July 18, 2005: Headlines: COS - Chile: Obituaries: Bil-lingual Education: Hispanic Issues: Rocky Mountain News: Chile RPCV Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died June 29 after a four-year battle with breast cancer

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Chile: Peace Corps Chile : The Peace Corps In Chile: July 18, 2005: Headlines: COS - Chile: Obituaries: Bil-lingual Education: Hispanic Issues: Rocky Mountain News: Chile RPCV Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died June 29 after a four-year battle with breast cancer

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.23.45) on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 9:50 pm: Edit Post

Chile RPCV Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died after a four-year battle with breast cancer

Chile RPCV Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died after a four-year battle with breast cancer

Mrs. Miramontes was born and raised in San Diego. She earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from San Diego State University. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps in 1968 and traveled to Arica, Chile, where she helped provide special education. It was her Peace Corps work in South America where her career essentially took off, her husband said.

She received the 2000 Latino Americans Who Make a Difference Award from the Urban Spectrum, a Denver newspaper; the 2004 President's Diversity Award from the University of Colorado Office of the President; and the CUBoulder Equity and Excellence Special Recognition Award.


Chile RPCV Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died after a four-year battle with breast cancer

MIRAMONTES, CHAMPION OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION

Jul 18, 2005 - Rocky Mountain News
Ofelia Miramontes, who championed bilingual education and linguistics in Southern California and diversity at the University of Colorado, died June 29 after a four-year battle with breast cancer. She was 60.

Mrs. Miramontes retired from CU in 2003 as associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity so she could seek treatment for her illness. She died at her Boulder County home.

Her husband, Bill Barclay, a sister and friends were with her.

Mrs. Miramontes led the development of the campus diversity plan, Blueprint for Action, and was instrumental in creating the CU Leadership, Excellence, Achievement and Diversity Alliance.

The alliance was designed to help retain and graduate minorities, women and students who were the first generation in their families to enroll in college. It works with students to keep them from becoming isolated on campus by offering them social and academic support.

LEAD Alliance has been paying dividends since Mrs. Miramontes started the program about six years ago, said Christine Yoshinaga- Itano, who took over Mrs. Miramontes' position after she retired.

"The graduation rates of students of color on campus has increased dramatically," Yoshinaga-Itano said.

Yoshinaga-Itano is the CU vice provost and associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity.

Mrs. Miramontes and her husband also helped form the CU-LEAD Opportunity Scholarship program. And the couple housed financially- strapped and academically-struggling students in their own home over the years until their situations improved.

"Her enthusiasm and commitment to the university and in our community has left a legacy that will benefit students, faculty and staff for years to come," interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano said in a statement.

Mrs. Miramontes was born and raised in San Diego. She earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from San Diego State University. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps in 1968 and traveled to Arica, Chile, where she helped provide special education. It was her Peace Corps work in South America where her career essentially took off, her husband said.

In 1970, Mrs. Miramontes became a teacher at the Nestor School in San Diego, which was one of the first bilingual programs in the United States. Five years later, Mrs. Miramontes helped develop the bilingual program for San Diego City Schools, where she eventually became a staff development instructor and director of the teacher training center for bilingual education.

Mrs. Miramontes earned a master's degree in social science from U.S. International University while in California and earned a doctorate in education from Claremont Graduate University.

Mrs. Miramontes and her husband moved to Colorado in 1982 after he received a fellowship to attend CU. Three years later, Mrs. Miramontes joined CU and later gained tenure as an associate professor in the school of education.

Peace Corps Online

She published writings that tried to counter critics of bilingual education who thought children's retention of their mother language was restricting their development in English. "If you have a child coming with this gift and you're going to give them another language, you're going to create someone who's going to be valuable," Barclay said, explaining his wife's theory about the advantages of retaining a child's first language.

Caption: Ofelia Miramontes, left, visits with School of Education Dean Lorrie Shepard during an event honoring Miramontes with a room dedicated in her name in the Education building in December 2004. (Photo/Casey A. Cass)

In 1998, Mrs. Miramontes took the position of interim associate vice chancellor for diversity and equity to provide leadership for campus diversity. She was named permanently to the position in 2000.

She received the 2000 Latino Americans Who Make a Difference Award from the Urban Spectrum, a Denver newspaper; the 2004 President's Diversity Award from the University of Colorado Office of the President; and the CUBoulder Equity and Excellence Special Recognition Award.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Miramontes is survived by two sisters, Jeri Satterbloom of Chicago and Angela Snyder of San Diego. She was preceded in death by her parents, Jesus and Carmen Miramontes Parra, and a brother, Javier Parra.

The family has asked that donations be made in memory of Mrs. Miramontes to the University of Colorado Hospital Breast Cancer Fund, Office of Development, P.O. Box 6508 MS F485, Aurora, CO 80045.






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Story Source: Rocky Mountain News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Chile; Obituaries; Bil-lingual Education; Hispanic Issues

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