Dec 18, 2006
Accepting the recommendation of the Faculty Awards Committee of Humboldt State University's Academic Senate, President Rollin Richmond has named Dr. Christina Accomando, Associate Professor of English, Ethnic Studies, and Womens Studies, Outstanding Professor 2006-2007.
President Richmond and Acting Provost Bob Snyder (Provost Rick Vrem is on travel) joined the Senate, faculty colleagues, and students in recognizing Dr. Accomandos steadfast scholarship and life-changing teaching, which span three academic departments, 22 different undergraduate and graduate classes, more than 20 university committees, many publications, and numerous forums and workshops.
Announcing the award, President Richmond said, “When I talk with students, I frequently ask them,’Who is your favorite professor?’ Professor Accomando’s name often comes up. When I ask why, I am told that she asks a lot of her students, and that they learn a lot. Her colleagues similarly regard her as an important member of our community, not only for the quality of her teaching, but also for her outstanding scholarship.”
Acting Provost Snyder added, “Professor Accomando has been a leader in transforming existing programs and developing new ones, including English, Ethnic Studies, Multicultural Queer Studies and Women’s Studies. It is gratifying to see the University honor her many accomplishments both in and out of the classroom.”
Accepting the honor, Professor Accomando, who earned her Ph.D. in Literature at the University of California-San Diego in 1994, stated, “By bringing together diverse voices from literature, ethnic studies, feminist theory, and multicultural queer discourse, I seek to offer students tools for analyzing the complexity of identity, oppression, and resistance. What I’ve most appreciated about teaching at HSU is the opportunity to work with some amazing students, who take these tools, combined with their own experiences, and make positive change in the world.”
Dr. Nikola Hobbel, an Assistant Professor of English who nominated her colleague for the honor, called her courses “a life-changing experience.” Beyond that, she said, Professor Accomando “embodies the Humboldt Spirit — to help create a more equitable world, with less prejudice, discrimination, and oppression.”
The Faculty Awards Committee, chaired by Professor Susan J. Armstrong (Philosophy, Women’s Studies), noted that Dr. Accomando has designed numerous courses at HSU. “Her teaching combines rigorous intellectual content, including textual analysis and questions of genre, rhetoric, and related historical and political contexts, along with an examination of race, gender, class, and sexuality,” the committee said in its recommendation.
Students laud Professor Accomando for “astounding knowledge of the subject” and “incredibly vibrant enthusiasm.” They also lionize her as a “freedom fighter, a pioneer, and a leader who supports social justice on all fronts,” the committee added.
Dr. Accomando’s research and scholarship interests span multi-ethnic U.S. literature, discourses of slavery and resistance, and Multicultural Queer Studies, as well as 19th and 20th century U.S. legal discourse and black feminist legal theory. She has taught such courses as “U.S. Literature by Women of Color,”“Media and Representation,” and “Race, Gender, and U.S. Law.” She also teaches “Power/Privilege: Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality,” a Fall semester Bridge Course that has significantly increased retention rates among EOP students, the Faculty Awards Committee said.
“[Christina] mentors students in the tools of critical thinking, providing them with strategies of analysis that highlight complexity and multiplicity,” observed Dr. Kim Berry, Chair of HSU Women’s Studies. “She encourages students to embark on a critical engagement not only with texts, but also with their lives and their position in the world. It is this constant attention to linkages among texts and lived experience that enables Professor Accomando’s teaching to be truly transformational for students.”
A free lecture and benefit dinner in Dr. Accomandos honor will be announced in the spring.