Olivia Aguilar

Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment; Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Olivia Aguilar is a first-generation college student who completed her B.S. and M.S. in horticulture Science at Texas A&M University where she studied children’s gardens and their effect on youth environmental attitudes. After teaching in public schools, she went on to receive her Ph.D. in natural resources at Cornell University, studying theories of learning in environmental education. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of community, race and transformative learning in environmental education. Specifically, she examines how and why environmental and science learning communities are exclusive and how they can be more inclusive of groups traditionally marginalized. She has published articles in Environmental Education Research and in the Journal of Environmental Education. She has book chapters in Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators and in Urban Environmental Education Review and has written for Truthout. Her current research involves collecting oral histories from Latinx members to re-frame what it means to be “outdoors.”

Recent Campus News

Two students in masks outside making giant soap bubbles.

Earth Week can be every week

To celebrate Earth Week 2021, the Miller Worley Center for the Environment at Mount Holyoke held events to remind people that every day can be Earth Day. 

This is a photograph of V.S. “Raghu” Raghavan. Raghavan was appointed associate director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment and director of sustainability at Mount Holyoke College.

Sustainability’s new partner

The Miller Worley Center’s V.S. “Raghu” Raghavan works to connect operations and academics in building a sustainable community at Mount Holyoke.

This is a digital banner that reads, "Welcome Class of 2024!" It is overlaid on a photograph of a past convocation with students in bright colors gathered for the ceremony.

MHC’s first virtual convocation

The College’s first virtual Convocation centered the lifelong relationships, connections, and joy and resilience of the Mount Holyoke community.

Photo of the field gate

Meet Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty 2020

Mount Holyoke’s newest faculty bring cross-disciplinary scholarship to the College’s thriving intellectual community.

Nine faculty members have been granted tenure. Top row, l-r: Olivia Aguilar; Riché J. Daniel Barnes; Thomas Ciufo. Middle row, l-r: Naomi Darling; Nina Emery; Kerstin Nordstrom. Bottom row, l-r: Heather Pon-Barry; Jared Schwartzer; Jennifer Wallace Jacoby

Nine faculty receive tenure

The Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees has voted to grant tenure to nine faculty members spanning disciplines from gender studies to physics. 

Recent Publications

Aguilar, O. M. (2021). The critical piece missing from a critical food studies curriculum. Food, Culture & Society, 24(2), 325-335.

Aguilar, O. (2020, March 26). Are We Prepared for a Climate Crisis in the Middle of a Pandemic? Truthout. https://truthout.org/articles/are-we-prepared-for-a-climate-crisis-in-the-middle-of-a-pandemic/

Recent Honors

Has been selected as the speaker for this year’s Daffodil Lecture on Sustainability and the Environment for the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her talk, “Seeking the Justice in Environmental and Sustainability Work” will premiere March 15, 2021 at 6:30 p.m.

Was one of five panelists who spoke on Food Justice and Community Gardening in September hosted by the Women of Color Leadership Network at UMass Amherst in collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Worker’s Center. 

Just completed her two-year position as Chair of the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) Research Symposium, convening the first virtual symposium from October 8-10 in the organization’s history.