Barbara Catbagan is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Contemplative Education Department at Naropa University. Her dedication to education has evolved through the intersections of her daily practice, her K-12 teaching background and her association with the National Coalition for Equity in Education. Along with her university teaching, she works with institutions of higher education on issues and initiatives of equity, social justice, and personal and professional development. The opportunity to work with and learn from excellent colleagues at her own and other institutions informs her thinking and writing about the intersections of contemplative pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching. With a varied professional background, which includes school teacher, human rights director, mediator, life coach and academic, Barb experiences life as a sojourner through the morass that is our delicate, beautiful and resilient multicultural world. Barbara presents locally and nationally on topics germane to cultural responsive teaching, social justice and transformative leadership. She earned her M.Ed. with an emphasis on administrative leadership from Colorado State University.
Scott Van Loo is a building administrator at Dillon Valley Elementary, Dual-Language school in Summit County, Colorado. He has over 20 years of experience in public education including elementary and high school teaching and central and building-level administration. Scott is a former Director of the Cesar Chavez Cultural Center at the University of Northern Colorado. He is a faculty member with PassageWorks Institute and the National Coalition for Equity in Education. (NCEE) and has trained with several national-based diversity programs. As a consultant, Scott is passionate about creating transformational experiences that promote and challenge participant’s growth, thinking and relating. This passion has allowed him to work with colleges, universities and school districts access the mid-West. Scott’s creative passion is music and he has traveled and played in over fifteen countries with the United State Armed Forces Entertainment Unit and most recently got to play music and give away instruments in Cuba. Scott completed a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, an M.A. in Special Education, Educational Leadership/Principal License and is currently enrolled in a Doctoral Program in Organizational Development. Scott is a proud father of two young men.
Lillian Gomez, Adams State University Executive Director of Title V Initiatives, has over 30 years in federal grant administration and 40 years of teaching experience in K-12 and higher education. Lillian has overseen the successful development and implementation of multiple Title V Initiatives at ASU. She is deeply committed to improving the retention and degree completion of Hispanic and low-income undergraduate students. Gomez’ commitment has been in transformational leadership that is grounded in her PreK-16 teaching background and her association with the National Coalition for Equity in Education. During her work with Adams State University, she has assisted and facilitated the yearly Equity Faculty and Staff Retreats for over 20 years. Her deep commitment to the notion that “leadership is taking responsibility for what is important to you” has guided her enthusiasm for building diversity advocacy, equitable treatment of underserved student populations and supporting courageous equitable conversations. Lillian is a fluent Spanish speaker who deeply values her Hispano Cultural Heritage. During summer 2015 Adams State University and Title V Institutional Grant Office presented Ms. Gomez with an honor that stated “presented by your colleagues in recognition of your extraordinary passion, dedication and leadership in championing inclusive equity and opportunity for all students."
Marcella J. Garcia is the Activity Director at Adams State University for the Title V Caminos Grant, Increasing Access to Education and Opportunity in the Upper Rio Grande Region. Her dedication to education and issues of equity have evolved through personal experiences, her K-12 background in teaching and school administration and Directorship of Title V programs including the Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant at ASU. She has been through formal training with the National Coalition for Equity in Education and is passionate about issues and initiatives of equity, social justice, and personal and professional development. She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in K-12 Special Education. She also completed post graduate work in the Administrative Leadership program at ASU, earning an Administrative License. She served as an Elementary School Principal and School District Superintendent before retirement from the public school sector. Marcella and her husband are the proud parents of three sons and the joyful grandparents of one grandson.