Every year, Adelphi honors four exceptional employees with a President's Award for Excellence. A presence on the Adelphi campus for four decades, Dr. Amador is the first recipient of the Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion for her commitment to advancing our goals for diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism.
Every year, Adelphi honors four exceptional employees with a President’s Award for Excellence. This year, Adelphi introduced a new accolade, the Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion, to recognize an Adelphi community member’s commitment to advancing our goals for diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism. The first recipient of this new award was given to:
Raysa Amador, PhD, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences
A presence on the Adelphi campus for four decades, Dr. Amador personifies the description for the first recipient of the Presidential Award for Diversity and Inclusion—someone who “has demonstrated a commitment to promoting and advancing diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism at Adelphi University.”
Dr. Amador, who, besides being department chair, is the director of Latin American Studies in Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences, received the majority of votes among all the nominations received for this award, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion noted.
Upon learning of her award, she said, “I am honored and humbled to receive such an accolade after 40 years of service at our Adelphi. To be the first to receive it is more significant and important to me.”
The director of Adelphi’s Latin American Studies program since 1987, Dr. Amador added the department chair responsibilities in 2006—“the first LatinX to be a chair at Adelphi,” she added proudly.
Dr. Amador—who got her PhD in Spanish and Portuguese in 1977 from New York University, where she also got a master’s and bachelor’s degree—started her illustrious career at Adelphi in 1978 as an adjunct professor with the Center for Afro-American Studies (now the Center for African, Black and Caribbean Studies); she went full time two years later.
From 1978 until 1986, Dr. Amador served as the adviser to the student organization, La Unión Latina. During that span, she said, “I helped organize a number of activities guided to empower the Latino students on campus.”
Through the years, Dr. Amador has been involved in various multicultural facets of Adelphi life—from spearheading the annual Foreign Language Fall Film Festival since 2012 to belonging to the Diversity Committee and the DACA, International and Immigration Task Force. She cited the two latter groups as “the most important service [roles] that I have accepted and continue to [perform]. These committees are very close to my heart.”
Also close to her heart are her two children, both of whom are Adelphi alumni, Raysana Hurtado ’08 and Rufino Hurtado ’03.
Her department’s mission, as promoted on its webpage, is “Preparing students for a multicultural world.” Turning to her Adelphi family, including her students past and present, Dr. Amador offered nothing but praise. “My students are my inspiration and my soul,” she said. “They give me hope because I see in them the possibility of a better future for all.”
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