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.
Alrick Brown, Tisch School of the Arts
Alrick Brown is Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Film and Television. An award winning writer and director, Alrick graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and a Masters of Education. He received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Education is Alrick’s first calling, but he found his medium, film, after visiting the slave castle of Elmina, in Ghana, during a two-year tour with the Peace Corps in Cote d'Ivoire. The interactions with the people of his village, and his overall experiences in West Africa, informed his creative expression. An expression first fostered by his birth in Kingston, Jamaica and migration to, and upbringing in Plainfield, New Jersey. An activist and highly sought public speaker, Alrick’s commitment to social, political and economic justice, and revealing the heart of the world through the craft of storytelling is what draws audiences and peers to his work. Alrick’s cinematic reach includes credits on the small screen as director, producer and writer on a variety of projects – ABC’s Final Witness, ESPN’s short doc series Spike Lee’s Lil’ Joint, and Investigative Discoveries Emmy-Award winning series A Crime Two Remember. His published work has appeared in the Huffington Post as well as the New Jersey English Journal.
Alrick’s collective body of film work has screened in numerous festivals worldwide, earning several honors. Among them is the HBO Life Through Your Lens Emerging Filmmaker Award for the critically acclaimed documentary Death of Two Sons. Alrick’s first feature, Kinyarwanda, was recipient of the prestigious Sundance World Cinema Audience Award. He has previously taught undergraduate courses on the African American image in cinema at Rutgers University, film production at The Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and at Goddard College where he was a faculty advisor for the Interdisciplinary Arts MFA program.
Marie Cruz Soto, Gallatin School of Individualized Study
Marie Cruz Soto is a historian interested in imperial/colonial processes of becoming, and in those struggles to un-become upon which survival sometimes hinges (i.e., in the imagining of a different world). She is particularly interested in the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and in how militarized colonialism has shaped the makings of the Viequense community.
Her work explores how the long history of violent displacements and dispossessions in the island has ensured a vulnerable and unruly population. Her work consequently engages with the violence of militarized colonialism and with the proposals of anti-colonial and anti-militarism struggles.
Cruz Soto is also a peace activist who has participated in Viequense community initiatives, in the organization New York Solidarity with Vieques and in transnational networks of solidarity against U.S. military bases. As part of this work, she has, for example, given public lectures and participated as a petitioner in the United Nations Decolonization Hearings on Puerto Rico.
She teaches courses that delve into feminist and anti-colonial epistemologies, into the workings of the U.S. Empire, into struggles to narrate the past and claim places, and into the formation of communities and the edification and transgression of boundaries.
R. Luke DuBois, Tandon School of Engineering, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development & Tisch School of the Arts
R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural and personal ephemera. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and has lectured and taught worldwide on interactive sound and video performance.
He has collaborated on interactive performance, installation, and music production work with many artists and organizations including Toni Dove, Todd Reynolds, Jamie Jewett, Bora Yoon, Michael Joaquin Grey, Matthew Ritchie, Elliott Sharp, Michael Gordon, Maya Lin, Bang on a Can, Engine 27, Harvestworks, and LEMUR, and was the director of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra for its 2007 season.
Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography,” his work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his projects reveal the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information. Exhibitions of his work include: the Insitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; Haus der elektronischen Künste, Switzerland; 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; San Jose Museum of Art; National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art; Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; 2007 Sundance Film Festival; the Sydney Film Festival; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; PROSPECT.2 New Orleans; and the Aspen Institute. DuBois' work and writing has appeared in print and online in the New York Times, National Geographic, and Esquire Magazine, and he was an invited speaker at the 2016 TED Conference. A major survey of his work, NOW, received its premiere at the Ringling Museum of Art in 2014, with a catalogue published by Scala Art & Heritage Publishers.
An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data developed by San Francisco-based software company Cycling'74. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. He currently performs as part of Bioluminescence, a duo with vocalist Lesley Flanigan that explores the modality of the human voice, and in Fair Use, a trio with Zach Layton and Matthew Ostrowski, that looks at our accelerating culture through elecronic performance and remixing of cinema.
DuBois has lived for the last twenty-two years in New York City. He is the director of the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and is on the Board of Directors of the ISSUE Project Room. His records are available on Caipirinha/Sire, Liquid Sky, C74, and Cantaloupe Music. His artwork is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.
Stella M. Flores, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Dr. Stella M. Flores is Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity and Associate Professor of Higher Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She also serves as Director of Access and Equity at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at NYU.
Her research examines the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion outcomes for low-income and underrepresented populations.
Dr. Flores has published widely on demographic changes in U.S. schools, Minority Serving Institutions, and immigrant and English Learners. In 2003 her coauthored work was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court Gratz v. Bollinger decision (dissenting opinion) and in various amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court on affirmative action. In 2017 she was named “One of the Top 25 Women in Higher Education and Beyond” by Diverse Issues Magazine and has been recognized as one of the top 200 scholars in Education Week’s Public Influence Rankings from 2015-2018. Her research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the National Academy of Education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Educational Testing Service. Originally from Edinburg, Texas, she is the proud granddaughter of migrant farmworkers and a daughter of a teacher and a social worker.
Caran Hartsfield, Tisch School of the Arts
Caran Hartsfield’s film work has won awards at the Director’s Guild of America, Sundance Film Festival, and Cannes Film Festival. She is co-chair of the Inclusion Initiative Committee and the Faculty Mentors of Color in Tisch’s Undergraduate Film & Television Department. She is also the co-founder of the non-profit The Sonoran Initiative.
The Sonoran Initiative (TSI) is a non-profit committed to disrupting the cycle of generational poverty in underserved urban communities. The program provides mindset transformation coaching, professional development training, and financial fitness education. TSI also utilizes the arts to engage the participants and their communities. In collaboration with local artist, designers, and performers, TSI participants create large scale site-specific works of art in their working-class neighborhoods. Cross-pollinating various art forms (film, dance, photography, opera, sculpture, theater, sound-scaping, and more), the artwork creatively brings the TSI curriculum to the targeted neighborhoods creating a dialog and community engagement. Professor Hartsfield’s current research focuses on ways of using the arts and site-specific art installations to engage urban communities and the public at large around issues of poverty and social justice.
She is currently in production on a feature documentary following a year-in-the-life of The Sonoran Initiative.
Monica Kim, Faculty of Arts and Science
Monica Kim is Assistant Professor in the U.S. and the World History in the Department of History. As a historian and teacher, she is invested in tracing and narrating the lives of ordinary people, whose material experiences fundamentally challenge the framework of mainstream policies and historical memory.
Her research and teaching deal with three key issues of U.S. imperialism in the 20th century and beyond: the relationships between liberalism and racial formations, global militarism and sovereignty, and transnational social movements and international law. Her first book, The Interrogation Rooms of the Korean War: An Untold History, is a trans-Pacific history of decolonization told through the experiences of two generations of people creating and navigating military interrogation rooms of the Korean War.
Her activism has also been transnational and local. Previous to coming to NYU, Kim had worked with feminist and critical scholars in the U.S. and South Korea around political and pedagogical interventions aimed at challenging the escalating militarism in the ongoing Korean War. At NYU, Kim has been an active member of the NYU Sanctuary Coalition of faculty, students and staff, which has sought to raise awareness and intervene around immigrant rights and racial justice issues on campus and in the New York City community at large.
The President and Provost Offices, in partnership with the NYU Division of Student Affairs will present the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, which includes a $2500 research stipend, at the Faculty Award Reception during the MLK Celebration Week in February 2018.
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