Dr. Mari Riojas-CortezPlease join the School of Education in officially welcoming Dr. Mari Riojas-Cortez as the new program chair for the Early Childhood Studies Program! Dr. Mari Riojas-Cortez is Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Multilingual Studies (bilingual education). Her research focuses on Latino family engagement (in early childhood contexts), young children’s play in early childhood dual language settings, and early childhood teacher education. Dr. Riojas-Cortez has published in major journals including the International Journal of Early Childhood, the Journal of Early Childhood Research, the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, the Bilingual Research Journal, and Young Children, among others. She is co-author of the book Families as Partners in Education: Families and Schools Working Together (10th edition) and is editor of two accepted books that focus on diversity in early childhood teacher education. Dr. Riojas-Cortez experience with early childhood settings began in the Harlandale Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas as a bilingual prekindergarten teacher. She has been an early childhood educator for 30 years and has worked and served in the early childhood field in different capacities. Dr. Riojas-Cortez received the Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher Educator Award in 2019 by the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and was selected as Exchange Leader by the Exchange Leadership Initiative sponsored by Childcare Exchange for her contributions to the field of early childhood education also in 2019. Currently, she is the editor for Dimensions of Early Childhood Journal. 

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