Milagros Castillo-Montoya

Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs

Expertise: Teaching Diverse College Students; College student learning, Equity in Higher Education; Qualitative Research Methods

Department of Educational Leadership


Academic Degrees:

Doctor of Education in Organization and Leadership, Higher and Postsecondary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Master of Social Work in Administration, Policy, and Planning, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

 

Social Networking:

Twitter: @DrMontoya2

LinkedIn

 

Biography:

Milagros Castillo-Montoya is an assistant professor of higher education and student affairs in the Educational Leadership Department at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on educational equity for historically underserved college students. Dr. Castillo-Montoya primarily studies teaching and learning in racially and ethnically diverse college classrooms. She has a particular interest in the learning and development that first-generation Black and Latinx students may experience during their undergraduate years. She also focuses on the culturally relevant teaching practices that support the learning of racially and ethnically diverse college students. Dr. Castillo-Montoya’s scholarly work led her to be selected as an ACPA Emerging Scholar.

Dr. Castillo-Montoya has published in the Review of Higher Education, New Directions for Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education, Harvard Educational Review, among other outlets. Prior to joining the Neag faculty, she served as an instructor of research methods in education for Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Castillo-Montoya has 17 years of professional experience in various areas of higher education including faculty work, higher education policy, academic affairs, and student affairs. She began her career as an educational fund program advisor (a program for first-generation low-income college students this one of the federal Trio programs) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She later worked as an assistant director and manager of student life at Columbia Business School. Dr. Castillo-Montoya holds a B.A. and M.S.W. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and an Ed.D. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

 

Selected Publications:

Martínez, A., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Bolitzer, L. A. (forthcoming). Learning within teaching: Insights faculty gain from their interactions with students around subject matter. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching.

Abreu, J., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Kortz, K. (forthcoming). Community college English instructors’ perceptions of learning and enacting culturally-sustaining teaching strategies. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching.

Rincón, B., & Castillo-Montoya, M. (forthcoming). Teaching assessment in student affairs through service learning. Journal of Research & Practice in Assessment.

Haynes Davison, C., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Hailu, M. (Eds.) (forthcoming). Resistance, Black Liberation, and the Struggle for Racial Justice: Exploring the Implications of #BlackLivesMatter on Postsecondary Research, Policy and Praxis [special issue]. International Journal of Qualitative Research in Education. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Ives, J. (forthcoming). Teaching Academic Content as a Tool for Students’ Lives. In K.C. Culver & T. L. Trolian (Eds.), New Directions for Teaching and Learning: Effective Instruction in College Classrooms: Research-Based Approaches to College and University Teaching. Medford, MA: Wiley.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (forthcoming). Professors’ strategies for teaching through diversity. Review of Higher Education.

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Reyes, D. (2018). Learning Latinidad: The Role of a Latino Cultural Center Service-Learning Course in College Students’ Latino Identity Inquiry and Sociopolitical Capacity.  Journal of Latinos and EducationDOI: 10.1080/15348431.2018.1480374

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2018). Rigor revisited: Scaffolding college student learning by incorporating their lived experiences. New Directions for Higher Education, (2018) 181, 37-46.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2017). Deepening understanding of prior knowledge: What diverse first-generation college students in the U.S. can teach us. Teaching in Higher Education, 22(5), 587-603.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016). Interview Protocol Refinement Method: A Four-Phase Process for Systematically Developing Research Interviews. Qualitative Report, 21(5), 811-831.

Bolitzer, L. A., Castillo-Montoya, M. & Williams, L. (2016). Pursuing equity through diversity: Perspectives and propositions for teaching and learning in higher education. In F. Tuitt, C. Haynes, & S. Stewart (Eds.), Race, Equity, and the Learning Environment: The Global Relevance of Critical and Inclusive Pedagogies in Higher Education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Castillo-Montoya, M. & Torres-Guzmán, M. (2012). Thriving in Our Identity and in the Academy: Latina Epistemology as a Core Resource. Harvard Educational Review, 82(4), 540-558.

Neumann, A., Castillo, M., & Bolitzer, L.A. (2012). Culturally Anchored Liberal Education. In J.A. Banks (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (pp. 536-541). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2012). Cubans in New Jersey: Migrants Tell Their Stories. Newark, NJ: Newark Public Library.

Felder, P. & Castillo, M. (Winter 2011). A Commentary About Black and Latino Doctoral Student Experience in the United States. Academic Leadership, 9(1).

Selected Presentations:

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Taylor, K. (2018, November). Seeing the links between educational practices and learning in higher education: The benefits of multifaceted classroom observations. Scholarly paper to be presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Tampa, FL.

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Ives, J.* (2018, April). First-generation College Students as Learners. Research paper presented as a Division J- Vice Presidential Session at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, NY.

Castillo-Montoya, M., Abreu, J., & Abad, A. (2017, November). Black Lives Matter’s Contributions to Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Research paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Houston, TX.

Castillo-Montoya, M., Abreu, J., & Kortz, K. (2017, May). Community college English instructors’ perceptions on learning and enacting culturally-sustaining teaching methods. Research paper presented at roundtable session at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Abreu, J. (2017, April). What a Discourse Analysis of the Black Lives Matter Movement Can Tell Us About Teaching at Predominately White Institutions. Research paper presented in Making Black Lives Matter: Transforming Pedagogy and Curriculum at Traditionally White Institutions Symposium at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016, November). Developing Students’ Sociopolitical Capacity: An Essential Learning Outcome for Racially Diverse First-Generation College Students. Research paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio.

