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 2015-2016 has passed. 

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Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng, Assistant Professor, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng is an Assistant Professor of International Education at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is a scholar whose research and community-based work focuses on the social lives of marginalized youth. His interests include comparative perspectives on (im)migrant adaptation (with a focus on China and the US), race/ethnicity, and social capital within the school and educational context. As such, Cherng’s research examines the social relationships in the lives of minority and immigrant adolescents in the US, gender and ethnic differences in education in China, and cultural and social capital transfers between adolescents in the US. His scholarship has appeared in journals such as American Educational Research Journal, Social Forces, and Teachers College Record. His activism mirrors his research: Cherng works with minority immigrant families in New York City, immigrant advocacy groups, and student groups at NYU and other NYC colleges and universities. Cherng received his doctorate in sociology and education policy from the University of Pennsylvania, and has taught in a charter middle school in San Francisco and a college in rural China.

Cooper Davis

Peggy Cooper Davis, Professor, School of Law

Peggy Cooper Davis is the John S.R. Shad Professor of Lawyering and Ethics at the School of Law.  After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1968, she worked in legal services for the poor and as a death penalty abolitionist.  She was a law clerk to Hon. Robert L. Carter, a lead lawyer in Brown v. Board of Education, and she served for three years as a Judge of the New York Family Courts. She has published two books and more than 50 articles and book chapters. Her analyses of microaggressions and other cross-racial interactions have been widely cited and used in legal training. Her analyses of child placement decision-making have been pivotal to thinking about custody determinations. Her 1997 book, Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values, and her book-in-progress, Enacting Freedom illuminate the importance of anti-slavery and civil rights traditions as guides for interpreting of the Fourteenth Amendment. She directs the Experiential Learning Lab, through which she develops strategies for addressing interpretive, interactive, ethical, and social dimensions of professional training.


Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos is a Professor of Social Work and Global Public Health and Co-Director of the Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health (CLAFH) at New York University Silver School of Social Work. He has expertise in the role of families in preventing HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and unintended pregnancies among Latino young people in communities of high socioeconomic disadvantage such as areas of the South Bronx, Harlem, and Lower East Side communities of New York City. His work also focuses on the development of alcohol, drug, and HIV prevention interventions in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

Dr. Guilamo-Ramos has been the principal investigator of research funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. He has published articles on parent-adolescent communication about sex and on the role of parents in the prevention of adolescent sexual risk behavior. His scholarly work has been published in top scientific journals including American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Adolescent Health, Pediatrics, AIDS and Behavior, Health Psychology, and JAMA Pediatrics.

Aisha Khan

Aisha Khan, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Science

Aisha Khan grew up in Los Angeles. She came to the U.S. as a small child. Her academic career began in community college and a state university in California, to a PhD program in anthropology in New York City. Prior to joining NYU, she held teaching positions at a range of private and public institutions: small and large, endowment challenged, well-endowed, with populations of young, older, “first generation,” “returning,” racially and ethnically diverse, and class-varied students. Combined with Khan’s own personal background and educational history, these contrasts among students, highlighted in the classroom—their different values, preparedness, and levels of success—encouraged her fascination and impatience with structures of inequality. These contrasts also fostered her curiosity about the ways in which inequality is both directly and indirectly experienced, and in what contexts. Notable among these are institutions of formal education, which she saw firsthand can be either fortifiers of the status quo or powerful corrective sites of working for social justice. Khan decided early on to orient her teaching, mentoring, and scholarship to the latter. As a consequence, her books, articles, and other publications focus on racial formations and religious traditions among Asian and African diasporas in the Americas, particularly the Anglophone Caribbean.


Olugbenga G. Ogedegbe, Professor, College of Global Public Health, School of Medicine

Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine & Population Health, Chief Division of Health & Behavior in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Medical Center. He is Vice Dean and Chief Medical Officer, NYU College of Global Public Health.

A leading expert in health disparities research, his expertise is in implementation of evidence-based interventions targeted at cardiovascular risk reduction in minority and underserved populations. He has expanded his work globally to Sub-Saharan Africa, where he is funded by the NIH to build research capacity in non-communicable diseases in Ghana and Nigeria. Dr. Ogedegbe is a well-established NIH-funded investigator with over 200 publications. He is a fellow of several scientific societies and has served on numerous scientific panels and work groups.

A passion of Dr. Ogedegbe is in mentoring under-represented minority students, fellows and junior faculty across the country. His work has been recognized by receipt of several mentoring awards including the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship Award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Society of General Internal Medicine Herbert Nickens Award for Mentoring, the MLK Visiting Professorship at Duke University and the Lindebaum Society Visiting Professorship at Columbia University.