Helping students understand their cultural and racial identities is central to the teaching of Dr. Julia Jordan-Zachery, the recipient of the 2016 Joseph R. Accinno Faculty Teaching Award, Providence College’s top teaching honor.
The award, administered by the Center for Teaching Excellence, is presented annually to the professor who best exhibits excellence in teaching, passion and enthusiasm for learning, and genuine concern for the academic and personal growth of students. Jordan-Zachery was hired to direct PC’s Black Studies Program in 2008. She was a professor of political science until July, when she became professor of public and community service studies.
Her own identity was shaped by her childhood in Barbados. Her father was a civil servant, and her mother was a mental health nurse who helped to establish the country’s first community mental health program.
“I would go with her to see patients in the district,” said Jordan-Zachery. “I got to see people in the range of their capabilities. When they’re well, they’re different than when they need treatment, but regardless, they are the same human being. I was raised to see people and their human potential, regardless, and to suspend judgment.”