Noted multicultural scholar Sonia Nieto to speak at conference Feb.16th

Noted multicultural scholar Sonia Nieto to speak at ‘School Counselors as Advocates for Latino Students’ conference Feb. 16

Athens, Ga. – Sonia Nieto, one of the nation’s most recognized scholars in multicultural and bilingual education, will be the keynote speaker at a one-day conference titled, “Schools Counselors as Advocates for Latino Students,” on Friday, Feb. 16 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel.

Nieto, professor emerita of language, literacy and culture in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will deliver a keynote address titled, “Counseling Latino Students: Lessons from the Field.” Nieto’s research focuses on curriculum reform, teacher education, Puerto Rican children’s literature and the education of Latinos, immigrants and other culturally and linguistically diverse student populations.

She has written numerous book chapters and articles on these themes, and her articles have appeared in such journals as Educational Leadership, The New Educator, The Harvard Educational Review, and Multicultural Education.

Nieto’s first book, Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education (1992), soon to be in its fifth edition (2008), is used widely in multicultural education and professional development courses. Other books include The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities (1999) and What Keeps Teachers Going? (2003), both from Teachers College Press. Edited books include Puerto Rican Students in U.S. Schools (Erlbaum, 2000) and Why We Teach (Teachers College Press, 2005).

She has received many awards for her research and advocacy, including the Human and Civil Rights Award from the Massachusetts Teachers Association (1989); the Teacher of the Year Award from the Hispanic Educators Association of Massachusetts (1996); the Educator of the Year Award from NAME, the National Association for Multicultural Education (1997); the Excellence in Education Award from Boricua College; the 2003 Críticas Journal Hall of Fame Spanish-Language Community Advocate of the Year Award; the 2005 Outstanding Educator from the National Council of Teachers of English and, most recently, the 2006 Enrique T. Trueba Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship, Mentorship, and Service, as well as two awards from the American Educational Research Association (AERA) at the 2006 annual meeting: the Distinguished Career Award from the Committee on Scholars of Color in Education, and the Senior Scholar Award for Research on the Social Context of Education from Division G.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nieto attended the New York City public schools and, later, St. John’s University, where she received a B.S. in elementary education. She then attended the New York University Graduate Program in Spain where she was awarded an M.A. in Spanish and Hispanic Literature. A junior high school teacher of English and Spanish in Ocean Hill Brownsville, Brooklyn, she then became a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 25 in the Bronx, the first completely bilingual school in the Northeast and one of the first in the country to be funded by the new Title VII Program. Her first position in higher education was as an instructor in the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College, where she worked in a joint program with the School of Education in bilingual education. She received her Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts, with specializations in curriculum studies and multicultural and bilingual education.

Pedro Portes, The Goizueta Distinguished Chair in Latino Teacher Education and executive director of UGA’s Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education (CLASE) will deliver a luncheon address titled, “What Counselors Need to Know About Success for Latino Students.”

The conference will also include a panel of counselors and several breakout sessions on such topics as Steps to College – Gwinnett Program and its Implications for Counseling English Language Learners, Music Therapy with English as a Second Language (ESOL) Students, Therapy with Latino Students, Understanding New ESOL Program Models for English Learners, Lost in Translation: Clarke County Teachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, Transitioning Hispanic Seniors from High School to College, CLASE Ethnic Identity Development, Connectedness from the Start and Applied Latino Student Program.

The conference is co-sponsored by CLASE and the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services in UGA’s College of Education. Registration cost is $70. Deadline for registration is Feb. 2.

Conference registration details and a registration form are available at http://www.coe.uga.edu/clase/.