News Release

May 10, 2004

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

Award Winning Author to Speak at UConn Medical and Dental Schools Commencement Exercises May 16

Migrant's Determination Leads to Life of Achievement

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Francisco Jiménez, Ph.D., author of two award winning autobiographical books, is this year’s speaker at commencement exercises for the University of Connecticut medical and dental schools Sunday, May 16, at 1 p.m. under the tent at the Academic Entrance.

In his books The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, and Breaking Through, Dr. Jiménez recounts memorable experiences of his Mexican-American family’s migration from farm to farm as laborers, and as a young migrant child, his struggles to continue his education while coping with poverty.

Currently, he serves as the Fay Boyle Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, and director of Ethnic Studies at Santa Clara University in California, where he created the Eastside Future Teachers Project, an outreach program to encourage historically under-represented students to become teachers by providing scholarships, mentoring, and practical experience.

He also served in leadership positions for the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development Board of Directors, the California State Commission for Teacher Preparation and Licensing, and the California State Humanities Council. He was a co-founder of the Bilingual Review and is a board member of the Bilingual Review Press.

Dr. Jiménez is the author or editor of numerous textbooks, literary anthologies, and award winning books. In 2002, he was awarded the National Teaching Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
He earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Santa Clara University in California and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Columbia University in New York.

Degrees will be conferred to 34 dental school graduates and 68 medical school graduates.

Representing the UConn School of Dental Medicine as class speaker is Denver native Christopher Shank and speaking for the UConn School of Medicine is Christopher Morosky of Southington.

Professor and Department Head Susan Reisine, Ph.D., in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health will be presented with the UConn Health Center’s Board of Directors Faculty Recognition Award for “outstanding academic and clinical accomplishments as a member of the School of Dental Medicine faculty and for sustained excellence of the highest order in professional endeavors.”

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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