Alumni News

UNC School of Education honors five outstanding educators

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award Citation

Enrique Gastelum Murillo

Few educators have devoted as much personal and professional time and effort to understand the educational needs of Latino students and to improve their academic achievement as Enrique Murillo Jr. A first-generation Chicano, he has a deep understanding of the challenges facing Spanish-speaking students and the breadth of their potential. Enrique is a passionate, determined advocate for student achievement and cultural understanding.

Over the last 20 years, he has worked with administrators to develop better policy, with teachers to deliver better instruction and with students to develop critical skills. Since receiving his doctorate at Carolina in 1999, Enrique taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UNC and Meredith College. Prior to that, he was an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Today, he is a tenured faculty member at the California State University at San Bernardino.

Enrique also has worked within the community as a social service worker, an organizer and a mentor. He designed culturally relevant curricula for Spanish-speaking immigrants, developed operations at 22 school sites and supervised 65 instructors to deliver ESL, literacy and civics instruction as required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

In addition to his work in schools and the community, Enrique has contributed to the profession’s research base by documenting effective practice and studying issues and their impact on the system. He conducted research in the identity, diversity, and socialization rituals of newly-arrived Latino immigrants; and interviewed first-generation Latino immigrants in North Carolina for the Southern Oral History Project. He also was a research associate for the North Carolina Public Spheres project, a collaborative, National Science Foundation-funded research project.

Enrique’s service to education and the community is extraordinary. His achievements in any one of these areas – research, teaching, community involvement – would constitute a successful career. The fact that he’s accomplished so much in so many arenas makes him truly remarkable.

In observance of his successful efforts for students of all ages from North Carolina to California, we are proud to bestow the Outstanding Young Alumnus award to Enrique Murillo.

September 27, 2008