Garrido earns college-level diversity award

Photo Credit: Lara Garrido
May 9, 2023

Lara Garrido, a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, has earned the College of Arts and Sciences Inclusive Excellence and Diversity Award. The recognition honors people, organizations, or units within the college involved in innovative or exemplary activities that have an impact on campus or in the community that promotes inclusive excellence and diversity.

"Education through languages is key to expand the cultural richness of any person," she said, "and, particularly in today's world, is such an invaluable advantage to make our society more diverse and inclusive."

As a graduate teaching assistant, Garrido has leveraged her experience from student teaching at Lincoln High School and working with students who are learning a second language to create an inclusive community.

"Her teaching effectiveness and dedication to each student in the classroom appear consistently in her students' comments," Iker González-Allende, Leland and Dorothy Olson Professor in the department and Garrido's Ph.D. advisor and nominator, said.

Garrido also applies the intersectional lens of gender and sexuality present in her dissertation to the diversity of materials, identities, and experiences represented in course content, he said.

With an eye on giving all students in Nebraska high schools the same quality of education and opportunities offered at the university, she worked with the department to build bridges to facilitate the enrollment of Spanish heritage speakers. Her efforts have included holding events for prospective students and their parents to complete the FAFSA, partnering with the Office of Access, Inclusion, and Diversity to invite parents and students to campus, having the Spanish program help heritage speakers earn retroactive credits, and assist with planning the annual Language Fair. In the community, she has participated in Lincoln's Latino Festival to promote the Spanish program, recorded and edited videos of Spanish classes for the World Language Week at the Nebraska Department of Education, and assisted with Nebraska Translator and Interpreter Corps work.

She is also collaborating with Professor Kelly Kingsbury Brunetto on expanding the online publication Tu Revista, which publishes the work of current students at Nebraska, to include high school students and the work of Language Fair winners.

Garrido additionally manages the Spanish Tutoring and Writing Center in the Language Lab, aiming to support students at any level and background.

"Her inclusivity in the classroom and engagement with the Lincoln community make her an ideal recipient for the award," González-Allende said. "I cannot think of a more deserving college member."