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
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
Milagros Castillo-Montoya is a first-generation scholar. She is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the Educational Leadership Department at the Neag School of Education in the University of Connecticut. She also serves as Assistant Director of Faculty Development at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and Affiliate Faculty with El Instituto and of the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative. Her research focuses on educational equity for first-generation college students, as well as racially minoritized students. Dr. Castillo-Montoya studies teaching and learning in racially and ethnically diverse college classrooms, particularly culturally relevant teaching in higher education. 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 Educational Research, Review of Higher Education, New Directions for Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education, Harvard Educational Review, among other outlets. Dr. Castillo-Montoya has 19 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 opportunity fund program advisor (a Trio program for first-generation low-income college students) at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Castillo-Montoya, M. (in press). The challenges and tensions in equity-minded teaching. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning.
Castillo-Montoya, M., & Ives, J. (forthcoming). A liberating education: Integrating funds of knowledge and disciplinary knowledge to create tools 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.
Ives, J., & Castillo-Montoya, M. (2020). First-generation students as academic learners: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research.
Castillo-Montoya, M. (2020). Learning assessment, evaluation, and research: “the wild card” in student affairs. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.
Castillo-Montoya, M., Abreu, J., Abad, A. (2019). Racially liberatory pedagogy: A Black Lives Matter approach to education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 32(9).
Castillo-Montoya, M. (2019). Professors’ strategies for teaching through diversity. Review of Higher Education, 42 (supplement), 199-226.
Martínez, A., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Bolitzer, L. A. (2019). Learning within teaching: Insights faculty gain from their interactions with students around subject matter. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 30(1), 5-26.
Abreu, J., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Kortz, K. (2019). Community college English instructors’ perceptions of learning and enacting culturally-sustaining teaching strategies. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 30(1), 27-50.
Rincón, B., & Castillo-Montoya, M. (2018). Teaching assessment in student affairs through service learning. Journal of Research & Practice in Assessment, 13, 39-50.
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 Education. 10.1080/15348431.2018.1480374
Castillo-Montoya, M. (2018). Rigor revisited: Scaffolding college student learning by incorporating their lived experiences. In C. Campbell (Ed.), New Directions for Higher Education, (2018) 181, 37-46. Medford, MA: Wiley.
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.
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).
Elton, W. G., Bennett, C. T., Nienhusser, K. H., Castillo-Montoya, M., & Dougherty, S. (2020, April 17). If you fund them, will they come? Examining the role of a graduate fellowship in Ph.D. applications and enrollment. Research paper to be presented at roundtable at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.
Castillo-Montoya, M., & Ives, J. (2020, April 18). Instructors’ Conceptions of Diverse Students’ Prior Knowledge and Related Teaching Practices. Research paper to be presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.
Castillo-Montoya, M., Ives, J., Robinson, A.*, Burgos-Lopez, L.* (2020, April 19). Diversifying the Professoriate: Analysis of Practices that Support Recruitment and Retention. Research paper to be presented at roundtable at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), San Francisco, CA.
Castillo-Montoya, M., & Ives, J., Kortz, K. (2019, November 15). Getting messy and teaching from the heart: How instructors shift their teaching conceptions and practices to teach through diversity. Research paper presented at roundtable at the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Portland, OR.
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 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. (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.
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 Emerging Scholars (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)
- UConn- Office of Vice Provost for Research – Scholarship Facilitation Fund (SFF)
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.
Recipient, Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award, Neag School of Education, 2020
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
Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Member (present), Program Committee (2016-2017), Committee member for Division J Student Travel Award (2013-2016)
American Educational Research Association (AERA), Member (present), Board Member-at-Large (2018-2020), Member of Diversity and Equity Committee for Division J (207-2018), Chair of Hispanic SIG Early Career Scholar Award (2013-2016)
American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Member, Emerging Scholar (2016-2018)
El Instituto: Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, Affiliate Faculty, and Advisory Board Member (2017-2018, 2019-20)
|Phone||860 486 3250|
|Mailing Address||249 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 3093 Storrs, CT 06269|
|Office Location||Gentry 240A|