Outstanding Woman – Professor Gloria Bonilla-Santiago

Gloria Bonilla-Santiago is a Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor at the Department of Public Policy and Administration and Director of the Center for Strategic Urban Community Leader-ship at Rutgers University. 

Professor Bonilla-Santiago writes and speaks on community development, policy analysis, migration of women, diversity management, organizational leadership, and public policy. She has received numerous awards including the Warren I. Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching, given by the President of the University; the American Association for Higher Education’s Outstanding Latina Faculty in Higher Education Award; the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Medal from the Camden County Board of Freeholders; the Good Neighbor Award from the American Red Cross (Camden County chapter); a New Jersey Department of Community Affairs award for developing Latino/Latina leaders in New Jersey; the National L’Oréal Woman of Worth by L’Oréal Paris; and the National Mujer Award from the National Hispana Leadership Institute. 

Professor Bonilla-Santiago facilitated successful passage of the first Charter School Bill in New Jersey. She is the founder of the LEAP (Leadership, Education And Partnership) Academy University Charter School, a Preschool – 12 public charter school in Camden focusing on math, science, and technology, which opened in the fall of 1997. The program consistently earns national recognition for its curriculum, for actively engaging families, and for achieving a 100% graduation rate and college placement of all its students.

Dr. Bonilla-Santiago developed an Education Policy and Leadership curriculum within the Rutgers-Camden master of public policy program.
She launched the Parents Academy for School Reform, which teaches parents educational advocacy as well as the Teacher Development and Performance Institute, which shares best practices among urban teachers. Dr. Bonilla-Santiago secured $3 million in external support to help create the Rutgers Early Learning Research Academy to apply Rutgers research to the classroom.

In addition, Professor Bonilla-Santiago is author of two books: Breaking Ground and Barriers: Hispanic Women Developing Effective Leadership (Marin, 1992) and Organizing Puerto Rican Migrant Farmworkers: The Experience of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey (Peter Lang, 1988). She has published numerous articles and monographs and has contributed a chapter to Helping Battered Women, edited by A. Roberts (Oxford University Press, 1996).


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