• June 20, 2021
 UTEP duo honored by CUNY Unit for aid during COVID-19

Two faculty members from The University of Texas at El Paso’s Chicano Studies program — Josefina “Josie” Carmona, Ph.D., left, adjunct professor, and Irma Montelongo, Ph.D., associate professor of practice and online program coordinator — recently won the 2021 Award of Distinction from the City University of New York’s (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice Latin American and Latinx Studies Department.

UTEP duo honored by CUNY Unit for aid during COVID-19

Two faculty members from The University of Texas at El Paso’s Chicano Studies program recently won the 2021 Award of Distinction from the City University of New York’s (CUNY) John Jay College of Criminal Justice Latin American and Latinx Studies Department.

A unit representative will present the award virtually to Josefina “Josie” Carmona, Ph.D., adjunct professor, and Irma Montelongo, Ph.D., associate professor of practice and online program coordinator, during the unit’s annual year-end undergraduate celebration that starts at 4 p.m. (MT) Monday, May 10, 2021.

José Luis Morín, J.D., professor and chair of CUNY’s Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies, said his faculty members unanimously selected Carmona and Montelongo because of their efforts, commitment and contributions to the department’s Hispanic Serving While Online (HSWO) training and research project during the pandemic.

Montelongo and Carmona, a former assistant dean in UTEP’s Extended University, used their extensive experience in online teaching and learning to train Morín and members of his faculty during the summer of 2020 as part of a grant project. The instruction included how to teach and learn virtually, to construct course shells, and to develop learning assessments geared mostly toward first-generation Latinx college students.

“At a time when New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, your support and collaboration was invaluable,” he wrote to the two UTEP instructors in his announcement email. “Our collaboration on HSWO is another example of what can be achieved when sister HSIs (Hispanic Serving Institutions) work together.”

UTEP and the John Jay College are part of the Inter-University Program for Latino Research, and Montelongo has collaborated with its faculty for more than 10 years.

Dennis Bixler-Marquez, Ph.D., director of UTEP’s Chicano Studies program, lauded his instructors for their efforts and the recognition by their New York peers.

“I congratulate Irma and Josie,” Bixler-Marquez said. “This is a great recognition by an affiliated sister institution.”

Montelongo said that she and Carmona were pleased with their accomplishment. They showed the CUNY department how to create a portfolio of online courses that launched in fall 2020. Campus peers praised lauded the courses that allowed the continuation of instruction during the pandemic.

“It is a testament to the work and support that HSI campuses are capable of providing,” Montelongo said. “It is also a way that our two campuses reflect our commitment to not just ‘serving’ our Latinx students through enrollment, but through actual practices and methods that put our Latinx, mostly first gen, students at the center of our adherence to teaching and learning, regardless of the obstacles we may be facing at any given moment.”

UT El Paso

While the initial information was provided by either UTEP or UTEP Athletics, it has been reviewed and copy-checked by a Herald-Post editor. In some cases, the text has been reformatted for better readability.

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