Josie Danini Cortez, M.A.
Coordinator, Product Design and Development
Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., is a senior researcher and medical anthropologist, bringing 25 years of experience at IDRA, directing its Division of Research and Evaluation for eight years, managing all of the organization’s research and evaluation activities, including the evaluation of the College Assistance Migrant Program, comprehensive audits of bilingual education and ESL programs at the district level, evaluations of IDRA projects, such as Creative Collaboratives: Empowering Immigrant Students and Families Through Education; its federally-funded comprehensive center that served more than 1,100 school districts in Texas; Alianza, a model bilingual education teacher preparation program that was unique in its binationality and innovations; and ENLACE, collaborations that resulted in more Hispanic youth getting into college and graduating.
Josie Danini Cortez, M.A.
- Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework, contributing author, 2010
- Creating Your Education Blueprint for Action: Mendez and Brown Community Dialogues – A Launch Kit, book, CD & DVD, with Rosana G. Rodríguez, Abelardo Villarreal, & Bradley Scott, 2010
- Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs in Texas – A 2009 Update, with Albert Cortez, 2009
- Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English – A Guide, with María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Albert Cortez & Abelardo Villarreal, 2002
- “Describing the First-Year Experience for First-Time-in-College Students at a Major Community College,” with
Albert Cortez, M.A., IDRA Newsletter, May 2012
- “Strategies for Ensuring Students Make Key PreK-20 Transitions.” IDRA Newsletter, November-December 2011
- “Texas Accountability – A Fast Track for Some; A Dead End for Others,” IDRA Newsletter, February 2010
- “Youth Matters,” IDRA Newsletter, January 2010
- “An Exploratory Study of Cultural Beliefs About a Patient’s Time to Die,” with H.P. Perkins & H.P. Hazuda, Journal of General Internal Medicine, in press
- “Engaging Ourselves to Engage Our Students,” IDRA Newsletter, March 2009
- “The Power of Listening to Young Voices,” IDRA Newsletter, November-December 2008
- “Comments on Shrank et al., Focus Group Findings about the Influence of Culture on Communication Preferences in End-of-Life Care,” with H.S. Perkins, E. Ponce de Souza & H.D. Hazuda, J. Gen Intern Med, 2006 (21: 399-400)
- “Expressions of Effective Parent and Community Engagement,” with Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., Linda Cantu, Ph.D., & Bradley Scott, Ph.D., January 24, 2012
- “Teacher Communities of Practice,” January 31, 2011
- “What Students Need their School Counselors to Hear,” December 18, 2008
- “Dropout Prevention for Students with Special Needs,” with Lee Ramos, December 11, 2007
- “Professional Learning Communities in Schools,” with Juanita García & Aurelio Montemayor, November 26, 2007
- “Good Schools for Children Learning English,” June 20, 2007
- “Early Childhood Classrooms of Excellence,” with José L. Rodríguez, April 4, 2007
Ms. Cortez was one of the first Hispanic women graduates of the University of Notre Dame where she was named a Notre Dame Scholar. She received her master’s degree in medical anthropology from
where she researched the epidemiological and ethnomedical dimensions of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome under the leadership of Dr. Lester Adelson, a pioneer forensic pathologist.
Ms. Cortez leads IDRA’s design and development of research-based programs and products, and also serves as project director of IDRA’s Marguerite Casey Foundation efforts in evaluation capacity building, Ms. Cortez brings her experience in project management, designing staff development, and providing technical assistance that has resulted in the strengthened capacity of 12 community-based organizations to evaluate their work in a way that continuously informs, ensures accountability, and builds knowledge among staff. She also serves as the external evaluator for IDRA’s South Central Collaborative for Equity.
Her tenure at IDRA has brought innovations in research methodology, technology, survey design and development, rigorous protocols, and critical transformations in reporting methods. Her expertise in qualitative research led to the integration of both qualitative and quantitative methods in IDRA’s designs.
Ms. Cortez coordinated IDRA’s national study of successful bilingual education programs, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, the national evaluation of the Improving
’s School Act conferences, and the Audit of the Bilingual Education and Hispanic Studies Department of the
School District. Having led IDRA’s development of the groundbreaking rubric for the study of successful bilingual education programs, Cortez was invited by the USDE to train program staff in using the rubric for program assessment.
Ms. Cortez’ directed IDRA’s partnership with the
for Students with Disabilities with
and the Education Development Corporation. She also directed IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, an internationally-recognized dropout prevention program, as well as ACCESS – a K-16 project funded by the Ford Foundation to increase Latino students’ access to higher education.
As a medical anthropologist, she has been affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science
(UTHSC-SA) for the past 27 years serving as adjunct faculty in the Department of Medicine. Ms. Cortez has researched, taught, and published extensively on cross-cultural medical ethics, specializing in death and dying and has served as co-investigator of several research studies in the areas of cardiovascular disease and advance directives. Her medical work has resulted in enlightened policies and practices for advance directives in
Texas, using cultural understanding to help educators and health care providers value the inherent assets of children and their families.
She has more than 30 articles in refereed journals, such as the Journal of Clinical Ethics, the Bilingual Research Journal, the American Journal of the Medical Sciences, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Ms. Cortez has served as an advisor for numerous research councils, such as the U.S. Surgeon General’s Regional Health Meeting on Hispanic/Latino Health, which resulted in recommendations for a change in national policy on the data collected in this country’s hospitals.
IDRA is an independent, private non-profit organization, directed by María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., dedicated to strengthening public schools to work for all children. As a vanguard leadership development and research team for more than three decades, IDRA has worked with people to create self-renewing schools that value and empower all children, families and communities. IDRA conducts research and development activities, creates, implements and administers innovative education programs and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.
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