English, Department of


Date of this Version

April 2008


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy Major: English. Under the Supervision of Professor Chris Gallagher.
Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2008
Copyright (c) 2008 Luis B. Rivas


This dissertation explores Hispanic/Latino students’ perceptions about language association and identity, the institution, and white professors at a small Midwestern liberal arts college. Issues addressed include the origin of a stigmatized relationship between Euro-Americans and Hispanics in the U.S. and its spill into academia, negative perceptions that affect students’ performance and persistence in the university, discussing the culture of power of the institution with students as a form of sponsorship, and providing academic literacy sponsorship through an Academic Cultural Guide role. The dissertation concludes with examples of strategies I have used in the first-year writing classroom to establish transparency of my role as instructor, teach literacy narratives, and foster relationships with students to meet their academic needs.