Dr. Sonia Nieto has devoted her professional life to questions of diversity, equity, and social justice in education. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she began her teaching career in 1966 in an intermediate school in Brooklyn, later moving to P.S. 25 in the Bronx, the first fully bilingual school in the Northeast. Her university career started in the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College. She and her family moved to Massachusetts in 1975, where she completed her doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, returning a year later to begin her long academic career there. She taught and mentored preservice and practicing teachers, and doctoral students at UMass from 1980 until 2006.
Dr. Nieto has received numerous awards for her scholarly work, teaching, activism, and advocacy, including 8 honorary doctorates. She has been a Visiting Scholar at various universities in the United States, as well as in Puerto Rico and Spain. In 2000, she was awarded a Bellagio Residence by the Rockefeller Foundation, and in 2012 she was selected as the Wits-Claude Distinguished Scholar at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2011, she was elected a Laureate of Kappa Delta Pi and a Fellow of AERA, and in 2015, she was elected a member of the National Academy of Education. In addition, she is profiled in Inside the Academy http://insidetheacademy.asu.edu/sonia-nieto, a free, open-source website that features archives of video interviews with America’s most distinguished and influential educational researchers.