Miami Dade College Announces 2016 Endowed Teaching Chairs

Miami, Nov. 21, 2016– Miami Dade College (MDC) recently announced its 2016 Endowed Teaching Chairs, among the college’s most prestigious and valued traditions and the highest faculty honor. The annual program recognizes outstanding faculty who continuously strive to accomplish MDC’s mission. Eight professors will be honored this year during a special reception at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Wolfson Campus’ Auditorium (Room 1261).

MDC’s Endowed Teaching Chairs are generously funded by donors through the ongoing work of the MDC Foundation. The honorees are selected by a committee of their peers who reviewed evidence of student retention and success, effective teaching strategies, and professional growth. Each will receive an annual stipend of $7,500 for three years. To date, 328 recipients have been inducted into the program since its inception in 1992. MDC blazed the trail nationally for the implementation of this special program at colleges like it.

Meet the 2016 MDC Endowed Teaching Chairs:

Arlen J. Garcia, Ph.D., LMHC, City of Miami Police Department Endowed Teaching Chair in the Social Sciences
Arlen Garcia is a licensed mental health counselor and an associate professor senior in the department of social sciences at North Campus. She earned her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Florida International University in 2007, and began teaching at MDC in 2010. Her research and clinical work focuses on positive youth development.

Danixia Cuevas, J.D., Daniel K. Gill Endowed Teaching Chair

Danixia Cuevas is dedicated to helping the disenfranchised in society through her work in law and as an educator. A professor in the Paralegal Studies Department of MDC’s Law Center, Cuevas pays particular attention to students who face adversity. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rutgers University, and a juris doctorate degree in law from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark. Cuevas was named a Fulbright Nehru Visiting Lecturer to India in 2013 and was awarded a Fulbright Specialist grant in 2016.

Lourdes M. España, M.S, Elpidio Nuñez/Northwestern Meat Endowed Teaching Chair
Lourdes España is an associate professor senior in the department of mathematics at MDC, where she has taught full-time since 2001. She has been recognized for her devotion to her students,and a pedagogical approach that links mathematics to the world beyond the classroom.

Roberto Jose Cabezas, Ph.D., Dr. Robert H. McCabe Endowed Teaching Chair
A true man of the world, Roberto Cabezas has studied or taught on three continents and visited more than 40 countries. Born in Havana, Cuba, Cabezas travelled to the then-Soviet Union to pursue studies in nuclear physics. He holds a doctorate in from the Joint Institute of Nuclear Research in Dubna, USSR, and is the author of more than 20 scientific papers.

Carolina Hospital, M.A., Congresswoman Carrie Meek Endowed Teaching Chair
The daughter of Cuban exiles and an MDC alumna, Carolina Hospital knows something about the transformative power of education. A highly regarded author and professor in the department of English and Communications, Hospital has been teaching at MDC since 1988. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Hispanic-American literature from the University of Florida, and is the recipient of numerous recognitions.

Kelly Kennedy-Everett, Ed.D, M.S, Wells Fargo Bank Endowed Teaching Chair
An MDC alumna, Kelly Kennedy-Everett is a professor in the department of World Languages and Communications, and also the MDC Honors College. Kennedy-Everett frequently incorporates service learning projects into her curriculum. She holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix and has authored six publications devoted to writing and service learning.

Marisol L. Varela, Ed.D, M.S. Anastasios and Maria Kyriakides Endowed Teaching Chair
A native of New Orleans, Marisol Varela has been a teacher at MDC since 2000. Now a professor in the department of English and Communications at Kendall Campus, Varela is committed to helping students overcome barriers to college success. She is an MDC alumna, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, as well as a master’s in reading and a doctorate in curriculum instruction and organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Steven Ritter, M.S., Ph.D., Mac Smith Endowed Teaching Chair in Environmental Ethics

In a lifetime spent in the study and cultivation of plants, animal science and ecology, Steven Ritter has amassed a wealth of knowledge. As teacher, author and even call-in radio host, Ritter has shared his knowledge freely and broadly in a wide variety of venues. Ritter received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rutgers University, as well as a master’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University. He was awarded a doctorate in biology from Florida International University in 1997.

For more information on the Endowed Teaching Chair program, please contact Nairobi Abrams at the MDC Foundation, 305-237-3247, or Alyssa Zamora, 305-237-3331,