CSUMB alumni and lecturer instructs teachers in Salinas

Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez

May 25, 2022

Mark Gomez has taught middle and high school history for 18 years, as well as teacher education programs at colleges and universities like Antioch University, UCLA and CSU Monterey Bay where he majored in integrated studies, and is today a lecturer in the Service Learning Department.

In addition, he works as the history and social science curriculum specialist for the Salinas Union High School District. As such he plans and facilitates professional development for history and social science teachers, including helping to coordinate and oversee the implementation of the Ethnic Studies graduation requirement, and integrating civic learning.

He strives to empower students and teachers through authentic and participatory action research projects.

“At CSUMB I was able to pull from various disciplines, which only broadened as well as deepened my understanding of educational practices and how people learn,” he said. “One of the most impactful experiences was also the opportunity to do service learning in the community.”

He reminds his teaching candidates that students are human beings first, and that the relationship is as important as transmitting knowledge.

“I think if we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is a growing awareness of how deeply connected learning is to the social and emotional processes,” he said.

He calls the intersection of environmental and racial justice “the work of our time” and is thinking about climate change and its impact on “racialized communities.”

He is motivated by his experiences as a young person navigating prejudice, as well as transformative experiences in nature.

“My own children are also now great motivators to keep doing this work despite all its difficulties,” he said.