Skip to main content

About Elizabeth Mahon

We could change the words from “scholar” to “teacher” and Lao Tzu’s quote would hold equally true: A teacher who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a teacher. “Comfortable” would never be a word I would use to describe my past 20 years as a teacher. Challenging, fun, frustrating, exhilarating … but not comfortable.

I did not grow up thinking I would be a teacher. I grew up in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. My father was an oil engineer and had taken a job during the early oil years in the Middle East. He thought it would be a two-year assignment but he ended up living there for 35 years. From growing up overseas, I developed a curiosity about cultures around the world and a desire to interact with people who could teach me new ways of thinking. I wanted to travel around the world as a living!

Fortunately for me, teaching English as a Second Language in public schools is close to traveling around the world and definitely has taught me new ways of thinking. I began teaching in Montessori schools and then moved onto work as a Spanish/English bilingual school counselor/psychologist in Colorado public schools. I worked in several bilingual schools and became intrigued with the development of biliteracy and biculturalism. I wanted to learn more about schools that were successful with multilingual learners. I returned to CU Boulder and received my doctorate in Foundations of Bilingual, Multicultural Education in 2004. From 2004-2011, I taught English as a Second Language at both an elementary and secondary level in North Carolina urban schools that were designated as “needing improvement” or “red watch alert.”  I know what it feels like to work your tail off yet still feel like progress comes in baby steps.  As a clinical professor at CU Denver, I hope to bring my enthusiasm and experience in the field to the college classroom and help support teachers as they strive to analyze and improve their practices.


Present Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver

Curriculum Vitae

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • 2010 | Do Anything It Takes Award | Lowe’s Grove Middle School | Durham Public School


2004 Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder ‐ Social, Multicultural and Bilingual Foundations of Education
1994 M.A., University of Colorado Boulder ‐ Educational Psychology
1986 B.A., Oberlin College ‐ English

Contact Information

University of Colorado Denver
P.O. BOX 173364
Campus Box 106
Denver, CO 80217-3364