Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Bilingual Education Doctoral Student Receives Fellowship from Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education

KINGSVILLE - March 13, 2012

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979


Growing up in her hometown of Eagle Pass, Cynthia Alvarado lived in two worlds—the Spanish-speaking one at home and the English-speaking one everywhere else, especially at school.

Spanish was the first language she learned and her primary tool for communicating with her mostly monolingual family. Once old enough to attend school, Alvarado quickly was confronted by the challenges of learning a new language, very publicly.

“I remember being in the class with other English language learner students, I always felt that my English was different and I didn’t participate as much in class,” Alvarado said.

Now, Alvarado is finding inspiration in her past experiences and in her resolve to overcome the challenges she faced as a young student. The Texas A&M University-Kingsville bilingual education doctoral student is currently working on her dissertation which focuses on the corrective feedback and English language learners. In it, Alvarado will assess how college-age English learners react to be corrected in class and its long-term impact on the student. Dr. Valentin Ekiaka Nzai, a bilingual education professor and graduate program coordinator, notes that Alvarado is a “dedicated, motivated and enthusiastic doctorate candidate who always goes beyond the ordinary.”

Alvarado, a first-generation college student who has spent the first half of her career helping other first-generation students in their journey through higher education, is committed to continuing her mission in education. In February, Alvarado was one of only four Texas students to receive the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) Graduate Fellowship. Alvarado attended the organization’s annual conference in Galveston and received recognition for her award. The fellowship will assist in funding Alvarado’s research.

Already a two-time A&M-Kingsville graduate, Alvarado holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in bilingual education. She currently works as a case manager at Coastal Bend College, where she works closely with students, providing support and guidance. Alvarado also has worked in support services at A&M-Kingsville, having worked in the High School Equivalency program, College Assistant Migrant Program and the Upward Bound programs.

“My career goal, inspired by many of my professors, is to work in the academy helping to ‘pay forward’ by guiding and nurturing students to develop to their fullest potential,” Alvarado said. “Not only do I have personal experience having faced numerous academic challenges, I also have experience working on a diverse community campus and have worked towards implementing academic and student support strategies in order to improve student success and retention rates. I take so much pride in doing what I do and would very much like to continue that tradition throughout my professional career as a professor or administrator.”

This page was last updated on: March 13, 2012