Harvard Educational Review
  1. Winter 2009 Issue »

    Results Not Typical

    One Latino Family’s Experiences in Higher Education

    Margarita Jimenez-Silva, Norma V. Jimenez Hernandez, Ruth Luevanos, Dulcemonica Jimenez, and Abel Jimenez Jr.
    In this narrative, five adult siblings bring their voices together to tell the stories of their interwoven college experiences—how they influenced, supported, and relied on one another and other family members. As the stories unfold, they reveal the strengths of the familial ties that provide meaning and purpose to the college experience, the considerations that drive college enrollment choices, the pain of confrontational and unsupportive college environments, and the joys of success and self-discovery. By linking their stories in this essay, the grown children of the Jimenez family paint a portrait of the centrality of tradition, culture, and family in their atypical success story.

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    Margarita Jimenez-Silva is an assistant professor at the College of Teacher Education and Leadership at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on preparing teachers to work with English learners, especially as it relates to teacher education pedagogy and curriculum. Dr. Jimenez-Silva has coordinated curriculum and programs addressing the needs of English-language learners throughout the United States as well as in Mexico, Panama, and Hungary. She has recently published “Lo Que Aprendimos: Advice to Improve Latino Parent Engagement” (forthcoming from the Association of Mexican-American Educators), and, coauthored by K. Olson, “The Campfire Effect: A Preliminary Analysis of Teachers’ Beliefs of Teaching English Learners after State-Mandated Endorsement Courses” in the Journal of Research on Childhood Education (2008). She is active in her community, serving on various school boards and speaking on behalf of English learners and their families.

    Norma V. Jimenez Hernandez is an independent research consultant affiliated with Claremont Graduate University’s School of Educational Studies. Her research and teaching have focused on the academic achievement and motivation of children and adolescents from ethnic minority groups. Dr. Hernandez has actively leveraged her academic and professional energies to benefit populations on the periphery of society. She has completed anthropological fieldwork projects throughout the world, applying her training and research in such countries as Honduras, Panama, and Mexico. She is coauthoring a collection of information guides that will promote the sharing of college knowledge through informal networks in underserved urban communities. Prior to working as an independent consultant, Norma taught in a variety of racially concentrated public school settings and at the university level, including the Harvard Graduate School of Education, UCLA, and Claremont Graduate University. She is also the president and cofounder of the American Dream Consortium, a private consulting firm dedicated to assisting students at all levels transition to postsecondary institutions of higher learning.

    Ruth Luevanos teaches U.S. history and world history at Pacoima Middle School in Southern California. She has ten years of teaching experience, including elementary, junior high, and high school. She is a strong advocate in the educational community and has served as a WASC coordinator, faculty chair, and PTF board member. She has used her law degree to help defend the rights of students, parents, and teachers in the community.

    Dulcemonica Jimenez is a research associate at Southern California Research Institute in Van Nuys, where she does research in cognitive psychology, specifically in substance impairment. She is completing a project that will standardize a battery of field sobriety tests to be used on the water. In addition to conducting research, Dulce is a tutor for low-income students in the Los Angeles area.

    Abel Jimenez Jr. is a registered general contractor in the states of Arizona and California. He has worked as a civil engineer and contractor since 1995. He has been very involved in his community as a member of a local school board, parent volunteer in elementary schools, and as a coach of several youth teams.

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    Winter 2009 Issue


    Sylvia Hurtado
    Editors’ Introduction
    Ángeles, Sacrificios, y Dios
    A Puerto Rican Woman’s Journey Through Higher Education
    Marisa Rivera
    Latina/o Undergraduate Students Mentoring Latina/o Elementary Students
    A Borderlands Analysis of Shifting Identities and First-Year Experiences
    Dolores Delgado Bernal, Enrique Alemán Jr., and Andrea Garavito
    Existentialism at Home, Determinism Abroad
    A Small-Town Mexican American Kid Goes Global
    Joe Robert González
    From the Bricks to the Hall
    Mellie Torres
    The Re-Education of a Pocha-Rican
    How Latina/o Studies Latinized Me
    Arelis Hernandez
    Sin Papeles y Rompiendo Barreras
    Latino Students and the Challenges of Persisting in College
    Frances Contreras
    Dimensions of the Transfer Choice Gap
    Experiences of Latina and Latino Students Who Navigated Transfer Pathways
    Estela Mara Bensimon and Alicia C. Dowd
    Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate for Latina/o Undergraduates
    Tara Yosso, William Smith, Miguel Ceja, and Daniel Solórzano
    Mexican American and Educated
    Marlen Vasquez
    Increasing Latino/a Representation in Math and Science
    An Insider’s Look
    Jarrad Aguirre
    Challenging Racist Nativist Framing
    Acknowledging the Community Cultural Wealth of Undocumented Chicana College Students to Reframe the Immigration Debate
    Lindsay Pérez Huber
    Results Not Typical
    One Latino Family’s Experiences in Higher Education
    Margarita Jimenez-Silva, Norma V. Jimenez Hernandez, Ruth Luevanos, Dulcemonica Jimenez, and Abel Jimenez Jr.
    Barriers to Success
    A Narrative of One Latina Student’s Struggles
    Jannell Robles
    The Xicana Sacred Space
    A Communal Circle of Compromiso for Educational Researchers
    Lourdes Diaz Soto, Claudia G. Cervantes-Soon, Elizabeth Villarreal, and Emmet E. Campos

    Book Notes

    Standing on the Outside Looking In
    edited by Mary F. Howard-Hamilton, Carla L. Morelon-Quainoo, Susan D. Johnson, Rachelle Winkle-Wagner, and Lilia Santiague.

    Undocumented Immigrants and Higher Education
    Alejandra Rincón.