Vanessa Martinez Named Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award Winner

January 12, 2022

Campus Compact recognizes Holyoke Community College professor of anthropology

Campus Compact is pleased to announce that Vanessa Martinez, professor of anthropology at Holyoke Community College has been awarded Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. The award, presented in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center, recognizes senior faculty who practice exemplary engaged scholarship through teaching and research. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

Martinez is recognized for teaching and scholarship that inspires students to take on leadership roles in their communities. Through academic work that focuses on storytelling, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and cultural humility, Martinez invites diverse groups of students to learn about community-based organizations, advocate and fundraise for community needs based on their own engaged research, and think critically about the role they play in their communities. This is evidenced by a partnership with the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, an organization that Martinez helped to found that serves as an engaged-learning opportunity for Holyoke Community College students. Students learn about the social determinants of health and the role of social inequality in health outcomes while researching community and collective member needs and developing advocacy plans to help create change. Martinez also leads a new Community Leadership Certificate program at the college to give students formal training to continue work at community organizations take on leadership roles in their community.

“Holyoke Community College is incredibly fortunate to have Vanessa Martinez among its faculty,” said Lisa Mahon, professor of English and service-learning coordinator at Holyoke Community College in a letter nominating Martinez for the award. “Her outstanding commitment to community-based learning, teaching, and advocacy has positively impacted our students, staff, and faculty, as well as the greater Holyoke community.”

Kimberly Buch, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte also received the Ehrlich Award this year. The following faculty have been named Ehrlich Award finalists: Bryan Sokol, director of the Center for Service and Community Engagement and associate professor of psychology at Saint Louis University, and Laura Rosanne Adderley, associate professor of history at Tulane University.

The Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award is presented as part of Campus Compact’s Impact Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of individuals and institutions in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education. Read more about the other awards and this year’s recipients at

The recipients of these awards will be recognized in March at Campus Compact’s upcoming Compact22 virtual conference.

For more information contact:
Molly Leiper, Communications Manager, Campus Compact,

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