Mario Montaño, an associate professor and chair in the Department of Anthropology at Colorado College, has been a beloved CC professor for 23 years. He is both a cultural anthropologist and a folklorist. Much of his research focuses on the Texas-Mexico border and on the northern region of Mexico.

His interests include foodways, sociolinguistics, ethnographic methods, Mexican Americans, and the Southwest. His curiosity about the anthropology of food prompts him to delve into questions about how food-centered activities influence the construction of cultural and gender identity, how food preparation, distribution, and consumption contribute to men and women’s social position and power, and how food symbolically connotes maleness and femaleness.

For the past six years, Mario has been teaching a course that focuses on Hispanic cultures living along the Rio Grande River. To further explore this area, he is preparing a research proposal for the National Endowment of the Humanities for a two-year, ethnographic-historical research project on the Rio Grande Basin. Mario earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

During Homecoming 2015, he will receive the Gresham Riley Award, which recognizes faculty and staff who have made a significant difference to the Colorado College community through outstanding service, commitment and accomplishment. The continuing concern for and support of students and alumni demonstrated by such individuals ensure the general well-being and future excellence of the college. These accomplishments exemplify the important contributions made by Gresham Riley, the tenth president of Colorado College, 1981-1992.