NDMU Grad Wins 2nd Place in Bilingual Educators Dissertation Awards

Dr. Xiomara Rivera Pagán D'21 Examines How Policies Impact Success of English Learners
Xiamara Rivera Pagán

(BALTIMORE, Md.) – A recent Notre Dame of Maryland University graduate placed second in the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation Awards from the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) for her examination of how education policies impact English learners’ success. 

Dr. Xiomara Rivera Pagán D‘21 will receive honors at a Feb. 9 awards luncheon at NABE’s 51st Annual International Conference, held in New York City by the only national organization devoted to representing bilingual learners and bilingual education professionals. Her dissertation, “How Language Policy Orientations Relate to Outcomes: A Mixed-Methods Analysis,” uncovers how educational language policies affect outcomes for students learning English. She graduated from NDMU's Doctor of Philosophy program in instructional leadership for changing populations
“I am honored to be recognized for this prestigious award. My dissertation committee was profoundly supportive in advancing my career as an academic and as an advocate for multilingual policies in education,” said Dr. Rivera Pagán. “My dissertation chair, Dr. Molly Dunn, helped me develop my skills as a researcher and as a writer.” 
Dr. Rivera Pagán is a language learning expert with more than a decade of experience working in multilingual environments. She has pioneered language programs and presented at local, national, and international conferences. She currently teaches at Howard Community College and serves as the founding director of Language Policy Consulting, LLC, which supports advocacy of multilingual policies.  
“Language is an integral component of the educational setting,” she said. “Recognizing the diversity of language and how systems are supporting that diversity through the promotion of languages, rather than the restriction of language practices, is important in identifying how to preserve diversity and support multilingual learners. Educational systems’ beliefs and actions have to align in order to create actionable steps towards equitable systems.” 
NDMU’s Ph.D. program in instructional leadership for changing populations prepares graduates whose research will advance the field of education for linguistically and culturally diverse learners. The aim is to use the best scholarship to create environments that promote the academic success of all students, especially linguistically and culturally diverse learners. 

Established in 1895, Notre Dame of Maryland University (NDMU) is a private, Catholic institution in Baltimore, Maryland, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. News & World Report.


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