As an Agency for International Development (AID) Fellow, Martha received a Bachelor of Bilingual Elementary Education (1975) and a Master of Educational Administration (1976) from the New Mexico Highlands University. After working for the Ministry of Education in Bolivia, in association with the Agency for Educational Development (AED), she earned a Ph.D. in Educational Administration (1981) from the University of Utah, under the tutelage of Dr. Lloyd E. McCleary.
Upon graduation, she was recruited to serve as the Director of Faculty Development for the Universidad Autónoma del Norteste, Saltillo, Coahuila. From 1981 to 1988, she also served as Academic Director and is currently an invited professor and program advisor for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Planning.
For the last 31 years, she has been associated with the University of Texas at Austin. She has served in various capacities including Institutional Review Board Faculty, Minority Liaison, Certification Officer, President of the Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association, Member of the Graduate Assembly, and Graduate Advisor for the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, College of Education. In 2012, the department created the Martha N. Ovando Award to be presented annually to a graduating cohort member of the University of Texas at Austin Principalship Program in recognition of outstanding student leadership in her honor.
At the present time, she serves as board member for St. Gabriel Catholic School in Austin, Texas, and a board member and Curriculum Committee Chair for Side by Side Kids, a non-profit organization that provides after-school programs, tutoring to elementary school students in underserved communities. Additionally, she has provided professional consultant services to various universities in Latin America, including Argentina, Bolivia, and México.
Ovando is the proud mother of Mayté Antelo-Ovando, who was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. After serving the San Diego Unified School District in California as a licensed School Psychologist for six years, Antelo-Ovando graduated with a Master of Educational Policy Management at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She currently serves as Director of Clinical Services for Heading Home a nonprofit organization that serves homeless in the Boston area.
Scholarly work has concentrated on understanding the processes related to the supervision of instruction, as well as on instructional leadership.
Ovando, M. (2015). Mentoring for the Professions: Orienting toward the Future. Mentoring Diverse Doctoral Students: Lessons Learned.
Ovando, M. (2010). The Faculty Mentors Wisdom: Conceptualizing, Writing and Defending the Dissertation. Identifying a Dissertation Research Topic: Rowman and Littlefield.
Ovando, M. & Casas-Rodriguez, M. (2005). Women as school Executives, Leadership: A Bridge to ourselves. School leadership from a Hispanic female perspective: Voices from the field (pp. 72–92): Texas Women School Executives.
Ovando, M. (2002). School leaders perceptions of multicultural competencies: Implications for school leadership. The Changing World of School Administration (pp. 347–362): Lanham, Maryland, and London.
Owen, J. & Ovando, M. (2000). Superintendents guide to creating community: Lanham, Maryland, and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Technomic Books.
Ovando, M. (2000). Assessment of interns performance: A key to enhance school leader preparation for the new millennium. Marching into a new millennium: Challenges to Educational Leadership (pp. 140–159): Lanham, Maryland, and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Technomic Books.
Ovando, M. (2000). Collaborative Supervision: Implications for Supervision Research & Inquiry. Paradigm debates in curriculum and supervision modern and postmodern perspectives (pp. 108–125). Westport, Connecticut: Greenhouse Pub. Group, Inc.
Ovando, M. (2000). Fundamentos Teóricos para la formación empresarial. Formación Empresarial: Metodología Fundes (pp. 15–32): McGraw-Hill Interamericana de Chile, Ltda..
Florence McCants Dedication Award, Side by Side Kids (2017)
The Jay Scribner Mentor of the Year Award, University Council of Educational Administration (2010)
L.D. Haskew Centennial Fellow, UT Austin College of Education (2005 - 2019)
Faculty Member of the Year, Hispanic Faculty & Staff Association, University of Texas at Austin (2005)
Invited Member, International Academy of Educational Leaders (2000)
First woman to be appointed Graduate Adviser, Department of Educational Administration, The University of Texas at Austin (1997)
First woman to obtain tenure, Department of Educational Administration, The University of Texas at Austin (1994)
Master Teacher Award, The National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (1991 - 1992)
Teacher of Change, The Coordinators of Faculty Development for Community Colleges, Vail, Colorado (1991)
Member, Who is Who in American Education (1990 - 1992)
Member, Phi Kappa Phi, National Education Honor Society (1981)
Agency for International Development Fellow, Department of State, Washington DC (1974 - 1976)
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