SLI board of directors welcomes Fawn-Amber Montoya

The Scholars Latino Initiative has announced the appointment of Fawn-Amber Montoya, Ph.D., associate dean for diversity, inclusion and external engagement at James Madison University, to its board of directors.

“Dr. Montoya is an incredible leader and we are honored to have her join SLI,” said Jason Good, board chair. “Her experience and expertise add immense value to our organization and our community.”

Montoya was nominated by Karina Kline-Gabel, vice chair of the SLI board and of the Virginia Latino Advisory Board, who noted her “action-oriented commitment to improving college accessibility for Latino/x students in our community.”

Before assuming her role at JMU in 2019, Montoya directed the Honors program at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where she received awards for service, advising, and mentoring and was a professor of history who taught courses in race, ethnicity, and gender, and focused on Mexican-American history. She has consulted on numerous museum exhibits, co-authored Practicing Oral History to Connect University to Community, and edited Making An American Workforce: The Colorado Fuel and Iron Company’s Construction of a Workforce during the Rockefeller Years.

“I am excited about joining the board because my experience interacting with SLI students has always been inspiring,” she said. “They are motivated individuals that are ready for successful experiences in higher education.”

Established in the Shenandoah Valley in 2012 and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SLI creates college opportunities for Latino/x high school students through unique programs in Harrisonburg, Richmond, and Winchester, Virginia. By collaborating with local university faculty and high school teachers, SLI offers its students rigorous academic challenge, leadership development, and supportive mentorships. 

Donations from SLI’s community of support allow the organization to offer dual enrollment tuition assistance, computer awards, and college scholarships that further empower its scholars as they pursue a college degree. SLI has awarded $213,000 in scholarships, $46,000 in computer awards, and over $14,300 in dual enrollment tuition assistance.