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NMSU assistant professor earns national recognition

Cristobal Rodriguez, an assistant professor in New Mexico State University's College of Education, has been recognized by the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) as a 2010 Faculty Fellow.


Faculty fellows must have demonstrated the ability to contribute to a defined area of scholarship and demonstrated the ability to contribute to the enhancement of Latinos in higher education.

"It's an honor because it speaks about my success and growing recognition on the national level and a responsibility to ensure I keep pushing and improving my scholarship and focusing on opportunities for student communities," Rodriguez said.

As a fellow, Rodriguez is provided the opportunity to be mentored by nationally recognized faculty, as well as the opportunity to mentor developing scholars in the AAHHE Graduate Student Fellows Program.

Rodriguez attended the AAHHE Annual Conference in Costa Mesa, Calif., last month as a component of the fellowship. He was teamed up with mentor Maricela Oliva, of the University of Texas at San Antonio, who is well known for her contributions in the field in social justice educational leadership.

The goals of AAHHE are to increase the number of Hispanic faculty in higher education, to bring issues relevant to Hispanics to the attention of the larger academic community and to recognize the accomplishments of Hispanics.

In 2009, Rodriguez was selected for the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Research Seminar in Educational Administration and Policy, and was later asked to serve as the associate director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) overseeing Graduate Student Development, while continuing to serve students and surrounding communities at NMSU.

In this capacity, Rodriguez provides leadership to UCEA in the area of graduate student development and directs two graduate student programs - the UCEA Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Program and the David L. Clark National Graduate Student Program.

The UCEA is an international consortium of prestigious research universities committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of children, schools and society. Through the Department of Educational Management and Development in the College of Education, NMSU is a participating institutional member.

"The consortium is made up of about 90 institutional members who collaborate to improve theory, research and practice of educational leadership," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez is president of La Academia Dolores Huerta Public Charter Middle School Governing Council, a dual-language school in Spanish and English in Las Cruces with an emphasis on multicultural education.

His research interests focus on education policy research in the borderland region, particularly how policies shape student experience.

"Border education policy requires a unique analysis," Rodriguez said. "The hope is to argue for better policy in the border region."

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in foreign languages with an emphasis in German and Spanish and a Master of Arts in education, both from New Mexico State University. He earned a doctorate in education policy and planning from University of Texas at Austin in 2009.