Release Date: April 19, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education faculty member Raechele L. Pope has received the Contribution to Knowledge Award presented by the ACPA - College Student Educators International, one of the organization’s highest honors.
Pope, associate professor of higher education in GSE’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, accepted her award last month at the ACPA convention in Columbus, Ohio.
The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the profession’s body of knowledge through publications, films, speeches, instructions, tapes and other forms of communication.
Pope studies campus diversity, equity and success. Her work has focused both on identifying effective multicultural organizational development (MCOD) strategies for creating multicultural campuses, and on insuring that faculty and staff develop the requisite multicultural competence — awareness, knowledge and skills — to work effectively with all students.
“It is fair to say that Raechele’s scholarship introduced the topic of multiculturalism competence to the student affairs profession and has profoundly influenced the intellectual foundations of the field, challenging the profession to examine its underlying assumptions, theories, policies and practices,” wrote John Mueller, professor of student affairs in higher education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and one of Pope’s collaborators who nominated her for the award.
“Her work, often cited, has sparked numerous research studies among established and emerging scholars, and has moved many practitioners to incorporate principles of multicultural competence into their staff training and development programs,” Mueller wrote.
“Raechele Pope is, arguably, one of the most widely recognized and important forces behind the advancement of multiculturalism in the student affairs profession.”
Pope’s work and dedication also praised was by Tracy Davis, professor of college student personnel at Western Illinois University.
“In addition to all her accomplishments, Raechele is the kind of person, not just professional, we all should aspire to be,” Davis wrote in his nomination of Pope.
Pope has been a member of the higher education faculty in the Graduate School of Education since 1999. Her other honors and awards include being named a faculty fellow and receiving the Robert H. Shaffer Award for Excellence as Graduate Faculty from NASPA - Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. In addition, she is a senior scholar for ACPA.
Pope says she’s honored and humbled to receive the award from her peers. “I didn’t do this work for recognition or awards. I did it because it was work that needed to be done,” she says.
“We have been searching for ways to create welcoming, diverse and intellectually challenging campus communities for decades. Yet, we are still coming up short. I believe that we needed to change the approach,” she says. “Seeing multicultural competence as a core competency for all faculty and staff — not just for those with an interest in multicultural issues — changes the landscape.
“If my works helps to advance these goals — helps to create more equitable and diverse college campuses — that is award enough,” she says. “Having colleagues acknowledge this line of scholarship as valuable is simply icing on the cake.”
Pope shares the 2017 Contribution of Knowledge Award with Mary Howard Hamilton, professor and coordinator of the higher education leadership program in the Bayh College of Education at Indiana State University.