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Meet AITP Director Maria Tenorio
Meet AITP Director Maria Tenorio

Maria T. Tenorio, EdD, is the project director of the American Indian Teacher Program (AITP) in the Curriculum and Instruction Department. Her doctorate is from Lewis & Clark College. She has a bachelor of arts from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She arrived at PSU in the fall of 2010 to lead the AITP program 

Tenorio grew up in a small rural town outside Detroit, Michigan—far away from her Pueblo homeland. She spent many afternoons in the woods playing with her 11 brothers and sisters or sitting in a favorite tree reading and dreaming of what lay beyond the horizon. A graduate of Title I schools, she was encouraged by her Mexican immigrant mother to teach, and then to work toward a doctoral degree. Only the second in her family to earn a college degree, Tenorio brings the importance of family relationships and cultural identities to the classroom as she encourages students to write about strengths they may take for granted or overlook.

She recalls first becoming interested in program planning at the University of Michigan (UM) where she did work toward her teaching license and master’s in early childhood education. At UM’s community service office, she initiated an experiential learning course for three student teams in business, architecture, social work, psychology, and education. Together with children, parents, and staff of low-income childcare centers, they designed and built imaginative play structures for the children and received course credit for their work.

Tenorio is co-principal investigator for the AITP’s federal grant, which was renewed for a third time. She is co-lead with Dr. Moti Hara, ELP, on a study of disproportionate discipline of Oregon Tribal Students in Portland Public Schools.

Maria T. Tenorio, EdD, project director
American Indian Teacher Program
Portland State University
College of Education
Curriculum and Instruction
1900 SW Fourth Avenue
Suite 290A
Portland Oregon 97207-0751
Phone: 503-725-9925
Cell: 503-484-7009
Fax: 503-725-5805

"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly love." —Dalai Lama.