Date of Release: 06/16/2005
SANMARCOS—Rosalinda B. Barrera, whose scholarly work has focused on the literacy and literature education of elementary students, has been named Dean of the College of Education at Texas State University-San Marcos.
“Dr. Barrera will bring great insight and passion for the development of teachers who can successfully teach all children of Texas’ diverse population,” said Texas State Provost Perry Moore. “I very much welcome her leadership of the largest college of education in Texas.”
Barrera earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism, with honors, and her master of arts in communication from the University of Texas in 1968 and 1969, respectively, and completed her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Texas in 1978, with a specialization in reading education. Barrera joined the faculty at New Mexico State University in 1980 as a lecturer in education specialties, advancing from assistant to associate professor in 1987, and becoming full professor of curriculum and instruction in 1993. She was a visiting faculty member at the University of Arizona in spring 1989 and the University of California, Berkeley, summer 1990. During her tenure at NMSU, she served as chair of the Professional Standards Commission, an advisory body to the New Mexico Board of Education.
In 1998 Barrera joined the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as professor of curriculum and instruction, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in early childhood literacy and multicultural children’s literature. In 2002 she assumed the role of interim associate director for the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society, and became the interim director of the center in 2004. Also in 2004 she became an associate provost for UIUC.
Barrera’s specific professional interest has been on language and literacy instruction for learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, particularly Latino/Mexican American students and immigrant children of Mexican origin. Her writings have called attention to the importance of language and culture in literacy teaching and learning. More recently, she has turned her research lens to early literacy development and instruction in diverse classrooms, conducting longitudinal observations of Latino and African American children learning to read and write in preschool and kindergarten.
Barrera has co-edited two books, Multicultural Issues in Literary Research and Practice (2003) and Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8 (1997), along with numerous chapters and articles. She is also on the editorial board of several professional journals, and has made a large number of presentations at professional meetings at the national, state, and local levels. She has been a member since 1996 of the Reading Committee of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and also served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation from 1999-2001, among other committees. She has been a consultant to numerous school districts and educational agencies throughout the United States, and in Mexico and Central America.
Prior to her career in higher education, Barrera served as a journalist with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times from 1969-70, curriculum editor for the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory in Austin from 1970-72 and held teaching and administrative positions in the Austin and Socorro school districts as well as the Region 19 Education Service Center in El Paso.