments indicates a conscientious approach to educational improvement. Her engagement on both a local and international scale appears to foreshadow the type of postdoctorate activity that will undoubtedly impact lives the world over. In short, she is an ideal honoree for Holmes Scholar of the Month.

If you would like to nominate a Holmes Scholar of the Month, contact me at terrance.mcneil@famu.edu. For more information about the AACTE Holmes Program, click here.

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Terrance McNeil

Holmes Scholar, Florida A&M University.