Garcia, Lucena Win Cultural Ally Awards

By Purnell T. Cropper | June 8, 2010

This year the Cultural Ally Award was presented to two people, Dr. Ana Maria Garcia and Dr. Joanne Lucena, at the annual faculty and staff Service Awards Luncheon on May 25.

Students representing the Multicultural Organization Coalition are asked to nominate up to five faculty and/or staff members for the annual Cultural Ally Award. Those with the most nominations are awarded the Cultural Ally (Recognition) Award, which is given to staff and faculty members who students believe validate the experiences of Africa American, Latino, Asian, Native American and Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Queer students. The awardees represent those faculty and/or staff who students feel most supported by and with whom they can be themselves around.

The additional nominees for the 2009-10 Cultural Ally Recognition Award were Dr. Doreen Loury, Dr. John Noakes, Dr. Angela Gillem, and Dr. Gabriela Segal.

Students nominating Garcia, Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, noted, “Dr. Garcia is the most amazing woman. . . . She is passionate in her teachings and protective of her students, and she ‘practices what she preaches’ by enforcing social justice and equity in the classroom and out. She supports the club she advises [PRIDE] by attending events annually. Being a member of the Latina and LGBTQIA community, Dr. Garcia is a great resource.”

Students nominating Lucena, Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, noted, “Dr. Lucena is not only a wonderful and knowledgeable professor, but she comes to cultural events such as the Latin Expo and those sponsored by PRIDE. she takes freshman to Spain for Spring Preview and gets her students involved with tutoring Hispanic immigrants in English through Project SHINE in Philadelphia. She shows compassion and concern for students of all cultural backgrounds and provides support and a safe space for students to come and talk to her about issues they may have outside of the classroom. When in class, Lucena makes sure to incorporate current issues that are pertinent to her class’s interests and backgrounds and supports students’ speaking their opinions.”