Keynote SpeakerDr. Enrique Alemán, Jr., is Professor and Chair in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. A native of Kingsville in South Texas and a first-generation college student, Dr. Alemán melds his personal and professional interests with research that has the potential to address the racialized and institutionalized inequities that have historically underserved students and communities of color. His research agenda includes studying the impact of educational policies on Latina/o and Chicana/o students and communities, the utilization of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and Latina/ Critical Theory (LatCrit) frameworks in educational research, and the application of community-based research methods as a way of informing the creation of pathways to higher education.
Dr. Alemán is the co-author of “Transforming Educational Pathways for Chicana/o Students,” published by Teachers College Press, that describes the ten-year journey he and Dr. Dolores Delgado Bernal took in creating and maintaining the Adelante Partnership, a university-school-community partnership in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has published articles in Harvard Educational Review, Race Ethnicity and Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, and Equity, Excellence and Education, as well as numerous chapters in edited books. He co-edited a special issue in the Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal titled, “The utility of affirmative action for Latina/os: Toward a new model of policy and accíon.” During 2010-2011, Dr. Alemán served as Ford Foundation/National Academy of Sciences Fellow, conducting a research project titled, “Hernandez and Its Enduring Legacy of Racism: Developing and Applying a Critical Race Policy Framework and Methodology.” His scholarship has been recognized with his awarding of the University of Utah, College of Education, Faculty Research Award in 2010, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Junior Faculty Fellowship in 2007, and American Education Research Association, Research on the Superintendency Special Interest Group, Dissertation of the Year award in 2005.
Along with teaching expertise in CRT and LatCrit Theory methodologies, educational politics and policy, school finance and budgets, and qualitative research methods at the graduate level, Dr. Alemán has also developed and taught an introduction to ethnic studies course for entering freshman in the University of Utah’s Diversity Scholars Program. In 2007, he was awarded the University of Utah, College of Education, Faculty Teaching Award, after having been nominated by students in his college.
As co-founder and director of both the Westside Pathways Project and the Adelante Partnership, he lead efforts to develop and implement college awareness and expectation programs for historically underrepresented students and communities in west Salt Lake City. Perhaps his most rewarding work thus far in his career, Dr. Alemán and his colleague, Dr. Dolores Delgado Bernal, created these two partnerships as a way to institute the expectation of college attendance and success starting with students in kindergarten. Visiting the university and pairing up young students with university students who served as their mentors in their classroom throughout the academic year, the partnership programs integrated higher education awareness into the school experience and personal lives of its participants, valued the rich cultural and language diversity that students bring to the schooling environment, and supported their school’s efforts to promote college awareness and the idea that every child has the potential to attend and succeed in college. The partnerships have been awarded the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Education Award in 2007, the Utah Association of Bilingual Education, Community Member of the Year Award in 2006, the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Paulo Freire Critical Pedagogy SIG Award in 2011, and the Utah Council of La Raza, César Chávez Peace and Justice Award in 2012.
Between 2012-2014, Dr. Alemán served as an Assistant Vice President for Student Equity and Diversity where he continued creating pathways to higher education and designed and implemented more equitable institutional policies. In late 2014, he executive produced and co-wrote Stolen Education, a documentary about the forgotten history of a little-known federal desegregation court case from the 1950s, Hernandez et al. v. Driscoll Consolidated School District (1957). Stolen Education has been screened at universities and colleges, public libraries and in public schools and was selected for screening at the Ruby Mountain Film Festival in Nevada and the CineSol Film Festival in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Dr. Alemán earned his Ph.D. in Educational Administration, with a concentration in Educational Policy and Planning, from the University of Texas at Austin. While at UT-Austin he also completed a doctoral certification in Mexican American Studies. He has an undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York, New York. He has other professional experiences including being employed with the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia, the Bronx Borough President’s Office in the Bronx, New York, and the Texas Education Agency in Austin, Texas. During his tenure with the TEA, he managed the state’s facilities and debt allotment programs and was responsible for the accounting and disbursement of approximately $300 million in state funds in 2004.
A resident and community member of the Woodlawn Lake neighborhood, he resides with his partner and wife, UTSA faculty member, Dr. Sonya M. Alemán, and their three children in San Antonio, Texas.