RLL would like to congratulate María Dorantes, who has been named a 2022 LSA Collegiate Lecturer. The appointment was announced by Dean Anne Curzan at the September LSA faculty meeting. 

The LSA Collegiate Lectureship is the highest honor LSA bestows on a lecturer. The College awards this honorific title to individuals with a sustained record of excellence in teaching as well as service to the University. 

Collegiate Lecturers may name their lectureship after another current or former U-M faculty member. María has chosen Maria E. Cotera.

Maria E. Cotera is a known professor, researcher, and author. Her scholarship explores Chicana Feminisms, Latino/a Studies, Comparative Race and Ethnicity, Digital Humanities and much more. She values community, equity and compassion, while also mentoring many students. Cotera came to the University of Michigan in 2001 as an Assistant Professor for the Women’s Studies and American Culture (Latina/o Studies) Departments. She also served as the Director of the Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Michigan. Cotera is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies.  

In nearly 30 years of employment at Michigan, Dorantes has moved through an impressive range of teaching, service, and administrative positions in RLL. She started her career at the University of Michigan as an academic advisor for the Comprehensive Studies Program, as well as LSA advising. This experience helped her appreciate the student perspective on campus.

In 1996, Dorantes said her colleague Ann Hilberry changed her career by letting her know of an opportunity to coordinate Spanish 101 in RLL. Since then she has had the opportunities to coordinate SPN 103, SPN 232 Topics and hold the position of director of the Spanish elementary program.

Dorantes also directed the Spanish Elementary Language Program (ELP) at its peak enrollment period (2007-2012), substantially improved courses within the Spanish major/minor curriculum (2012-2018), served as interim Spanish 232 coordinator (2018-2020), and initiated RLL’s new Spanish internships program (2019-present). Moreover, Dorantes has built significant bridges between RLL and numerous other units at U-M. These include the Language Resource Center, CRLT, the Center for Educational Outreach, and the Comprehensive Studies Program. She has consistently advocated for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has served on the RLL DEI Committee.

Dorantes has had many more highlights throughout her career at U-M. In 2020, she was selected as the Matthews Underclass Teaching Award recipient. María has also collaborated with the UMSchool of Nursing (UMSON) to create videos helping nursing students improve the delivery of care by highlighting cultural and linguistic considerations. With the support of CGIS, she has co-led two different GIEU programs to Peru and co-led one to Mexico, working with students taking SPN 230 in Costa Rica and Spain.

“I hope I inspire students and my colleagues to achieve their best and continue building communities by respecting one another,” Dorantes said. “I acknowledge the special meaning of the collegiate lecture title and am grateful to my students, numerous colleagues and family for helping me achieve this honor.”

When not in the classroom, María’s greatest joy is being a new abuelita to a beautiful grandson.