René Luís Alvarez
I am a Chicago native by birth and grew up near the city’s southwest side before majoring in History at Loyola University Chicago. I enrolled in New York University’s Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration program. As someone intrigued by cities, I learned as much from living in Manhattan as I did from my classroom studies. After NYU, I started and ended different jobs in student affairs and activities but I did not think I was putting my History degree to good use; so I pursued my state teaching certification through Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Education program. I relocated to Philadelphia in the late 1990’s and started teaching history and social studies in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, just outside of the city. After about three years, I decided to chase my life-long dream of attaining a doctorate in history, thinking such a credential would provide opportunities and platforms to influence public debates about schools and education. I enrolled in the history program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, and earned my PhD in 2008. Since then, I taught history and education at a state university and began teaching history at the Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago in 2015.