New UT College of Education Chair of Curriculum and Instruction Cinthia Salinas Wins Massey Award


Cinthia Salinas, associate professor and new chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin was named this year’s recipient of the Elizabeth Shatto Massey Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. The Massey Award recognizes a “teacher of teachers,” one who inspires and prepares future elementary and secondary school teachers and includes a $12,000 gift.

Salinas works with future elementary and secondary social studies teachers as they enter into increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse 21st-century classroom settings. “I can’t stress enough how important her particular expertise (and the skill with which she relays it) is to the success of our future teachers,” said UT College of Education Dean Manuel Justiz. “Most of our teacher education graduates will be hired to work in urban classrooms with students from a wide array of racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is absolutely essential that the teachers understand how the teaching and learning needs of students from different backgrounds are, logically, different.”

Cinthia Salinas

Dr. Salinas’s research and teaching focus is on how Latina/o students come to understand citizenship as it is represented in the teaching of history. Her classroom studies focus attention upon the experiences of bilingual and immigrant children and their teachers as they strive to broaden understanding of history through first-hand accounts and multiple perspectives. Along with several colleagues, Salinas worked with preservice bilingual students and local elementary teachers and their students to introduce historical narratives in support of the Tejano Monument unveiled at the Texas capitol in the spring 2013. Most recently she was recognized by the American Education Research Association Division with the Innovations in Research on Diversity in Teacher Education Award.

One of Salinas’s most noteworthy contributions has been her participation in the College of Education UTeach Urban Teacher program. The program asks young social studies and language arts teachers to reimagine democracy through more inclusive approaches to teaching and learning. The teacher certification effort concentrates exclusively on understanding the community of wealth that defines urban high schools.

Previously, Salinas was recognized as a Social Studies Content Expert by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Fund for the Improvement of Education. In 2011, she received the American Education Research Association’s Social Studies Special Interest Group Best Paper Award for “Authentic Pedagogy: Examining Intellectual Challenge in a National Sample of Social Studies Classrooms.”  In the spring of 2012, Dr. Salinas received a second College of Education Vision Award to improve and enhance the interactivity of the Student as Historian Project.  Also in 2012 she received the University of Texas System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Salinas currently holds the Fellow in the Ruben E. Hinojosa Regents Professorship in Education.


The Massey Award

Named for Elizabeth “Libba” Shatto Massey, the Massey award was created in 2003 by UT alumnus John H. Massey to honor his wife’s lifelong dedication to public education. Libba received her degree in education in 1961 from The University of Texas at Austin and pursued a career in teaching. She remains committed to education and connected to UT through her service on The College of Education Advisory Council and on the Executive Committee of the Chancellor’s Council for The University of Texas System. She also served as the chair of the University Development Board from 2009-10 and 2010-11, and is a vice-chair for The Campaign for Texas, the current capital campaign for UT Austin, launched in September 2006. She is a former member of the Texas Exes Board of Directors and a recipient of Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest award given by the association.


M. Yvonne Taylor, Communications Coordinator, 512-471-3916

Last updated on October 16, 2015