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Photo of Dr. GonzalezDr. Laura Gonzalez, associate professor of education, has been named one of North Carolina Campus Compact’s 2019-20 Engaged Faculty Scholars (EFS).

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program provides a cash stipend, a travel budget, professional development, and other resources to allow the selected faculty members to carry out a project of their own design to promote engagement at their institution. The nominees also join a larger community of scholars doing community-engaged research and teaching, and act as consultants to other North Carolina colleges.

In the past, Gonzalez has performed research on college accessibility for young Latinx people with immigrant status or immigrant family, including a study with the Latino Community Coalition of Guilford to collect stories from young undocumented people, or those who hold a DACA protection status. The EFS nomination will allow her to further this work.

“Having this time and scholarly support will allow me to focus on bringing forth an idea that had been gestating for quite a while,” Gonzalez says.

She will create a guidebook for K-12 school staff to work directly with students of various immigration statuses. Each chapter of the book will begin with a personal story from a young adult who is undocumented or has DACA, and will then suggest advice and response to the challenges of immigrant students, pulling from best practices and the expertise of educators and advocates. With this project, she hopes to create a resource to help educate school-based personnel, who often don’t have the experience needed to guide immigrant youth through the unique challenges they face.

“I owe my deep gratitude to the seven young adults with varied immigration statuses who shared their stories of educational aspirations and challenges with me,” she says, “Their voices will be the heart of this guidebook.

The other Engaged Faculty Scholar is UNC Pembroke’s Dr. Scott Hicks, whose research will focus on faculty development in sustainability and service-learning.

 
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