Southeastern professor receives national honor for multicultural work
by: Rene Abadie
HAMMOND – Celina Echols, professor in the Southeastern Louisiana University Department of Teaching and Learning, has been awarded the 2013 Carter Goodwin Woodson Service Award in recognition of her work in multiculturalism and service-learning.
The award is sponsored by the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) and was presented at the organization's national conference held Nov. 6-10 in Oakland, Calif. The award is named for Woodson, who is credited with establishing the origins of the multicultural movement, creator of Black History Month and the establishment in 1915 of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now named African American Life and History.
A resident of Hammond, Echols is a specialist in educational psychology and has served on the Southeastern faculty for 16 years. At Southeastern, she has coordinated numerous forums focused on race, culture, social equity and multiculturalism. She supervises a service-learning project at a local middle school with a significant number of at-risk students where teacher candidates mentor African-American middle school students in preparation for high stakes tests. Following the 2007 earthquake in Haiti, Echols initiated and coordinated a community and university response to the global disaster.
"Dr. Echols is a positive role model and mentor, not just for our student teachers and others at Southeastern, but also for middle school and high school students," said Cynthia Elliott, head of the Department of Teaching and Learning, who nominated Echols. "She practices the art of service with willingness and commitment."
Elliott said Echols also embraces scholarly leadership and research into multiculturalism through her authorship of several articles in professional journals.
"I appreciate Dr. Elliott's nomination for this award, which has inspired me to do even more because I respect the principles of service," Echols said. "It is humbling to know that I received an award for service that is linked to the respected scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson."
A former member of the NAME board of directors, Echols received her doctorate in education from the University of Akron.