Constance Coiner Award
Leila Pazargadi (shown at left with Virginia Coiner Classick, Constance Coiner's sister) advanced to candidacy and received her concentration in Gender Studies in the spring of 2009. Her dissertation discusses the comparative works of Iranian American and Arab American women writers who are publishing autobiographical fiction and nonfiction in a post-9/11 America. For the Freshman Summer Program, she developed a course entitled "Literatures of Migration: Exploring the 'Third World' Perspective." Her innovative techniques push back against preformulated conceptions of race, gender, and religious culture, thereby expanding the canon while also engaging students in global debates shaping their world outside the classroom.
Update: Funded by the CSW's Constance Coiner Graduate Fellowship and the Dissertation Year Fellowship, and guided by amazing committee members, Dr. Jenny Sharpe, Dr. Nasrin Rahimieh (UCI), Dr. Sondra Hale, and Dr. Nouri Gana, Leila Pazargadi will file her dissertation, Mosaics of Identity: Reading Muslim Women's Memoirs from Across the Diaspora, and graduate with her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Concentration in Gender Studies. In the fall, she will assume a position as Assistant Professor of English at Nevada State College, a publicly funded liberal arts college in Henderson, NV. In August, she will present at the upcoming International Society for Iranian Studies Conference in Istanbul and in January at the MLA convention in Boston. -May 2012.
Kimberly Mendoza (shown at left with Virginia Coiner Classick, Constance Coiner's sister) is a third-year transfer student with a major in International Development Studies and a minor in Chicana/o Studies. She transferred from Pasadena City College, where her experience as a student-activist began. She was involved with Students for Equality in Education (SEE), an organization and support group for undocumented (AB540) students. This involvement led her to work with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). At UCLA Kimberly is also Pinays Coordinator for Samahang Pilipino, which works to educate, organize, and empower Pinays in advocating for the needs of their communities.
Sabrina Cathleen Tinsay is an AB540 student majoring in International Development Studies with minors in Political Science and Anthropology. Born and raised in the Philippines, she seeks to empower her community and future generations through activism for women’s and human rights. When she attended Cypress College, she served as Student Trustee for the North Orange County Community College District and advocated for equal opportunity in education. At UCLA, she joined Nourish International, a student organization that develops ventures to eradicate poverty and to empower communities in developing countries. She also works with the IDEAS (Improving Dreams, Equality, Access, and Success) organization, which advocates for the DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act.