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Education program director honored for her championship of education equity

Local foundation honors director of Lipscomb Educator Scholars program for her advocacy for education equity among Nashville’s students.

Janel Shoun-Smith | 615-966-7078 | 

Laura Delgado in a meeting

In April, Laura Delgado, the College of Education’s program director for the Lipscomb Educator Scholars program, was named a 2024 Champion of Education Equity by Equal Chance for Education (ECE), a Tennessee nonprofit that partners with 15 colleges and universities statewide to provide student scholarships without regard to race, religion or nation of birth.

Since 2015, Delgado has coordinated Lipscomb’s Pionero Scholars program, and since 2022 she has also coordinated the MNPS Lift Off to Lipscomb program, both scholarship and outreach programs that seek to increase the number of local students who enroll at Lipscomb and return to teach in their home communities in Nashville.

As a component of her support for students enrolled in the two Lipscomb Educator Scholars program, Delgado renewed the university’s relationship with ECE, which now provides scholarships to seven to 10 Lipscomb students each year. As part of the Lipscomb-ECE partnership, the university agrees to discount tuition for students who are awarded ECE scholarships.

ECE founder Dr. Michael Spalding described Delgado as a great ally to the foundation, which was founded in 2014 as a private source of funding for students living in Tennessee who are unable to access in-state tuition due to their legal status. Spalding individually financed a personal friend to attend Lipscomb, and through that experience, decided to establish a nonprofit foundation to raise funds for similar scholarships.

Laura Delgado with students

Before coming to Lipscomb in 2015 to launch the Pionero Scholars programs, Delgado worked for Teach for America of Greater Nashville and Conexión Américas carrying out parental engagement, curriculum development, youth development and grant-writing.

A third-generation Cuban-American, Delgado works to recruit high school graduates to Lipscomb’s Educator Scholars program and coordinates support programming for the education majors during their college years. She also helps with on-campus programming for students who are first in their family to attend college or who are immigrants themselves. 

In addition to her role at Lipscomb, she serves as a board member for Nashville Teacher Residency and previously served on the board of the Tennessee Educators of Color Alliance and on the steering committee of the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition.
She was also a finalist for the Nashville Emerging Leaders in 2019 and won a Diversity and Inclusion Change Agent Award from the Association for Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education in 2020.