Rosalie Rolon-Dow, assistant professor of education at the University of Delaware, has received a prestigious and highly competitive Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship for next year. A graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, Rolon-Dow has a master’s degree and doctorate from Temple University. She joined the UD faculty in 2002.
“I am very excited to receive this fellowship. It will provide a wonderful opportunity for me to continue my postdoctoral research on the educational experiences of young Latino students and how they are shaped by linguistic and cultural factors in schools,” Rolon-Dow said. “I am also looking forward to the Ford Foundation Fellows Conference when all the fellows gather, discuss and present our research and network.”
Rolon-Dow’s home base will be the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras and Humacao. Rolon-Dow herself came to the U.S. from Puerto Rico when she was 12. She taught in a bilingual Philadelphia public school and has personal experience in the education system as a student and teacher.
“The University of Puerto Rico has a special program for Latino students who have successfully completed high school in the United States to attend the University of Puerto Rico,” she said.
“The group will be approximately 75 students, and I will observe them in class and on campus, have focus groups and interview them about their past experiences in high school in the U.S. and also how they learn and interact in Puerto Rico where most of them have their roots,” Rolon-Dow said.
“In general, U.S. schools have not served Latinos well, and their culture and language have been marginalized. I am interested in how and why these students were successful and what factors influenced and helped them, as well as their present experiences at the University of Puerto Rico,” Rolon-Dow said.
The goal of the Ford Foundation Fellowship is to increase faculty diversity in academia and to encourage the use of diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Only 20 of the fellowships are awarded each year.
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