May 29, 2020

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is pleased to award Mauricio Acuña with the Arcadio Díaz Quiñones teaching award for his contributions in teaching during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“It is a high honor to receive such meaningful award from the SPO Department, a prize named after professor Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones,” says Acuña. “I would like to thank the students I have the honor to work with, as well as the support of the Portuguese and Spanish language program directors, my course heads in both Spanish and Portuguese, the McGraw Center, and the Princeton Center for Language Study.”

Acuña also notes, “I consider teaching an essential dimension of my work as a scholar, a duty as a researcher in the Humanities, and a mutually rewarding dialogue with students at undergraduate and graduate levels. There is a long chain of educators that inspires my passion for teaching, but since I received the message about the award, the words of Paulo Freire resound in my mind: ‘Não há educação fora das sociedades humanas e não há homem no vazio’ (‘There is no education outside of human societies and there is no human being in the emptiness’). This Brazilian educator exiled from his country for many years worked to build up a teaching practice based on the promotion of citizenship, autonomy and freedom.”