Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2023


Numerous scholars have investigated the significant role that representation and mentorship play in the success of Latinas and other women of color during their journey through higher education, from degree completion to faculty hiring and advancement (Vasquez 1982, Zambrana et. al. 1997, Valdez 2001, Cavazos & Cavazos 2010, Shayne 2020, Contreras et. al. 2022). However, little research exists surrounding the lived experiences that have shaped mentorship carried out by university faculty, specifically, mentorship carried out by bilingual Latina faculty in higher education. Through a Latina Feminist Epistemology implementing Oral History Methodologies, this thesis aims to understand the cycle of mentorship via the narratives of bilingual Latina professors at the University of New Mexico. This study documents and examines the lived experiences of bilingual Latina professors as students in higher education—specifically their experiences of mentorship—and the correlation of that experience with their manner of providing mentorship to their own students today. I focus on representational factors of gender, race, and language throughout their narrative, which I argue are essential in building trusting bonds of mentorship—or confianza—with college students who share similar qualities. This thesis seeks to highlight a) intersectionality and the intersectional role of gender, race, and language in the experiences of mentorship received by UNM Latina professors as college students, and b) how their personal experiences of receiving mentorship influence how they now mentor their own students.

Degree Name

Spanish (MA)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Anna Nogar

Second Committee Member

Dr. Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez

Third Committee Member

Dr. Myrriah Gómez




Intersectionality, mentorship, Latinas, oral history, higher education

Document Type