Castillo-Montoya, M.(2016, November). Reframing rigor as inclusive of diverse students’ lived experiences. Research paper presented at symposium (Rigor Revisited: Reframing notions of rigor by building scaffolding for equity and student success) at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016, April). What you get depends on what you ask: Systematically developing interview protocols. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Bensimon, E. M., Castillo-Montoya, M., Castro, E. L., & Dowd, A. C. (2016, April). Centering race and racism through action inquiry in graduate education. Chaired professional development workshop presented at American Education Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016, April). What you get depends on what you ask: Systematically developing interview protocols. Research paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Castillo-Montoya, M., & Rincón, B. (2016, March). Assessment, evaluation, and research: “the wild card” in student affairs. Research paper presented at College Student Educators International (ACPA) Annual Conference, Montreal, CA.

Rincón, B., & Castillo-Montoya, M. (2016, March). Teaching assessment through service learning. Research paper presented at College Student Educators International (ACPA) Annual Conference, Montreal, CA.

Malenfant , M., Harney, C., Hershberger, N., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Rincón, B. (2016, March). Making a Case for Assessment: Learning through Authentic Situations. Program presented at College Student Educators International (ACPA) Annual Conference, Montreal, CA.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2014, November). Teaching toward learning: Practices in diverse classrooms that help first-generation college students connect their learning of subject matter to their own lives and the lives of others. Research paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.

Bolitzer, L.A., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Leslie, W. (2013, April). The intersectionality of learning: Reconceptualizing diversity for teaching and learning in higher education. Research paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2012, November). What students already know matters: Prior knowledge as a starting point for learning. Research paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Castillo-Montoya, M. (2012, November). New words for old thoughts: The connections first-generation African American and Latino students make between their lived experiences and conceptual ideas. Paper presented at roundtable, Reconceptualizing Cultural Capital: Students’ of Color Lived Experiences as a Resource for Their Learning and Development in College at Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Magee, F., Martínez, A., Bolitzer, L., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Neumann, A. (2012, November). Classroom-based Learning for Faculty: What Professors Learn from their Students about Teaching. Research paper presented at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV.

Castillo, M., & Torres-Guzman, M. (2012, April). Thriving in Our Identity and in the Academy: Latino/a Epistemology as a Resource for Research. Research paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Castillo, M. (2011, November). Equity Within the College Classroom: An Analysis of Theories and Concepts for Maximizing Learning Opportunities for Students of Color. Research paper presented at Council for Ethnic Participation Pre-Conference at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Charlotte, NC.

Neumann, A., Castillo, M. & Bolitzer, L. (2010, May). Matters of Meaning: Toward a Culturally Relevant Liberal Education for Our Times. Research paper presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.

Felder, P., & Castillo, M. (2008, April). Silent Gestures: Interpretations of Black and Latino Doctoral Experiences. Roundtable paper presented at American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, NY, NY.

 

Currently Funded Research:

Teaching Through Diversity Project (in process)
Research on the professional development of faculty who engage in a networked improvement community (NIC)–a type of community of practice–to enhance their understanding and skills around teaching through diversity in their classrooms. Dr. Castillo-Montoya serves as principal investigator for this research. The project is funded by:

  • CT- NASA Space Grant (2018)
  • ACPA-College Student Educators International (2016-2018)
  • Neag School of Education (Dean’s Research Incentive Grant)
  • UConn College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dean’s Office, Fund for Interdisciplinary Research (FIRE)

 

Previously Funded Research:

Rincón, B., & Castillo-Montoya, M. White House Collaborative on Equity in Research on Women and Girls of Color Study Title: Examining Race Dialogues as a Tool for Mitigating Racial Climate for Women of Color in STEM.

Castillo-Montoya, M., Evanovich, J., Rincón, B., Farley, & M., McGarry, J. Public Discourse Project, University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. Study Title: Asset Assessment, Campus Collaboration, and Facilitator Professional Development for Intergroup Dialogue.

University of Connecticut, Office of the Vice President for Research, Scholarship Facilitation Fund, February 2015-February 2016. Principal Investigator for study: Higher Education and Student Affairs Administrators’ Learning of Assessment, Evaluation and Research.

 

Honors/Awards:

Nominee, University of Connecticut Innovation in Teaching Award, 2018

Emerging Scholar, ACPA (College Student Educators International), 2016-2018.

Faculty of the Year, Honorable Mention, Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), UConn, 2015

Emerging Scholar, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Higher Education (Division J), 2014

K. Patricia Cross Future Leader, American Colleges and Universities (AACU), 2013

Graduate Student Travel Awardee, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), 2012

Emerging Scholar Travel Awardee, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Higher Education (Division J), 2010

Associations/Committees/Outreach:

Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Member, Program Committee (2016-2017), Committee member for Division J Student Travel Award (2013-2016)

American Educational Research Association (AERA), Member, Chair of Hispanic SIG Early Career Scholar Award (2013-2016)

American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Member

Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), Member

El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, Affiliate Faculty and Advisory Board Member 2017-2018

Contact Information
Emailmilagros.castillo-montoya@uconn.edu
Phone860 486 3250
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 3093 Storrs, CT 06269
Office LocationGentry 240A