Continuing Education Association Honors Warner Student
In recognition of academic achievement and commitment to education, Warner School of Education doctoral student Amalia Dache-Gerbino is one of this year’s recipients of the Outstanding Adult Student Award given by the Rochester Area Colleges Continuing Education (RACCE) Association.
This award recognizes the extraordinary achievements of 30 adult students from 10 area colleges who have excelled academically while successfully juggling responsibilities outside the classroom, such as work, family, and community involvement. Dache-Gerbino was one of three distinguished University of Rochester students honored.
Dache-Gerbino began her PhD in higher education at Warner in 2009. She focuses her research on college access, specifically structural and institutional factors influencing underrepresentation in postsecondary institutions. After attending Rochester City Schools and successfully completing her postsecondary education, she says that she hopes to find the tools and resources to improve college access for students like her, while centering on factors such as admissions and marketing strategies neglecting local students in urban areas.
During her first year of doctoral study at Warner, she also has held a full-time job and worked as a part-time research assistant studying the school experiences of Latina/o students in the Rochester City School District.
Judy Marquez Kiyama, assistant professor in educational leadership, praises Dache-Gerbino for her self-directed learning and work. “Amalia does not wait to be asked to do something—she sees the needs and finds interesting and critical ways to make a contribution,” says Kiyama. “She does this not only because she is an exemplary student, but because she has a personal responsibility to serve the Latina/o community. Students like Amalia take our research to the next level.”
In addition to attending Warner, Dache-Gerbino is a wife and mother of three. She has faced a number of personal challenges over the past two years, including the loss of a close loved one and serious family health concerns. Kiyama adds that not once during these times did she ask for an extension or special treatment. Instead, she has excelled in all of her classes and continues to find the positive in all that she does.
“We could learn a lot from Amalia,” Kiyama says. “She illustrates that adult students can balance their multiple hats and roles with grace, even in the face of multiple challenges.
A resident of Rochester, Dache-Gerbino most recently worked as a program coordinator at The Urban League of Rochester where she helped broaden the participation of socially and economically disadvantaged students in education. She holds a master’s degree in liberal studies from State University of New York Empire State College and a bachelor’s degree in English from The College at Brockport, State University of New York.