Prof. Amanda Martinez Wins Inaugural Excellence in Teaching and Mentorship Award
Davidson College Professor Amanda Martinez was honored with the inaugural Excellence in Teaching and Mentorship Award through the Latina/o Communication Studies Division & La Raza Caucus of the National Communication Association.
Martinez is also the recipient of a Presidential Citation Award for service to the discipline for her role in creating and facilitating a nationwide mentorship program, the La Raza Mentorship Initiative. Started in 2017, the mentorship program is by and for self-identified Latina/o/x communication studies scholars at all stages of their careers.
Martinez accepted the honors in a room full of her peers at the organization's annual convention in New Orleans in November 2022.
Never one to shy away from controversy or difficult conversations, Martinez describes how she introduces students to compelling arguments and perspectives through interactive, digital and analytical engagement with the subject matter.
"Among my biggest joys as an educator is witnessing the lightbulb 'a-ha' moment that students experience when we are in the thick of a deep discussion and our thinking is stretched into new directions and new ways of knowing," she said.
As part of the nomination process, peers and mentees shared their experiences with Martinez, who worked with students to launch the Davidson Microaggressions Project in 2017. As a vehicle for historically excluded members of the college community to share experiences of microaggressions, the platform has raised awareness about campus climate as experienced by diverse members of the Davidson community while providing resources and additional information on relevant topics.
I would not be where I am today without mentorship from Dr. Martinez. She took me under her wing and taught me about the nuances of navigating life as a young, ambitious Latina in a racialized American society – especially living in the South. Coming from a low-income and undocumented background, I often felt out of place at Davidson College. My first year I often roamed the campus alone; it was like I was in another universe… far from anything I had ever seen or experienced.
Martinez says diversity, equity and inclusion is central to all she does and who she is.
"I aim to work against the tendency to integrate diversity into the classroom in a tokenizing, add-on way," she said, "instead striving to infuse it into all aspects, so students come to see diversification as normalized, knowledge production as enriched with more voices and perspectives, and key arguments as pushed forward in new ways by the historically marginalized, excluded and underrepresented."
- February 1, 2023