Celebration of Diversity, Teamwork, and the Future! (AZ UCEDD)

May 25, 2017

On May 11, 2017, Northern Arizona University celebrated the accomplishments of the 2017 Hispanic, Latino and Chicano graduates at the 24th Annual Hispanic Convocation. Ms. Valeria Chase, bilingual specialist at the Institute for Human Development (IHD), served as member of the committee and put together a spectacular and energetic evening with distinguished guest, Mr. Claudio Sanchez, and a keynote address from Dr. Monica Brown who is a known for her bilingual children's books. Four student awards were presented and two of the earning students have spent several years working on bilingual research projects at the IHD. Dr. Meghan Moran, IHD research coordinator, presented the Gabriela Mistral Academic Achievement Award to Nicole Davison, who graduated with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs and Dr. Trina Spencer, IHD Research Director, presented the Outstanding Graduate Student Award to Maria Nelly Gutierrez Arvizu, who received her PhD in Applied Linguistics. A third student, Kaitlyn Roy, was also nominated for the Gabriela Mistral Academic Achievement Award and received the Commission on Disability Access and Design (CDAD) student award for outstanding leadership. Nicole and Maria Nelly have contributed their exceptional bilingual and teaching skills to Dr. Spencer's grant funded project to develop a dual language narrative curriculum (Puente de Cuentos) to promote the academic language of preschoolers attending Head Start. Kaitlyn has served as a language interventionist for a project at Puente de Hozho elementary school and as vice president of the student club NAU4All.

The IHD research team is exceptional in every way. They work hard; they work together; they advocate for educational opportunities for disadvantaged children; and they have accomplished a number of impressive goals. Kaitlyn, Nicole, Maria Nelly's awards are evidence of that. We congratulate them on their awards, accomplishments, and on their graduation!