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Distinguished Teacher Delivers Diversity


Patrick Camangian, assistant professor of teacher education. Photo by Pocho1

Patrick Camangian, assistant professor of teacher education, has received the University of San Francisco’s Distinguished Teaching Award for his ongoing efforts to recruit and train a more diverse teacher workforce.

Camangian and Noah Borrero, assistant professor of teacher education, were driving forces in creating the School of Education’s successful master’s degree in urban education and social justice.

The emphasis of the program is to train new public school teachers to overcome cultural bias and engage disadvantaged students in urban schools. “Rather than focus exclusively on instructional methods, our program prepares teachers to be much more responsive to the needs of urban students,” said Camangian, who began teaching at USF in 2008 and is also a high school teacher in Oakland. “For example, students develop collaborative, community-based, service-learning projects in which they apply socially just educational theory within the realities of urban schools and communities.”

Initiated in 2009, the program has already shown results with student-teachers of color comprising 65 percent of the most recent cohort. “Comparatively, the public teaching force is upwards of 85 percent white,” said Camangian. “We actively recruit and enroll culturally diverse candidates, which leads to more honest, authentic conversations dealing with issues of social justice and injustice in our university classrooms.”

Camangian was selected by a committee of USF faculty and staff that examined applicants’ relationships with students, teaching evaluations, commitment to the university’s mission, and involvement in the local community. “Patrick truly exemplifies what it means to be a critical educator for social justice that is committed to his students and to a larger political project," said Emma Fuentes, assistant professor of international and multicultural education and chair of the selection committee.

Written by Laura Waldron »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews