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NMSU criminal justice professor recognized with national advocacy award

Based on her ongoing advocacy work and academic excellence, Cynthia Bejarano New Mexico State University associate professor of criminal justice was awarded with the Critical Educators in Social Justice (CESJ) Special Interest Group's 2011 Community Advocacy Award at the American Education Research Association's 2011 Special Interest Group Business Meeting April 9 in New Orleans, LA.



New Mexico State University associate professor of Criminal Justice Cynthia Bejarano was awarded with the Critical Educators in Social Justice (CESJ) Special Interest Group's 2011 Community Advocacy Award. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Bejarano received the Donald C. Roush Excellence in Teaching Award in 2008 and the Stan Fulton Endowed Chair in Arts and Sciences in the summer of 2010. Her publications and research interests focus on border violence, immigration issues, and gender violence at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I am elated to have received this award," Bejarano said. "I would like to share this recognition with the brave families and activists that reside in the borderlands, and their tenacity and strength to live with dignity in the shadows and on the frontline of our U.S. and Mexican border communities."

Bejarano is the author of the book "Que Onda? Urban Youth Cultures and Border Identity," and the co-editor of an interdisciplinary anthology with Rosa-Linda Fregoso titled "Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Americas."

"I grew up in this area and immigration, gender violence and border violence are all pervasive issues that penetrate everyday life in the Borderlands," Bejarano said. "Current border violence issues leave an indelible mark on families on both sides of the border. Murders of community members are astronomical; I am amazed that there is warfare, military abuses and bloodshed only fifty miles from Las Cruces and there is little being done to curb that violence in the regional borderlands. Together, these issues shape the realities of our neighbors and communities; without addressing them or at least acknowledging them would acquiesce to the violence."

Bejarano was nominated for the CESJ award by colleagues Marivel Oropeza and Dana Christman from NMSU's College of Education, as well as Dulcinea Lara, Herman Garcia and Monica Torres from the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, Bejarano was also nominated for CESJ and American Education Research Association's Scholar Activist Award.

"I was honored to be nominated by faculty within and outside of my department in the College of Education, as well as my colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences," Bejarano said. "I strongly believe that any work that I do is in collaboration with so many others like the College Assistance Migrant Program staff and members of Amigos de las Mujeres de Juarez and they too, are just as worthy of this merit and recognition."

CESJ Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association are committed to teaching, promoting and implementing the principles of critical pedagogy in order to establish an educational movement grounded in the struggle for social and economic justice, human rights and economic democracy.