Milagros Castillo-Montoya

Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs

Expertise: Equity-Based Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Equity-Based Faculty Development; Racially Minoritized Faculty Careers; First-Generation Academic Learners; Qualitative Research Methods

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



Milagros Castillo-Montoya is a first-generation scholar. She is an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs in the Educational Leadership Department at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. She also serves as a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and as a Faculty Affiliate with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), El Instituto, and the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative. Dr. Castillo-Montoya studies equity-based teaching and learning in racially and ethnically diverse college classrooms. Dr. Castillo-Montoya has published in the Journal of Higher Education, Review of Educational Research, Review of Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education, Harvard Educational Review, among other outlets. Dr. Castillo-Montoya has 20 years of professional experience in various areas of higher education including faculty work, higher education policy, academic affairs, and student affairs. 

Currently Funded Research:

Reconceptualizing College Teaching for Equitable Student Outcomes (in process): A Strategic Focus on Equity-Based Teaching and the Systemic Levers that Support Broad-Scale Change: Development of a policy playbook that is grounded in research and informed by a landscape analysis to advance systemic change to support equity-based teaching in higher education. This project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Diversifying the Professoriate (in process): A systematic literature review examining recruitment and retention policies and practices related to increasing faculty of color in the academy. The project is funded by the Research Excellence Program, Office for the Vice President of Research–the University of Connecticut.

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)


Faculty Fellow, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Connecticut (2020-21)

Recipient, Dr. Perry A. Zirkel Distinguished Teaching Award, Neag School of Education, 2020

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


Associate Editor, Review of Higher Education

Contact Information
Phone860 486 3250
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Rd., Unit 3093 Storrs, CT 06269
Office LocationGentry 240A