Pioneering Spirits: Stories Of Latino Professors In Illinois

Neida Hernandez-Santamaria, National-Louis University

Removed August 2010 for revisions


Given the problem of underrepresentation of Latinos in higher education holding full-time faculty positions (professors) in Illinois, a narrative analysis of the life stories collected has been conducted from a critical race theory perspective. Guiding questions of the study were (1) How have Latino faculty members achieved their status in the academy? (2) What factors contribute to the low representation of Latino faculty in higher education? (3) What knowledge or experiences are important for other Latinos to know, given that racism is inherent and permanent in our society? Findings include counter stories, sources of support and a personal quality known as a pioneering spirit. This study will add to the body of research devoted to problems and challenges that Latinos and other faculty of color may face throughout their life and educational journeys in American society.