Cameron Dexter-Torti, Lesley Guerrero, and Alex Gutierrez have been named the 2023 Dorman Commons Fellows. Established in memory of Dorman L. Commons, who spent eight years on the State Board of Education and three as the Chairman of the California Commission on the Teaching Profession, this fellowship supports graduate students who are classroom teachers or professional educators returning to work on advanced degrees.

Cameron Dexter-Torti is a doctoral student in the Department of Education, working with Dr. Sarah Roberts and with an emphasis in Teacher Education and Professional Development. He graduated with a B.A. in History from CSU Channel Islands before staying there to earn a single subject teaching credential. Upon graduating, Cameron spent the next eight years teaching at elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels and teaching in California, Texas, and Louisiana. While in Texas, Cameron pursued an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Baylor University, working with Dr. Brooke Blevins and studying the characteristics and contexts surrounding multilingual learners in their schools and communities. His current work focuses on how teacher education and professional development affects multilingual learners in classrooms. His current research interests: multilingual language learners, teacher education, equity and education, and empowerment through instruction and curricula.

Lesley Estella Guerrero is a teacher candidate in the Teacher Education Program (TEP) who graduated from UCSB with her Bachelors in Sociology and a minor in Applied Psychology and Education. She has a variety of interests, ranging from esthetics, yoga, dancing, poetry, home design and overall holistic healing practices. She has tried various different things in her young life, and the thing she enjoys the most is teaching, helping, and connecting with others. This next step in Lesley’s educational and professional career is a dedication to the value and importance she sees in investing in our youth and communities.

Ramon Alejandro "Alex" Gutierrez is a teacher candidate pursuing his M.Ed., Single Subject Teaching Credential in History/Social Science, and Bilingual Authorization in the Teacher Education Program. A first-generation Latinx college graduate, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. After years of outreaching to first-generation Chicanx/Latinx high school students during his undergraduate years, Alex began working as a Bilingual Paraeducator and later as a Bilingual Curriculum Specialist within Santa Barbara Unified School District for four years. Given his experience working with Emerging Multilingual Learner (EML) students, his passion for language justice, and his strong belief in teaching culturally relevant history, Alex hopes instill a strong sense of community, revolutionary love, and critical thinking in his students in order to inspire them to be agents of change within their communities.

Dorman Commons Fellows 2023