The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education honored Clarion University economics professor Dr. Sandra Trejos at its national conference March 6-8 in Costa Mesa, Calif. Trejos was selected as Outstanding Latina Faculty in Higher Education: Service Teaching in Higher Education (teaching institutions).
Nominated by Dr. James Pesek, emeritus dean of Clarion’s College of Business Administration, Trejos was recognized for innovative teaching techniques reaching a range of learning styles, blending chalk, talk, collaboration, research and technology, and for her service in numerous capacities to Clarion University.
“The college of business developed a core set of values, one of them a mission of service to the students, and Dr. Trejos embodies those values,” Pesek said. “A primary example is the Sunday study sessions she holds prior to examinations. She has shown time and time again that she really wants her students to succeed.”
A faculty member since 2004, Trejos co-founded the Study Abroad Club and recently started the Model United Nations Club. She also has served as chair of the International Advisory Council and as a board member for both Campus Ministry and Women and Gender Studies Council. She is a past recipient of the Clarion University Outstanding Faculty Equity Award (2009), and a year later scholar-athletes voted her Faculty of the Year.
Promoting minorities and women in non-traditional fields has been Trejos’ calling card and drives her work ethic. She believes her work paves a path for others.
“I strive to become the symbol which allows others to follow,” Trejos said. “I believe human capital is not gender-provided, but based on performance and intelligence.”
The AAHHE goals are three-fold: increasing the pipeline of Hispanic faculty in higher education; bringing issues pertinent to Hispanics to the attention of the larger academic community; and recognizing the achievements and accomplishments of Hispanics as they pertain to our academy.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by your peers,” Trejos said of the award from AAHE. “It is gratifying seeing the work you do being noticed by other professionals (in the field).”
Trejos is president-designate for the Pennsylvania Economics Association, a member of the American Society of Hispanic Economics and Midwest Economics Association. In 2014-15, she plans to be a mentor for the Diversity Initiative for Tenure in Economics, a junior faculty support program for underrepresented groups in the economics profession.
A native of Costa Rica, Trejos came to the United States courtesy of student and work visas. She overcame language barriers and cultural differences, adapting to new ways of teaching and developing methods to tailor her teaching style to the needs of students.
A mother of four, Trejos strives for balance between home responsibilities and work but consciously tries not to sacrifice one for the other.
“If it has a too negative an effect on other aspects of life, I won’t do it,” she said. “I look for that equilibrium between work and family.”
Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.