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About Margarita Bianco

My interest in special education began during my high school years when I did volunteer work. A friend of mine told me about some work she was doing with a young boy with significant support needs - and it sounded interesting. The family needed help with their son, so they asked for community volunteers to go to their home and help care for their son, Keith. I would go once a week for a few hours and read to Keith while his family ran errands - or just had a little break. After this experience, I wanted to explore a career in physical therapy, speech / language therapy, or special education.

After graduating from high school I was fortunate enough to get a job close to home as a teacher's assistant working with students who were deaf and blind. We had 7 students in the class - Each student had the undivided attention of a teaching assistant all day. I worked with a 12 yr old boy named Wilfredo. He taught me how to teach! I was hooked and started my undergraduate work at William Paterson College in special and general education the next year.

Over the next 15 years I taught students with various abilities in public and private schools all over the country - and even abroad. I wanted to increase my knowledge and skill level so I decided to go back to school for a Masters degree with a concentration in gifted education. It was during this time that I began to explore the underrepresentation of certain populations (students with disabilities, English language learners, students of color) in gifted programs and wanted to know more.


Present Associate Professor, Special Education and Urban Community Teacher Education, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • 2015 | The Floyd G. Hudson Outstanding Service Award, The Council for Learning Disabilities
  • 2015 | Professional of the Year, Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities
  • 2015 | Nominated for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s 2015 Multicultural Education Award
  • 2012 | Excellence in Teaching Award, (Tenure Track) University of Colorado
  • 2012 | Excellence in Teaching, The School of Education and Human Development, University of Colorado Denver
  • 2012 | Community Service Award in recognition for service to Montbello students and community
  • 2011 | President’s Diversity Award The University of Colorado
  • 2011 \ Rosa Parks Diversity Award Faculty Recipient – University of Colorado
  • 2004 | Outstanding Researcher of the Year International Council for Learning Disabilities (CLD)


  • Transition and Secondary Methods in Special Education [online]
  • Transition and Secondary Methods in Special Education
  • Adolescents
  • Understanding Students in Urban Contexts
  • Advanced Seminar in Special Education
  • Gifted Students and the Pathways2Teaching program [Independent Study for Counseling MA student – Allison Levy]
  • Gifted English Language Learners [Independent Study for CU Boulder doctoral student]
  • Collaboration in Schools and Communities [online]
  • First Year Seminar: Introduction to Urban Education
  • Introduction to Urban Education: Pathways2Teaching
  • Psychology of Gifted, Talented and Creative Children
  • Special Education Internship
  • Teaching for the Success of All Children


2003 Ed.D., Florida Atlantic University ‐ Exceptional Student Education
1996 M.S., Florida Atlantic University ‐ Special Education/Gifted Education
1980 B.S., William Paterson College ‐ Special Education/General Education

Contact Information

P.O. BOX 173364, CAMPUS BOX 106
DENVER, CO 80217-3364


Refereed Articles (12)

Refereed Book Chapters (6)

Editor Reviewed Book Chapters (4)

Book Chapters (2)