Daily News

HCC Professor Raúl Gutiérrez Selected as Engaged Scholar for 2019-20

HOLYOKE — Raúl Gutiérrez, assistant professor of Spanish at Holyoke Community College (HCC), has been selected as an Engaged Scholar for 2019-20 by the Eastern Region Campus Compact, a regional partnership of colleges and universities dedicated to promoting civic engagement.

Gutierrez was one of 12 scholars picked for the inaugural, 18-month program that includes academics from 11 other institutions from Maine to Washington D.C., including Lehigh, Ithaca, Swarthmore, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and Yale. Scholars were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates nominated by college and university presidents and chief academic officers.

“Campus Compact is thrilled to welcome the first cohort of the Eastern Region Engaged Scholars Initiative,” said Marisol Morales, vice president for Network Leadership at Campus Compact, the national network. “The interest in the program and the caliber and diversity of all the applicants was extraordinary. The goal of this program is to develop and support equity-minded, community-engaged scholars and practitioners who can shape the future of this field.”

Gutiérrez, who lives in Holyoke, is coordinator of HCC’s Foreign Language program, coordinator of the Center for Public Humanities at HCC, and adviser to the HCC LISA (Latino International Students Assoc.) Club. He also spearheaded the creation of a new Latinx Studies program at the college that will begin in the fall 2019 semester, and he teaches Spanish literacy to migrant farm workers through Head Start in Springfield.

“The idea behind the Engaged Scholars program is create a cohort of scholars focused on working in the community,” said Gutierrez.

His specific projects will focus on two areas: building a civic-engagement/service-learning component into the new Latinx Studies program and continue to work with migrant farm workers.

“I want to work with them to create an oral history around their experiences as immigrants and as farm workers, with the end goal of establishing a repository for their stories,” he said.

Gutiérrez was born in Mexico and holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The 12 Engaged Scholars will participate in an 18-month ongoing learning and leadership process that includes professional development, collaboration, and scholarship to help the individual participants and the cohort strengthen their scholarship, research, and impact. Scholars will participate in in-person and online learning opportunities, including retreats, regular meetings, and the national Campus Compact Conference to be held March 25-27 in Providence, R.I.