Lecture celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with professor and author Reyes


Cal State San Bernardino’s John M. Pfau Library noontime lecture series continues with a presentation by professor and author Maria de la Luz Reyes on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Maria Reyes, author and speaker,

Maria Reyes

The presentation will be based on her book, “Words Were All We Had: Becoming Biliterate Against the Odds,” and will be held in the Pfau Library’s room 4005 from noon-1 p.m. The lecture is free and parking is complimentary by stopping at the parking kiosk at the campus’s main entrance.

In the book, Reyes argues that one’s native language plays an important role in learning. She illustrates this in a collection of 11 narratives written by Latino students from an older era who describe their challenges navigating a school system that underestimated their academic potential and punished them for speaking Spanish.

Reyes, who is professor emeritus of education at University of Colorado, Boulder, is an expert on education of minority students, biliteracy, literacy for linguistically diverse students and bilingual and multicultural education.

Her research and publications also focus on equity issues in higher education and she has received wide acclaim for her seminal article, “Racism in Academia:  The Old Wolf Revisited,” in the Harvard Educational Review.

Reyes’ previous book, “The Best for our Children: Critical Perspectives in Literacy for Latino Students” (co-edited with John Halcón) earned the Critics’ Choice Book Award from the American Educational Studies Association in 2004.

Because of her work on literacy and equity issues in higher education, she has also been the featured keynote speaker or has been a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley; University of Wisconsin, Madison; University of New Mexico; University of Florida; Fordham University; and Texas Tech University, among others.

Reyes earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology with specialization in language, culture and literacy at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has taught at Texas Woman’s University and many California universities, including Cal State Monterey Bay, where she was a founding faculty, Cal State Bakersfield and Cal State San Marcos.

For more information about the lecture series, contact Iwona Contreras at (909) 537-5102 or by e-mail at icontrer@csusb.edu.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.