NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




NMSU doctoral student named Carlos J. Vallejo Research Fellow

New Mexico State University doctoral student Mia Sosa-Provencio has been named a Carlos J. Vallejo Research Fellow for Latinos/as in Education by the American Educational Research Association Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Special Interest Group.


This is a head and shoulders photo of Mia Sosa-Provencio.
New Mexico State University doctoral student Mia Sosa-Provencio has been named a Carlos J. Vallejo Research Fellow for Latinos/as in Education by the American Educational Research Association Multicultural/Multiethnic Education Special Interest Group. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

Sosa-Provencio, a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction Department of the College of Education, is a native of Las Cruces.

The purpose of the Carlos J. Vallejos Research Fellowship is to bring together scholars of color, especially Latinos, to network and build a community of scholars. Vallejos, now deceased, was a diversity education researcher at Arizona State University, and wanted to bring young scholars together with more established scholars to create bridges between the two, fostering mentorship, academic support and professional connections. The fellowship was created in his honor.

Sosa-Provencio's research interest stems from her experiences living and going to school along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"My research focus is working with Mexican-American female educators in secondary education and trying to understand the things they do, especially when we're teaching Mexican-American students or students of Latino descent, based on our cultural understanding and based on our own history of coming from a language minority and oppressed, educationally underserved background," she said. "I'm going to be working with educators who come from some of the same communities as the students they teach. I want to understand what is a model of teaching that serves those kids from a culturally responsive perspective."

Sosa-Provencio's research focus led her dissertation chair, Heather Oesterrich, to recommend that she apply to the one-year fellowship program.

The fellows, who also included Sabrina Sanchez-Zamora from the NMSU Graduate School, participated in workshops with established faculty and published scholars of color at the American Educational Research Association conference held in San Francisco April 27-May 1. The 30 scholars were from different universities across the country, representing various aspects of education - quantitative research, qualitative research, and those examining issues from K-20, especially within issues of social justice in education and how that impacts Latinos.

"The fellowship connects us to a national community of scholars," Sosa-Provencio said. "I got to work with people like Eugene Garcia, who is doing tremendous work in looking at Mexican-American and Latino populations in regards to educational marginalization, overrepresentation in dropout statistics and the criminal justice system, or those who are simply not meeting the same academic levels as their white and middle-class peers. To be able to be in a room with Eugene Garcia, learning to understand some of the challenges and some of the resources available to us as Latino scholars, and understanding this legacy that has come before us, was an invaluable experience."