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Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro, PhD

Associate Manager Education Policy

Rebecca Vonderlack-Navarro works to advance policy supports and systemic change to bolster teacher preparation—both pre- and in-service—to meet the needs of the state’s diverse language learners. Her numerous speaking engagements, publications, and advocacy efforts provide thoughtful consideration about the interconnectedness of language, literacy and academic achievement.  She has recently authored a brief series on how Illinois might prepare all teachers to education English Learners along with ways to make teacher licensure exams (edTPA) more responsive to language and cultural diversity.  This work was informed by convening more than 40 stakeholders across the state with expertise in linguistically and culturally responsive education.  Rebecca also provides immigrant parent workshops to discuss how heightened academic standards might influence English Learners.  Rebecca is a state-appointed member of the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education.

Rebecca earned her PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her academic efforts were focused on the community organizing and bi-national political incorporation of Mexican immigrants in Chicago. Along with publishing a number of academic journal articles and book chapters, Rebecca’s dissertation was published as part of a book series, The New Americans, Recent Immigration and American Society, edited by Steven Gold and Ruben Rumbaut.

Prior to her studies at the University of Chicago, Rebecca was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to support qualitative research exploring the economic and political impact of a microcredit program on its participants at a community development agency located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Contact Rebecca via email or phone at 630-670-5777.