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.
Images from the 2019 MLK Week Faculty Award Reception
Carol Anne Spreen, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Dr. Carol Anne Spreen is an Associate Professor of International Education in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her scholarship brings together interdisciplinary and comparative approaches to examining education policy and practice.
Her research centers on political and socio-cultural studies of educational change, particularly the influences of globalization and corporate privatization on teaching and learning. She is currently working on two book projects: teachers’ lives and work in rural African schools (South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda) and teachers’ global mobilization and resistance to the privatization of education.
Jasmine Y. Ma, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Serving as Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, Jasmine Y. Ma studies the mathematics and learning of people across settings, and the role of bodies, space/place, and participation structures.
She begins with the assumption that all individuals have the potential to engage in complex mathematics, and that students' typical experiences in classroom mathematics make contact with just a small fraction of possibilities for learning. Additionally, she’s concerned with how dominant forms of mathematics instruction (and the assumption that Western mathematics is the only mathematics of value) actively and systematically marginalize particular populations of learners. Currently her research team is investigating an afterschool documentary filmmaking program, following youth across settings to conceptualize their learning as emerging from pathways, rather than individual contexts.
Teboho Moja, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Teboho Moja is a Clinical Professor of Higher Education at NYU Steinhardt. Raised in apartheid South Africa, when others left the country to fight the system in exile, she chose to fight from within the country.
During her early career, Teboho became one of the founders and national president of the Union of Democratic Staff Associations (UDUSA), an umbrella organization that organized college level faculty and employees to challenge the South African government. In 1995, she was appointed by President Nelson Mandela to serve as an Executive Director and Commissioner of the National Commission on Higher Education. The Commission produced a framework for new policies that were adopted to transform the apartheid based higher education system.
Her teachings focus on social justice issues in the US as well as internationally. Additionally, Teboho creates opportunities for students to learn about social justice issues through study abroad programs. She encourages students to remain a community of learners post study abroad to continue learning about social justice issues.
Autumn Rain, Faculty of Arts and Science
Autumn Rain is an historical anthropologist who comes to NYU from the College of William and Mary as a Senior Research Associate of the Institute for Historical Biology and co-director of the Remembering Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom Project.
Currently, her work focuses on cemeteries of the enslaved as contested sites of reclamation within local, national, and diasporan memorial landscapes.
Autumn draws on ethnographic, bioarchaeological, and documentary analysis. Her current book-length projects include studies of history, race, and identities in Rio de Janeiro and Virginia and a study of childhood, labor, and race within Virginia’s system of indentured servitude from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Christina S. DeHaven-Call, Tisch School of the Arts
Christina DeHaven-Call has worked as a production manager, line producer, and producer on numerous short films, features, documentaries, commercials, and music videos.
Several of her films have premiered at the Sundance, Tribeca, and SXSW film festivals, and on HBO, including two feature length documentaries, MY UNCLE BERNS and 761st, both about the lives and legacies of WWII veterans. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America, where she served as Co-Chair of the PGA East Diversity Committee for four years. She teaches Producing the Short Screenplay and currently serves as the Associate Chair of Production for Undergraduate Film & Television.
David Kirkland, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools. He is a leading national scholar and advocate for educational justice.
Dr. Kirkland's transdisciplinary scholarship explores a variety of equity related topics: school climate and discipline; school integration and choice; culture and education; vulnerable learners; and intersections among race, gender, and education. With many groundbreaking publications to his credit, he has analyzed the cultures, languages, and texts of urban youth, using quantitative, critical literary, ethnographic, and sociolinguistic research methods to answer complex questions at the center of equity and social justice in education. He currently leads efforts to enhance education options for vulnerable youth throughout New York City, and beyond.
Danielle C. Ompad, College of Global Public Health
Dr. Danielle Ompad is an epidemiologist whose work is focused in the areas of urban health, HIV, illicit drug use, and adult access to vaccines. Currently, she examines heroin cessation among current, former, and relapsed heroin users.
Working with Alliance for Public Health and the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy, she analyzes harm reduction service utilization among people who inject drugs, in order to optimize service delivery in Ukraine. Since 2013, she has served as faculty for the Fogarty-funded New York State International Training and Research Program with the goal of building research capacity in Ukraine.
She currently serves as Associate Professor of Epidemiology.
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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