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Silva Named Piper Professor

Dr. Cecilia Silva, professor of bilingual and multicultural education in the TCU College of Education, has been selected as a Piper Professor for 2016. The honor was announced by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation of San Antonio, which has honored 10 Texas professors for their superior teaching each year since 1958. Dr. Silva is the seventh TCU professor and the second College of Education professor to receive the honor. Silva joins the company of science education professor Dr. Molly Weinburgh, who received the award in 2015.

Dr. Silva joined the faculty in 1995 and quickly built relationships with the college’s centers, institutes and programs. Even after officially retiring this year, she continues to teach and support English language learners. She collaborates with Dr. Weinburgh and the Andrews Institute to lead professional development workshops, preparing Fort Worth ISD biology teachers to engage English language learners (ELLs). She also supports students and teachers during the Andrews Math, Science and Language summer camp for ELLs.

“Dr. Silva is extremely humble,” Dr. Weinburgh noted in her Piper nomination letter. “She quietly goes about her work while making a huge difference in the lives of others.” Former student Sam Moseley wrote, “Dr. Silva has educated me to be an ethical and responsible citizen in a global community. As a future teacher, I hope to impart sociocultural values in my students and do so through the compassion that Dr. Silva has shown me.”

Outside of teaching classes at TCU, Silva mentors bilingual undergraduates, McNair Scholars and Community Scholars, and serves on the Discovering Global Citizenship Committee. Off campus, she works with the International Newcomer Academy and Catholic Charities to support refugee students and their families.

In 2015, she received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teacher/Scholar Award and Dean’s Teaching Award. She was born in El Centro, Colombia and attended a bilingual, binational school. She emigrated to the U.S. and earned her bachelor’s from Ohio State University, her master’s from California State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. She taught in California public schools for 13 years before accepting her first faculty appointment at California State University, Chico (1989-1995).

College of Education Dean Mary Patton says, “Cecilia’s impact on future educators is remarkable. “Her research and curriculum initiatives are recognized throughout the U.S. and she is a trailblazer in ESL and Bilingual Education.”