Edward Delci holds a portrait of his late wife, Virginia Pesqueira, in front of Old Main at ASU's Tempe campus

Five trailblazing Sun Devils recognized for National Hispanic Heritage Month

By

Hannah Moulton Belec

This month, five former ASU faculty and staff and Valley leaders are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Hispanic and Latino community in Arizona. The honorees were featured in a video that debuted during the Sept. 21 ASU football game before thousands of fans at Sun Devil Stadium. 

“This year’s honorees for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month embody the long and proud history of their community at ASU," said Edmundo Hidalgo, vice president of outreach with Educational Outreach and Student Services at ASU. "They embody everything Sun Devils are dedicated to: scholarship, excellence and dedication to improving our local community. We’re thrilled to shine a light on their amazing work during this heritage celebration.”

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

The 2019 honorees:

Cordelia Chávez Candelaria earned her undergraduate degree from Fort Lewis College and her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. During her academic career, she earned many grants and awards for scholarship on transborder issues and women’s history, and ultimately was named a Regents Professor, the highest faculty honor awarded at ASU. Additionally, Candelaria’s leadership experience included service as associate dean and vice provost at ASU and an appointment to the board of directors for the National Council of La Raza. She is the recipient of many honors in recognition of her exemplary scholarship, including the Outstanding Latina Cultural Award in Literary Arts and publications from the American Association for Higher Education Hispanic Caucus.

Edward Delci was born in Mesa and was the first in his family to attend college, graduating with a degree in Spanish and a minor in Latin American studies from Arizona State University. He served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador and Peru before earning his master’s degree in social work at ASU and working as a director of minority recruitment at the university. He and his late wife, Virginia Pesqueira, have been involved in civic engagement and advocacy for migrant and immigrant communities in the state. Delci served as the faculty adviser to ASU’s MEChA club and as a registrar of voters and has been recognized for his leadership with the CLFSA Cesar E. Chavez Community Service Award, the Los Abogados Community Leadership Award and many more. 

Virginia Pesqueira was a well-known and respected educator, professor and teacher, with expertise in bilingual education, reading and multicultural studies. Born in Tucson, she had big dreams of attending college and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona before earning her master’s degree and doctorate at Arizona State University. Through her dedication to education, she helped launch and further programs such as the Chicano Studies Department at ASU (now called the School of Transborder Studies), the Hispanic Mother Daughter Program, Los Diablos, MEChA and more. Pesqueria passed away after a battle with ovarian cancer in 2016.

Christine Marin earned her doctorate from ASU and is the founder of the prestigious Chicano/a Research Collection and Archives at Hayden Library. She is an expert in Southwest and 20th century Mexican American history. Among many other scholarly and community distinctions, Marin was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award during her time at ASU for her teaching on transborder studies and women’s studies. Marin is a proud native of the copper mining community of Globe, Arizona. She is presently researching the history and stories of African American women in Globe and Miami, Arizona. 

Miguel Montiel, a native of Nogales, Arizona, retired in 2008 as the recipient of the Motorola Presidential Professorship on Community Revitalization at the Arizona State University Department of Chicana/o Studies (now known as the School of Transborder Studies). He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree from Arizona State University and his doctorate in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. His career in academia and the community has included service and scholarship related to youth programming, dropout prevention, labor, human services, chronic disease and collaborative scholarship on diversity, community globalization and much more. He is currently collaborating on an oral history project on Mexican immigration with his wife, Yvonne Montiel.