Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

Dr. Jill Pinkney Pastrana Named Fulbright Scholar

RELEASED: April 7, 2008

Dr. Jill Pinkney Pastrana
Dr. Jill Pinkney Pastrana

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Jill Pinkney Pastrana, associate professor of foundations of education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been named a 2008-09 Fulbright Scholar.

The research/lecture grant from the Fulbright program will allow Pastrana to work with colleagues at the Catholic University in Valparaiso in Chile.

"I will pick up on my ongoing research concerning neo-liberal education reform in Chile, focusing on student resistance to education reforms that have taken place the past couple of years throughout the country," Pastrana said. "I will teach a class on re-democratizing education and critical pedagogy, research neo-liberal reforms as they play out in local schools, and collaborate with my Chilean colleagues as they continue to explore issues of community engagement, democratizing education policy and teacher education."

Pastrana, who will leave for Chile in January 2009, previously taught at the Universidad de la Frontera in Temuco in Chile, where she began her research and worked on several Ministry of Education projects in teacher education reform.

"This Fulbright will allow me to continue this work and extend my research into the new generation of education reforms currently under way in the country," Pastrana said.

Chile was the first country in the world to implement neo-liberal education reforms, which are almost identical to the United States' current education reform of No Child Left Behind, Pastrana said.

"Of course, NCLB is of great concern to all of our education students, as well as anyone who pays taxes or may have children in the public education system," Pastrana said. "Looking at the results of this past reform in Chile, and how it impacted public education, gives us a 'heads-up' on the potential fall-out of the path we are currently on in terms of education policy. This is really important work for those of us in education to understand."

When she returns to UW-Eau Claire, Pastrana will integrate her research in Chile into her foundations of education classes.

"It helps give our students and future teachers a strong sense of how important it is for them to advocate for themselves as professionals and be literate in the language of education policy," Pastrana said of how her Fulbright will benefit UW-Eau Claire students. "It adds a depth of understanding to their professional identity that goes beyond the notion that teachers are mere technicians responsible for creating conditions for successful learning in classrooms. It broadens the sense that strong public education is an issue of national importance and future teachers can play a big role in determining exactly what education will look like in the years to come."

Pastrana is the second UW-Eau Claire faculty member to receive a Fulbright in recent weeks and the fourth in recent months.

"Dr. Pastrana already is an exceptional teacher and a respected scholar, but her work as a Fulbright Scholar will make her even better," Provost Steve Tallant said. "Our campus and her students will benefit greatly from her work and experiences in Chile."

A UW-Eau Claire faculty member since 2005, Pastrana's areas of expertise include international and comparative education; multicultural and intercultural education; language minority education; politics and education; and globalization and education policy reform.

Prior to coming to UW-Eau Claire, Pastrana taught at California State University, Long Beach, from 2000-2005. She earned her Ph.D., M.Ed., master's and bachelor's degrees at the University of California, Los Angles.

The highly competitive and prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year to lecture and conduct research. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright, the program aims to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

Pastrana is the fourth UW-Eau Claire faculty member to be named a Fulbright Scholar in the past year. Other recent Fulbright Scholars are Dr. Mike Dorsher of the communication and journalism department, Dr. Kate Reynolds of the foreign languages and curriculum and instructions departments, and Dr. Michael Penkava of the mathematics department.

"An incredible number of UW-Eau Claire faculty have been selected for the Fulbright program in recent years," Tallant said. "Given the competitive nature of this program, these awards are a wonderful reminder that our faculty, students and alumni truly are exceptional."

For more information about Dr. Jill Pinkney Pastrana's Fulbright award, contact her at 715-836-4537 or pastrajp@uwec.edu.

-30-

JB

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.