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Fuentes Earns the AAHHE Mildred GarcĂ­a Founders' Award

American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education has announced its 2024 AAHHE Mildred Garcia Founders' Award recipient, Dr. David A. Fuentes.

The award — named after former American Association of State Colleges and Universities president, Dr. Mildred García — honors exemplar commitment to advancing access and success of the Latinx population in higher education.

Dr. David FuentesDr. David FuentesFuentes is associate dean in the College of Education at William Paterson University, where he began his career in higher education as an assistant professor of teacher education in 2012. He serves as co-director of the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Fuentes investigates educator experiences, including the experiences of educators of color in K-12 schools and in higher education settings. His current research focuses on high-needs school communities and understanding issues of equity as they relate to the function, purpose, and outcomes of public education.

The youngest of seven children and born into a family of educators, he continues a legacy in pursuit of equity in public education that was began by parents, Luis and Dora Fuentes. His father was the first Puerto Rican Superintendent in the Lower East Side of Manhattan (1968-1973) having implemented some of first bilingual programs in the U.S. His mother served as principal in Holyoke, Massachusetts, a community represented by almost 50% Latinos.

Fuentes holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and a master’s in multicultural and bilingual from The University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the Pennsylvania State University.

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