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Graduate Student Leaders Recognized with Ethnic and Community Center Achievement Awards

David Gonzalez, Laura Ng, Luke Williams
Sep 10 2021
Students, VPGE

Laura Ng, PhD candidate in Anthropology, felt elated when she learned she had received the 2021 VPGE Research Teaching Award for the Asian American Activities Center. The award acknowledges students who plan to have a career in academia and demonstrate excellence in research and teaching.

“I was happy to be recognized for my research, not just by anybody, but by the Asian American Community and by people who have a stake in the research I do on Chinese American history,” Ng said.

Ng’s transdisciplinary research is rooted in the late 19th and early 20th century Chinese diaspora. It investigates the connection between Chinese American communities in southern California and the home villages of those communities in Taishan, Guangdong, China. Using material culture, Ng’s research highlights the “transpacific circulation of people, goods and information.”

Ng is one of eight Stanford graduate student affiliates to receive an Ethnic and Community Center Academic Achievement Award. The annual awards, which are sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE), are given to graduate students whose academic achievements and mentorship have greatly impacted their respective communities.

“VPGE started this award in 2011 in partnership with the community centers. Graduate students are making a significant impact through their research, teaching, and mentorship in service of those affiliated with the Centers,” said Anika Green, assistant vice provost for Graduate Education and director of DARE Doctoral Fellowship Program.

David González is a recipient of the VPGE Academic Achievement Award for El Centro Chicano y Latino. He received his PhD in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources in June 2021. His work is another example of an awardee’s permanent effect on their community.

"David's outreach work as one of our coordinators of El Centro's Frosh Scholars Program (FSP) helped us to increase our enrollment numbers substantially. Graduates cite the FSP as key to helping them make a successful transition to Stanford,” remarked Margaret Sena, Assistant Dean and Associate Director of El Centro Chicano y Latino. “He is a phenomenal role model for our community."

The community and cultural centers provide students with a variety of resources and empower community members from diverse backgrounds. The centers’ longstanding commitment to advancing equity, community, and leadership makes the centers essential to Stanford’s vision to foster greater inclusion, equity, and access through the Inclusion Diversity, Equity and Access in a Learning Environment Initiative (IDEAL).

In addition to these awards, VPGE contributes to IDEAL’s objectives by supporting diversity in graduate recruitment leading the EDGE (Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education) and DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) Doctoral Fellowship programs, and providing diversity-driven funding opportunities and programming. VPGE’s partnership with the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership in recognizing and celebrating these awardees highlights graduate students' contribution to Stanford's commitment to diversity.

“The academic leadership that graduate students provide helps the community grow in their knowledge, sense of belonging, and, ultimately, contributes to them flourishing at Stanford and beyond,” Green commented.