Juan Ríos Vega

Juan Ríos Vega

Associate Professor

    Westlake Hall 236
    (309) 677-3693


Ph.D., Philosophy in Educational Studies, Cultural Studies Concentration from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Women’s and Gender Studies Certificate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M.A., Curriculum and Teaching with Emphasis in ESL from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
B.A.’s, English and Education from University of Panama


Dr. Ríos teaches undergraduate courses in the area of English language acquisition. These courses include Methods of Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) and Practicum for Teaching English Learners (ELLs).


Drawing from critical race studies and Latin critical theory (LatCrit) in education, Dr. Ríos has developed extensive research on Latino/Latina students in education. In 2015, Dr. Ríos published his first book Counterstorytelling Narratives of Latino Teenage Boys: From Vergüenza to Échale Ganas, where he unpacks how socio-historical issues in education shape Latino/Latina students academic success. In his book, he analyzes how the use of Latino/Latina students’ community cultural wealth can be used as an asset in education. Dr. Ríos has also published articles in co-edited books, Ni Latino, Ni Hispano: A Journal of Resiliency and Social Justice (2015) and From Panama to Academia: A Testimonial of Struggle and Resiliency (2016).


Dr. Ríos has been invited to present his research studies at different national and international conferences. In 2014, he presented a keynote at Panamá-TESOL, Using Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in English Language Acquisition. Dr. Ríos has vast experience working with immigrant/refugee families. He became the founder/president of a non-profit organization that supports the well being of Latino/Latina immigrants in Asheboro, North Carolina. Dr. Ríos has been the recipient of the Daniel Solórzano Mentoring Program, Graduate Research Award Winner, Marian Franklin Scholarship, Luther Winborne Self Fellowship, Univision 40 Teacher of the Year, “2Those Who Care” Community Award, and George Washington Carver Enrichment Center Award. Dr. Ríos is involved in different social justice projects in the United States, Mexico, and Panama. He is a member of the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), American Educational Research Association (AERA); Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), and Critical Race Studies in Education Association (CRSEA). Dr. Ríos will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 Hispanic League’s Annual Scholarship Award Gala in Winston Salem, NC.