Spanish and Humanities Instructor
Dr. Méndez-Ortiz grew up between the US and México, and she received her PhD in Education (with an emphasis on educational equity, bilingualism, and biliteracy) from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her teaching focuses on second-language acquisition along with the history of Latin American and Latinx culture, minority social movements, and community engagement outside the virtual learning environment.
Her research explores the intersections of race, ethnicity, and cultural practice in education. She is particularly interested in forms of learning within family and community contexts, Latinx and indigenous cultures and identities, and the links between art, literature, and activism.
Dr. Méndez-Ortiz has dedicated her life and career to raising awareness about issues affecting Latinx communities. This work stems from her own experiences with xenophobia and racism, as well as from the struggles faced by undocumented immigrants in her community. In her professional and academic work in education, she has strived to raise awareness of family- and community-based funds of knowledge in Latinx immigrant communities. Beyond this, she has sought to underscore the importance of nourishing and supporting strong ethnic and linguistic identities in Latinx children and youth, even as we foster the conditions for high academic achievement.
Outside of the classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family, photography, long-distance running, reading, and traveling.