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Carla Guerrón Montero (left) has mentored hundreds of students
over the years, including Karelin Torres, who graduated from UD in 2021
and is a research assistant for Guerrón Montero’s weekly radio show.
“Professor Guerrón Montero is such a light in my life. Her lessons
and mentorship have really changed the way I think, and for the better,”
said Karelin Torres, a 2021 University of Delaware graduate in
anthropology. She took a class with UD professor of anthropology Carla
Guerrón Montero in her sophomore year and they immediately clicked. “She
reminded me of home,” said Torres, a first-generation college graduate
whose parents were born and raised in Mexico. “To see a Latin female in
this position of responsibility was empowering. We need more people who
look like us in the classroom.
“I can’t say enough about her. From helping me identify a capstone
project as a student to career advice now, she has always been there for
Guerrón Montero, who also serves as the associate director for the
Center for Material Culture Studies, recently was recognized with the
Scholarly Community Engagement Award by UD’s Faculty Senate and the
Committee on Student and Faculty Honors. The commendation notes that her
scholarship and teaching on cultures, food, and tourism are
fundamentally intertwined with her community engagement.
During her 18 years at UD, she has developed numerous partnerships
with local organizations that serve the Latino/a community, including
the Latin American Community Center, Voices without Borders, Holy Angels
Church, St. Francis Hospital and the Food Bank of Delaware. In every
case, students are an integral part of these partnerships, learning from
their experiences while contributing to initiatives around literacy,
food and nutrition, immigrant rights and access to healthcare.
Guerrón Montero’s overarching goal is for her students to gain a
better understanding of the deep-rooted systemic issues that perpetuate
inequalities in the Latino/a community. “While I want my students to be
active citizens, I invite them to think about radical transformations
rather than cosmetic solutions,” she said.
Current projects on her plate include co-hosting a weekly radio show,
Entre Nosotr@s, with Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, president of the
Votamos, We Vote Coalition. The show, which airs on FM 93.9 LAZMX,
features the stories of documented and undocumented Latino/a migrants.
“The show works to address pressing and structural problems in
Delaware’s Latino/a communities,” Guerrón Montero said. Torres is a
research assistant for the show, preparing background material and
interview questions each week.
Guerrón Montero also is working on a book commissioned by the
Delaware Hispanic Commission. True to form, she has engaged current and
former students in this project, offering them the opportunity to
interview Latino/a community leaders and use qualitative research
methods to transcribe, code and analyze these interviews. Margie Masino,
who earned her UD undergraduate degree this past May at the age of 71,
said that working on this book has been a high point in her life.
“I have to pinch myself. To think I am doing research for a
University of Delaware anthropology professor — it’s a thrill,” Masino
said. “It’s just the way that Professor Guerrón Montero always is. She
gets everyone involved and makes you feel that your contributions are
“Beyond that, her courses help her students recognize important
issues in our community and worldwide. In the ‘Food, Gender and Culture’
class, she opened my eyes to the depth of food scarcity here in
As a cultural applied anthropologist, Guerrón Montero said that she sees her work as an essential political responsibility.
“One of my pedagogical objectives is to make sure my students uncover
how the world operates ‘outside’ the academic world,” she said. “I am
committed to de-exoticizing anthropology and make it very clear that
anthropology can truly contribute to making the world a better place.”
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Article by Margo McDonough, photo by Evan Krape
February 23, 2023