College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Laura Barrio-Vilar, an assistant professor of English, has an impressive record of service to UA of Little Rock, the local community, and national and international academic organizations. She has been particularly involved with creating more inclusive and safe educational environments for minority students.
Barrio-Vilar helped implement the Green Dot Violence Prevention Initiative, which offers training for campus and community members in violence prevention and intervention. She and her colleagues outlined the creation and financing of the program following the death of a student in 2010. Since then, she has been an active member of the Green Dot Steering Committee, having served as both secretary and chair. Barrio-Vilar has also worked with the Green Dot and Safe Zone programs to develop new curriculum that advocates the rights and safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning individuals. In 2016, she also served as the director of the Safe Zone Education Subcommittee.
Barrio-Vilar has been active member in the Chancellor’s Committee on Race and Ethnicity since 2012, and she has also been a faculty affiliate of the Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity since 2015. The committee was formed by Dr. Joel Anderson in 2006 to create a dialogue on race and racial divides in Arkansas. Barrio-Vilar also volunteered at the Racial Attitudes in Pulaski County Conference from 2012 to 2014, and in 2014 was appointed to the Diversity Recruitment and Retention Task Force.
Barrio-Vilar is the faculty advisor to The Alliance, an organization for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students to meet in an accepting environment. She is also the faculty advisor for AWARE (Advocating for the Wellbeing and Respect for Everyone) and ONE, a global initiative to end extreme poverty, hunger, and preventable diseases. She encouraged a partnership between The Alliance and AWARE which resulted in the establishment of the “Organizing for Change” panel at 2016 Diversity Week events. She has used her experience and knowledge with campus and local organizations to implement an innovative service-learning approach in her courses engaging students in more than 830 service hours in 15 different organizations.
Barrio-Vilar received a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in English from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree in English philology from the Universidad of Santiago de Compostela.