On May 21st, 2011 Chapman’s College of Educational Studies held it’s Graduation Commencement. As part of the celebration the CES was proud to give two Honorary Doctorates this year.
The first Honorary Doctorate went to Ruebén Martinez, a Chapman Presidential Fellow and MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2004. Mr. Martinez was honored for his extensive work in the Latino Community for inspiring people to appreciate literature and creativity. Dean Don Cardinal and the Faculty and Staff of the College of Educational Studies will celebrate further Ruebén’s honorary doctorate at the kickoff of the Dr. Ruebén Martinez Legacy Campaign for Courage, Perseverance, and Academic Success on June 3, 2011.
Ms. Susan Sygall, also a MacArthur Fellow in 2000 was presented with an Honorary Doctorate for her work in the areas of international exchange, international development and leadership training for people with disabilities. As part of the presentation to Honor Sygall a music video, Loud, Proud, and Passionate!, was shown. The video was filmed at Mobility International USA’s (MIUSA) 5th International Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD). MIUSA is an organization that Sygall co-founded 30 years ago with a mission to “empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.” Loud, Proud, and Passionate! features 54 disabled women activists from 43 countries signing and singing in Arabic, Spanish and English to celebrate the achievements, pride and solidarity of women with disabilities around the world.
Every year the CES also gives the Changing the World Award to someone in the community who serves as an example to us within the CES in how we work and interact, support and nurture our students as well as our relationships with local communities and schools. This year the Changing the World Award was given to Dr. Sonya Nieto. Dr. Nieto also spoke as the Keynote Speaker at the 2011 Commencement and challenged the faculty, staff and graduates to make a difference, to change and improve education, especially for those students who have been at the margins of society. Students in America are given a better chance to learn in a safer and more caring and respectful school environment because of the kind of work that Dr. Nieto has done throughout the country. She is a spokesperson for these and all students, recognizing that when we provide equity, access and high expectations for the least valued, most ignored, most harassed, and most oppressed, you raise the quality of education for everyone. It is a vision of schooling that we at CES look to realizing.