Her work continues out of the classroom as a mother of three, an author and a Ph.D. student
By Rick Smith ’09; Assistant Director of Alumni Relations
Ten students at Woodridge Elementary School in Alamo Heights have the privilege of saying they have been taught by one of San Antonio’s best teachers. The most unique part about it is that those students can say it in both English and Spanish.
Soon-to-be three-time alumna Roxanna Montes-Bazaldúa ’99, ’01 was one of two teachers awarded the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, an annual honor given by Trinity University to outstanding teachers working in or around the San Antonio area.
Montes-Bazaldúa teaches the English language to non-English speaking students, while also teaching them a fifth-grade curriculum. “I encourage them not to lose their cultural background,” she said, but she also wants them to “validate their own cultural heritage” and not lose their roots while learning. “I want to develop their Spanish and English. I develop their first language and teach them another one as well.”
In addition to teaching, the mother of three is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from UIW in international education/entrepreneurship. She is in the second year of the program which she hopes to complete by 2012.
Part of the doctoral program calls for a six-month internship in another country. What countries are at the top of her list and why? China and Mexico because of the UIW connection in both countries. Centro Universitario Incarnate Word is UIW’s campus in Mexico, and China Incarnate Word is UIW’s campus in China, allowing students in those countries to earn a UIW degree without leaving the country.
“I want to see social justice and UIW’s Mission alive in another country,” she said. “It would be interesting to see how Incarnate Word keeps true to its Mission in another country, when the culture is very different.”
When she earns her Ph.D., she’ll be one of only a few graduates to earn a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree all from UIW. Of the estimated 1,800 graduates with multiple UIW degrees, only four have earned all three degrees from UIW. Montes-Bazaldúa graduated from UIW in 1998 with a bachelor’s in Spanish and earned a M.Ed. in 2001.
In addition to teaching and pursing her doctoral degree, Montes-Bazaldúa also published “The Legend of the Cascarón” in 2008, which started as a class project in Dr. Amailia Mondriguez’s class at UIW.
An active alumna, Montes-Bazaldúa, attends many of the events sponsored by Alumni Relations and recently participated in the Alumni Association’s Rock’n Red Birds marathon and half-marathon team. She was also named the 2010 Distinguished Alumna by the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences.