Multicultural Educator Award

text: Multicultural Educator Award. Presented by SRJC Intercultural Centers


Multicultural Educator Award

About the Award

Each year, the SRJC Intercultural Centers (Santa Rosa Intercultural Center and Our House Intercultural Center) and award ad-hoc selection committee, select an honoree to publicly celebrate the exceptional multicultural educators at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Multicultural Educator Award honoree is any member of our SRJC college community, faculty, staff, or administrator, who has made significant contributions to multicultural education at SRJC. Specifically, an SRJC employee who has taken a leadership role in encouraging, supporting, or directly educating students, staff, or community members from diverse backgrounds, someone with a strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, accessibility, anti-racism, and/or providing multicultural education or programs to the students of Santa Rosa Junior College.

The award is presented every year at the Fall Professional Development Day.

The selection committee is made up of constituents from the following groups at SRJC: students, STNCs, classified, faculty, administrators, and last year's awardee, or their designee.



Nominations for the 2024 awardee are now closed. Nominations were due April 21st. 

Questions regarding the award may be directed to Malena Hernandez.



Current and Past Awardees:

Head shot of Dr. Purnur Ozbirinci. She is wearing glasses and smiling at the camera. Her hair is in an up-do and she is wearing short earrings and a black blouse.
  • 2024, Dr. Purnur Ozbirinci, Faculty, English

    Dr. Purnur Ozbirinci is a dedicated educator and advocate with a diverse range of specialties, including writing, literature, drama, critical thinking, gender studies, mythmaking, and equitable teaching practices. Her commitment to creating inclusive learning environments and promoting student success is evident through her roles as Puente Co-Coordinator, Cultivating an Ecosystem of Belonging Faculty Coordinator, and SLO Liaison. Additionally, her involvement in committees such as Courageous Leaders Academy (CLA), Middle Eastern/North African Heritage Month (MENAA), Women's History Month (WHM), and the English Department Online Committee further demonstrates her dedication to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion within academic spaces.

Head shot of Lori Laiwa Thomas. She is smiling at the camera. Her hair is long, brown, and curled with blond highlights. She is wearing red lipstick and abalone fish earrings and a black top.
  • 2023, Lori Laiwa Thomas, Faculty, Ethnic Studies

    Lori Laiwa Thomas (Enrolled Citizen of Hopland Band of Pomo Indians), is a Native American Studies Instructor-Tenure Track in the Ethnic Studies Department at SRJC. She currently is the faculty advisor for Inter-Tribal Student Union (ITSU) and American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) student organizations on campus.

picture of a person smiling at the camera.
  • 2018, M. Liko Puha, Instructional Systems Administrator, Distance Education

    For more than twenty years, Hawaiian cultural educator Liko Puha has shared his knowledge of Hawaiian language, chant, dance, philosophy, and spirituality in Hawaii and throughout the continental United States. Liko graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo with a Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Studies, and from the California State University East Bay with a Master of Science in Education. Currently living in Santa Rosa, Liko is self-described as an Urban Native Hawaiian Techie-Type passionate about teaching and learning in all its forms.

picture of a Laura Larque with glasses, short hair, and a white shirt smiling at the camera
  • 2013, Laura Larque, Social Science Faculty

    Laura Larqué was born and raised in Mexico City. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of Mexico, she received a MA in History from Sonoma State University. Larqué has worked to make culture relevant to SRJC and to transform curriculum to reflect the students’ ethnic and cultural diversity. Her goal has been to make SRJC into a transformative Student Agency.

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