Dean Ramona Mellott of the College of Education received an award from The Pete C. Garcia Victoria Foundation for her work championing the recruitment and degree completion of Latino/a students.
Mellott, also a professor of educational psychology, received the Dr. Eugene Garcia award for faculty research at the annual Arizona Higher Education Awards held in early September. She was one of only six educators recognized for their contributions to this important statewide work. Receiving the award was an honor, she said, particularly given the important work of the Victoria Foundation, which is the first Latiné foundation established in the United States.
“At NAU, our work is so closely tied to the vision of this foundation, which was established to support education among underserved and underrepresented groups, so students flourish,” she said. “I could not do this work alone, so this award reflects the collective vision of NAU, the College of Education and a tremendous recognition of all that we do to benefit the lives of the children and the future we hope for them. Together we can make a difference in the educational attainment goals of our state.”
In her time as dean, Mellott has overseen the introduction and continued growth of the Arizona Teachers Academy, the development of the Early Learning and Development Center, the expansion of the Arizona GEAR UP program, of which she is the principal investigator and more. Her research focuses on Grow Your Own programs, which are designed to attract racially and ethnically diverse individuals who are representative of their communities to become teachers in those communities.
“Dean Mellott is a leader in the field of education, from preschool to higher ed, and she has contributed so much to addressing the problems facing education in Arizona today,” President José Luis Cruz Rivera said. “We are grateful for her leadership at NAU and to the Victoria Foundation for recognizing her important work in the field of education statewide.