Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Group recently presented a Border Hero Award to Irma Montelongo, Ph.D., associate professor of practice with UTEP’s Chicano Studies Program, for her tireless efforts to assist immigrants.
The center praised Montelongo for her work as a teacher who enlightens and inspires her students in El Paso and around the world through online learning, and as a volunteer who organizes donation drives and advocates for immigration relief agencies.
“Through her work, she is mobilizing the next generation of informed and diligent individuals who will fight for human rights in the borderland and beyond,” read the event program.
The professor earned her Ph.D. in borderlands history from UTEP. Her fields of study include gender and sexuality, Latin American history, U.S. history with a concentration in immigration studies, and borderlands history with a concentration in race and ethnic studies.
Montelongo said she was honored to receive this recognition from Las Americas. She praised the organization for its “amazing” efforts to help immigrants in need, and called its membership kind, resilient and willing to stand up to adversity.
“I owe great thanks to my family, the Chicana/o Studies Program, and UTEP, which always supports my work on campus and in the community,” Montelongo said. “In particular, I am thankful for our students who inspire me on a daily basis. They are the reason I do what I do.”
Rev. Mark J. Seitz, DD, Bishop of El Paso, also received a Border Hero Award and Gabriela Castañeda, communications director for the Border Network for Human Rights, was given the 2018 Community Volunteer Recognition Award.
The recognition was part of the organization’s 31st annual Border Heroes Award Dinner held April 12 at Temple Mount Sinai, 4408 North Stanton.