Faculty Award

The New York University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award is sponsored by The Provost, in partnership with the NYU Division of Student Affairs. Its purpose is to recognize outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through teaching excellence, leadership, social justice activism, and community building. These faculty make a positive impact within the classroom and in the greater NYU community. Current NYU students nominate faculty and recipients are chosen by a committee of past recipients and student leaders.

*The deadline for submitting a nomination for the NYU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award 2016-2017 has passed. 

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Pamela Calla

Pamela Calla, Faculty of Arts and Science

Pamela Calla, an anthropologist, grew up in a mining town in southern Bolivia. Her understanding and construction of collaborative political, pedagogical and research approaches dealing with difference and inequality were shaped by this life experience.  

Before becoming a professor at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU, she was the co-founder and director of the Bolivian Observatory on Racism. This observatory had the mandate of research, capacity-building, and grassroots action against current manifestations of racism. She was later co-founder and co-coordinator of the  “Red de Investigación Acción Anti Racista en las Américas,” an initiative which linked organizations with similar mandates across the Americas, as well as focused on capacity-building and comparative-action research in the creation of pertinent anti-racist strategies.  

Her research has also focused on indigenous women in social movements in Latin America. Black feminism’s intersectional analysis and Chicana feminism’s border analysis in the U.S. became crucial to her action-research with indigenous women in Bolivia. This experience led to the co-creation, alongside colleagues and students, of a working group on Feminist Constellations and Intercultural Paradigms at CLACS. She is now writing a book, “Indigenous women and the hegemony of a cultural revolution in Bolivia.”


Chike Frankie Edozien

Chike Frankie Edozien, Faculty of Arts and Science

Frankie Edozien has directed the Institute’s Ghana based ‘Reporting Africa’ program since 2008. He is a journalist who honed his skills writing about government, health and cultural issues for a variety of publications. His work has appeared in The Times (UK), Vibe magazine, Time Magazine, Out Traveler, Blackaids.org, The Advocate, Quartz, New York Times and more.

Edozien was an award-winning New York Post reporter for 15 years, and its City Hall Reporter from 1999-2008 where he was the lead writer on legislative affairs. He covered crime, courts, labor issues, human services, public health and politics, reporting from around the country and abroad for the paper.

In 2001, he co-founded the AFRican Magazine and served as the editor-in-chief. He has traveled around the world reporting on the impact of HIV/AIDS particularly among Africans and is a 2008 Kaiser Foundation fellow for Global Health Reporting. He is a contributor to the Arise News Network where he reports weekly on issues in sub-Saharan Africa.


Allan B. Goldstein

Allan B. Goldstein

Allan B. Goldstein, NYU Tandon School of Engineering Senior Lecturer, winner of the school’s 2012 Excellence in Education award, teams student innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs with disabled community members to create digital stories portraying life with disability. This experiential Disabilities Studies course, one of three core courses for the newly established NYU cross-school Disability Studies minor, is the subject of Bing Wang’s award-winning full-length documentary, The Ability Exchange.

Being the older sibling and guardian of a survivor of the notorious Willowbrook State School for Mentally Retarded Children, Allan’s personal experience writing explores the social barriers impeding an inclusive society. His memoir, Finding Fred, about two brothers reuniting, is searching for a home. Their story is explored in the video of the same name. Allan serves on the screening committee of the Sprout Film Festival, which features films by and about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Heather Ruth Lee

Heather Ruth Lee, Arts and Science, Shanghai

Heather Ruth Lee joined the NYU Shanghai faculty in August 2016 as an assistant professor of history, and teaches classes on global migration for the Humanities and Global China Studies majors. Her classes are built around research projects, like digital maps and podcasts, that train students to challenge conventional narratives of migration. As an extension of this research-driven inquiry, she is developing a historical database of immigrant businesses with the help of NYU undergraduate assistants, which she will make publicly available through an interactive digital platform.

Beyond the classroom, she contributes to programs on and off campus on race and inequality. She chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on Critical Inquiry and the Academic Programming Advisory Committee, through which she creates opportunities for students to continue the classroom dialogue. She has advised and curated exhibitions, including shows at the New York Historical Society, the National Museum of American History, and the Museum of Chinese in America. Her research has been featured in NPR, Atlantic magazine, and Gastropod, a podcast on food science and history.


John Kuo Wei Tchen

John Kuo Wei Tchen, Gallatin School of Individualized Study

John Kuo Wei Tchen is a historian, curator, and writer. Professor Tchen is the founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific /American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University, NYU. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80 where he continues to serve as senior historian. Yellow Peril: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (2014) is a critical archival study of images, excerpts and essays on the history and contemporary impact of paranoia and xenophobia.

He served as the senior historian for a New York Historical Society exhibition on the impact of Chinese Exclusion Laws on the formation of the U.S. He is currently working on a two-hour “The American Experience” PBS documentary with Ric Burns and Lishin Yu on the “Chinese Exclusion Act.” And he is also curating a series of exhibits, conferences, and performances retelling NYC-US history from the lens of scientific racism and eugenics hierarchies of “fit” white Protestants versus the world’s “unfit” others. This work will increasingly be presented via location-sensitive wearable tech.