Honors and Awards
Sandra Lucia Osorio, Ph.D. was born in Chicago to two immigrant parents from Colombia, South America. Her trajectory was greatly impacted by her own schooling experiences. She was often labeled in a deficit way because her multicultural and multilingual background was seen as a problem that needed to be solved rather than an asset to be recognized and built upon. When her parents went to enroll her in kindergarten, administrators immediately instructed them to stop speaking Spanish at home because Sandra would be confused. This was based on assumptions about the way her own parents spoke English. These administrators were making decisions about Sandra’s future without even having met her.
This experience and many others like it impassioned Sandra to pursue working with multilingual students as a teacher for over ten years. As a teacher, Sandra in order to support recognizing multilingual students’ wealth of knowledges that can be built upon in the classroom. “I wanted my students to see themselves in the classroom and the curriculum we used,” she said. She therefore implemented culturally sustaining pedagogy in her classroom. Sandra transitioned to higher education to make a bigger impact and support teachers in learning how to best support students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
In 2022, Dr. Osorio became an Associate Professor in Raciolinguistic Justice and Director of Teacher Education at Erikson. She will be supporting the development of the Triple Endorsement Certification (early childhood, bilingual/ESL, and Special Education) program that is set to begin in January 2023. She looks forward to a program that “is focused on addressing the whole child, building on the assets of family and community, and grounded in the practice of reflection,” she said.
Sandra’s recent projects include a professional learning community with early childhood educators who want to improve how they can implement critical literacy practices through read-alouds in their classrooms. “It is not just about the books we use, but really about how we use them,” she says. Sandra has created several educator guides to support teachers in this process, including Using Diverse Books with ELLs: A Guide for Educators with Colorin Colorado, and Shake Up Your Shelves Libros Latinos: Educators Guide to Building An Exclusive Bookshelf Representing Latinx Voices with HarperCollins Publishing Company. She also recently published a book through Teachers College Press titled, Book Talk: Growing Into Early Literacy through Read-Aloud Discussions.
Dr. Osorio is looking forward to supporting every facet of life for the incoming cohort of students in the Triple Endorsement Program. She knows they will forge deep connections and learn how to build upon students’, families’, and communities’ assets.