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Two NYU Steinhardt Professors Receive MLK Faculty Award


Clinical Associate Professor and Program Director of Higher and Postsecondary Education, Michael Funk, and Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication Mara Mills, have each received the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award

These student-driven awards recognize outstanding faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s scholarship, life, and justice work and who promote the principles and ethos of Dr. King’s extensive global contributions in their research, teaching, leadership, and community-building efforts. Student participation includes award development, nomination, selection, and recognition of faculty honorees who have made a substantial impact in the classroom, in advancing student research and co-curricular projects, and in their work with students across the greater NYU community.

Funk's scholarship focuses on equity, diversity, and inclusion. He is the co-author of “Racism, White Supremacy, and Finding Justice for All” in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice and co-editor of the forthcoming Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. Furthermore, he authored "Creating Inclusive Classrooms as an Imperative for Historically Underrepresented Groups in Higher Education" in College at the Crossroads: Taking Sides on Contested Issues.

In addition to the Faculty Award, Funk’s noteworthy accomplishments include receiving the NYU CMEP Nia Award for Faculty Excellence (2022), NYU Steinhardt’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging Champions of Equity: Heart and Soul Award (2021), NYU Steinhardt’s Teaching Excellence Award (2018), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NYU College of Arts and Science's Academic Achievement Program. Funk also conducts numerous faculty, administrator, and staff development sessions on transforming institutional cultures by centering holistic advising, inclusive leadership, and dialogical platforms for national and international institutions.

Mills’ work focuses on science, technology, and justice. She is co-founder and co-director of the NYU Center for Disability Studies, where she is currently co-directing the NSF-funded project, How to be Disabled in a Pandemic. The CDS promotes disability scholarship, artistry, and activism through public events, a monthly seminar, and collaborations with other academic and art centers nationally and internationally.

Mills is also a co-founder and editorial board member for the award-winning journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Most recently, she is the co-editor of Testing Hearing: The Making of Modern Aurality and Crip Authorship: Disability as Method. She is a past recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award

Funk and Mills were recognized at the Faculty Award Reception during NYU’s MLK week.

Mara Mills

Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication; PhD Director

Michael Funk

Program Director of Higher and Postsecondary Education; Clinical Associate Professor

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