The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Professor honored by El Diario

St. John’s professor Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich has been named one of El Diario/La Prensa’s 40 Outstanding Women of 2006.

Camacho-Gingerich teaches undergrad and graduate classes in the languages and literature programs at the University, a position she has held since 1985. Currently, Camacho-Gingerich is the chair of the Committee on Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS).

“I love what I do, teaching, researching, service to the community,” Camacho-Gingerich said. “To me, all of that is energizing and gratifying.”

In order to qualify for the recent honor, according to El Diario/La Prensa’s Gonzalo Aburto, the women must be of Hispanic heritage and represent a role model figure not only for other Latinas, but for the community as a whole.

Along with those qualifications, Camacho-Gingerich must be nominated by a third party in order to be reviewed and then accepted by El Diario/La Prensa. Not only was she accepted into this year’s group of 40 Outstanding Women, but she also had the privilege of being honored 10 years ago as part of the inaugural group.

“It doesn’t matter how many awards I get,” Camacho-Gingerich said, “they are all still very significant, and I appreciate each one.

“Every time you receive an award it’s significant,” she continued, “but when it’s an award from your own peers, it means that maybe I have contribueted enough to help someone.”

Along with being honored by El Diario/La Prensa, Camacho-Gingerich has been recognized numerous times for her achievements. She received one of the highest honors a Latin American nation bestows, the Simon Bolivar medal.

The University has also recognized Camacho-Gingerich’s contributions to the community, in 2000 with an achievement award at the annual convocation and twice as an honoree during women’s history month.

“She is sure of what she wants to do with her life and her career,” Aburto said. “She is in a position where she will never forget that she is a Latina.”

Camacho-Gingerich is motivated, she said, by another great Latina woman.

“The first Latina, or woman, that I looked up to is my mother,” she said. “She had a degree in philosophy during a time when many women had no degree at all, so she was my first role model.”

In being one of El Diario/La Prensa’s 40 Outstanding Women of 2006, she not only gets the honor that comes with the award, but she is also acknowledged by El Diario in their special edition for International Woman’s Day.

Camacho-Gingerich, however, is not in it for the recognition and awards.

“I hope that the work that I produce would still be meaningful for my collegues, students, other researchers and the community,” she said. “I hope that it could have an impact in some way, maybe a big way, but in some way.”

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