Department of Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching
Dr. Barbara Gonzalez-Pino has been a pioneer in contributing to the creation of a university that promised to be the “first of its kind” in the Southwest. She retires from The University of Texas at San Antonio in May 2012 after a remarkable 38 years of unyielding dedication.
Dr. Gonzalez-Pino completed her doctorate at The University of Texas—Austin. She began her tenure in 1974, a year after UTSA was established and opened its doors to graduate education. As a UTSA pioneer, there were extraordinary challenges that today’s beginning professors may not encounter nor comprehend.
Gonzalez-Pino held a joint appointment in the College of Education (earlier the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, in its Division of Education) and in the College of Fine Arts and Humanities. These assignments began the year she applied for tenure in 1980, and continued through 2000 when the foreign language requirement was removed at UTSA. Since 2000, she served the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, now the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in the COEHD.
Gonzalez-Pino designed and taught 48 different courses with three to four classes per semester, including in bilingual education, Spanish culture and language, foreign language pedagogy, adult education, curriculum and instruction, and cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Concurrently, she prepared the groundwork for the university language curriculum and also assumed administrative assignments such as the Spanish coordinator. She also hired lecturers, provided instruction for them, and coordinated the Spanish Program. In addition, there were catalogue changes and language instruction for special purposes which included interfacing with multiple programs such as Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, Criminal Justice, Business, and others.
Despite all of this, and more, Professor Gonzalez-Pino also procured nine training grants. Her research included the study of oral proficiency training in Spanish and later live and online language proficiency testing. Her study of linguistic self-concepts of bilingual Mexican-American students demonstrated the important finding that many heritage speakers have a negative self-concept of their skills and do not match their tested-documented language proficiency level.
Finally, Gonzalez-Pino held leadership roles, as President of the Texas Foreign Language Association and President of the Alamo Language Association. Gonzalez-Pino was selected as the College Foreign Language Teacher of the Year by the Texas Foreign Language Association and has received numerous additional awards. She also served 30 years as a faculty sponsor for the Kappa Delta Phi Honor Society in Education. Gonzalez-Pino served as the Chief Rater for the Texas Oral Proficiency Test of Spanish, which is completed by all bilingual teacher candidates and secondary Spanish teacher candidates seeking Texas Certification. She has been active in numerous language Societies including the South Central Modern Language Association. In her spare time, she has been a symphony presenter, and member of the Opera Guild and Conservation Society.
In sum, Gonzalez-Pino set the groundwork for instruction across numerous courses and programs that address language and culture and created student teaching supervision guidelines. Her legacy allows the present generation to assume a role of responsibility and educational development that, otherwise, would not be the case. This past spring, the ILT Department and College honored Gonzalez-Pino for her contributions to The University of Texas at San Antonio.