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College professor honored for helping undocumented students

CAMARILLO — Jose Alamillo, professor of Chicana/o Studies at CSU Channel Islands (CI), was honored for his work to help Latinos and undocumented students break barriers and excel in higher education. The Ventura County chapter of the Mexican American Bar Association (MABA) presented Alamillo with its Access to Justice Award on Oct. 17. The award was one of two given to outstanding community leaders who promote the advancement of Latinos at MABA’s Annual Scholarship Dinner.

“What is noteworthy about Professor Alamillo is that he is Mexican-born, he was raised here in Ventura County, he benefitted from the Educational Opportunity Program, and he has attained incredible academic achievements, making him the perfect example of what can be done when a person is determined and cares about helping our society,” MABA said in a statement. “Recognizing that many of his students are the first in their families to attend a university, (Alamillo) dedicates time far above and beyond what is called for by his position to guide students in choosing courses, securing financial aid, and navigating the myriad other choices and options available to them, and for which many have no other guide.”

Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Alamillo came to the U.S. as an undocumented child at the age of 8, following parents who were migrant farmworkers. Growing up in Ventura, he took part in UCSB’s Educational Opportunity Program, encouraging minority students to pursue higher education. After graduating from UCSB, Alamillo earned his master’s and Ph.D. at University of California Irvine and taught at Washington State University. He returned to Ventura County in 2008 to help CI build its Chicana/o Studies program.

“I feel very honored and humbled by this award,” Alamillo said. “This confirms that I’m doing the right thing by making sure my campus provides access and resources to undocumented students. As an undocumented student once myself, I…

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