Patricia Gándara Honored by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Civil Rights Project co-director recognized for her work in protecting human rights for vulnerable migrant populations.

UCLA Professor of Education Patricia Gándara has been honored with the 2019 Alfonso García Robles Award by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. The award is named for the UNAM alumnus and Mexican diplomat who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1982 for his work on the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which in 1967 established a nuclear-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

“The entire GSE&IS community joins me in congratulating Professor Patricia Gándara on this remarkable recognition from one of the world’s great institutions of higher learning,” says Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Wasserman Dean of the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. “The Alfonso García Robles Award, granted by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, recognizes those who have carried out ‘outstanding work in the defense, promotion, protection or guarantee of Human Rights of migrant people in vulnerable situations.’ Nothing could be more timely and no one is a better choice for the Award. Brava, Dra. Patricia!”

Professor Gándara is the co-director of The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. She served as the lead author of a 2018 survey on “U.S. Immigration Enforcement Policy and Its Impact on Teaching and Learning in the Nation’s Schools.” 

Gándara has written or edited seven books and more than 150 articles and reports on educational equity for racial and linguistic minority students, access to higher education, the education of Latino students and language policy. Her latest book, “The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy and the U.S. Labor Market,” (With R. M. Callahan. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2014), delineates the benefits of being bi- or multilingual in the U.S. job market. 

Professor Gándara is currently the chair of the UC Mexico Initiative education committee. She was appointed by President Obama to the Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Professor Gándara is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the 2011 recipient of its Presidential Citation. 

Gándara received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA and has been a bilingual school psychologist and a social scientist with the RAND Corporation. In addition, she has directed education research for the California Legislature.

“This was an enormous honor to be given the Garcia Robles medal by the Rector (Chancellor) of the UNAM, Mexico’s most distinguished educator,” says Professor Gándara.  “I receive it on behalf of the students we share and my many colleagues here at UCLA that are doing such important work calling attention to the plight of the children of immigrants in the US and their schools.”

For a UNAM article highlighting Professor Gándara and her Garcia Robles Award, click here.

Photo by Andres Cuervo