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HCC Professor Receives Education Award from Latino Scholarship Fund

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) Anthropology professor Vanessa Martínez is the recipient of the 2022 Antonia Pantoja Award from the Latino Scholarship Fund of Western Massachusetts.

The award, named after the noted Puerto Rican organizer and education activist, was presented on June 23 at the Latino Scholarship Fund’s 32nd annual meeting at the Log Cabin. The organization presents the award annually to an individual who has made a profound and significant contribution to education, demonstrating a dedication to the academic achievement of Latinx students.

Martínez is co-director of HCC’s Honors Program and co-founder of the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, a Springfield-based nonprofit. In addition, her HCC classes frequently engage with community groups and Holyoke schools through service-learning projects. She has been teaching at HCC since 2006.

“This is exciting for me and HCC, as HCC continues to be acknowledged in my work,” she said.

In January, she also received the 2022 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award from Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.

Martínez was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University, a master’s degree from Georgia State University, and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts. In 2011, she received the Latino Teaching Excellence Award from then-Gov. Deval Patrick, and was selected in 2015 as a Leadership Fellow by the American Anthropological Assoc.

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