Nadine Fernandez, of Syracuse, was named the recipient Susan H. Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship. She was recognized at an All College conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. at the end of March. Fernandez is an associate professor and mentor at the college’s location in Syracuse. She also is the area coordinator of Gender and Family Studies for the college’s Center for Distance Learning.
Nikki Shrimpton, dean of the Central New York Center, said, “Prof. Nadine Fernandez’ unbroken record of more than two decades of scholarship makes her truly worthy of this award.”
“This is a big surprise,” Fernandez said, when accepting the award. She thanked her colleagues and her dean for their support in her scholarly endeavors.
Fernandez is known for her anthropological work on Cubans, including those living in Cuba, Cuban-Americans and Cubans in Scandinavia. A skilled ethnographer, with several research studies to her credit, in 2010, she published a groundbreaking book, “Revolutionizing Romance: Interracial Couples in Contemporary Cuba" (Rutgers University Press). Based on ethnographic studies in the 1990s in a neighborhood in Havana, her book makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the role of gender, race and class in everyday life in contemporary Cuba, as well as the impact of tourism, Shrimpton noted.
Fernandez also has published several book chapters, with more planned. She has presented more than 30 conference papers, primarily those sponsored by the American Anthropological Association and Latin American Studies Association. She has helped organize and chaired sessions at a dozen academic conferences and been a guest lecturer at universities and research institutes in the U.S. and abroad.
Fernandez was recognized by her peers by her election to the board of the Association of Feminist Anthropology section of the American Anthropological Association. In addition, she has reviewed manuscripts and written many book reviews in her field.
At Empire State College, she was named a “Scholar across the College.” With three colleagues, including Shrimpton, she traveled across the state to talk about their research on Cuba. They also organized a residency for Empire State College students held in New York City, "Cuba at a Crossroads: Art Culture and Identity," where she was noted for her ability to engage her students to think critically about race in Cuba.
About the Susan H. Turben Award in Scholarship
The Turben Award for Excellence in Scholarship is supported through an endowment from the Susan and John Turben Foundation and recognizes a faculty member who has received recognition for significant and widely recognized scholary or creative achievement undertaken while employed by Empire State College. Susan H. Turben ’72 was the second graduate of Empire State College.
About SUNY Empire State College
Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.
The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students average age 40.
Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.
In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.
Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.
Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.
The college’s 70,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.
The college was first established in 1971 by the Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.
Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.
Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications
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