Kristie SoaresAssistant Professor Kristie Soares, faculty member in women and gender studies and co-director of the LGBTQ Studies Program, has been named the 2023 recipient of the Joanne Arnold Courage and Commitment Award. This annual award is given to a faculty, staff, alumnus, or community member who embodies the character and values of Professor Emerita Joanne Arnold, who served as the inaugural chair of the Chancellor’s Standing Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues in 1993, and inspired many through her courage and commitment to finding justice for all. Dr. Arnold's leadership was instrumental in creating a more inclusive campus for LGBTQ+ students, staff, and faculty.

In receiving this award, Dr. Soares will be recognized at the Lavender Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2023, with the following words on their notable work and commitment:

Dr. Soares has shown unstoppable commitment to the work of advocating, amplifying, and supporting LGBTQ+ voices and communities on campus and beyond. In the last year, Dr. Soares completed their book: Playful Protest: The Political Work of Joy in Latinx Media and published several public facing pieces to help spread the word outside of academic circles. They have also begun work on their second book, From Disco to Hip Hop: Latinx Masculinity and the Invention of Dance Music, which will house the largest collection of disco and DJing ephemera of any major university library in the US. Dr. Soares is currently planning an international conference in conjunction with the University of Exeter in the UK that will take place in May of 2024 and will focus on the how the advent of disco in the 1970s, and its reemergence in the 21st century, have worked to re-write the of gender, sexuality and race.

Dr. Soares’ work for the LGBTQ+ community goes well beyond their dynamic and important research however. They co-chair the LGBTQ studies program and have helped raise over half a million dollars for LGBTQ issues on campus. They have helped double the number of faculty affiliated with the studies program and held a Queer Theories Graduate Symposium this past year. Dr. Soares also helped create an internship program for students in LGBTQ studies where students will be able to work directly with Out Boulder, our community LGBTQ+ center, creating an important opportunity for town and gown to work together to create an inclusive LGBTQ+ community and address the many issues that affect us.  This spring Dr. Soares also led a Queer Performance Poetry Workshop as part of an inaugural Queer Lit and Performance Festival.

Lastly, Dr. Soares commitment to teaching has been nothing less than stunning. As one student commented: “Dr. Soares is the best teacher I have ever had in all my years of schooling. They not only teach a rigorous pedagogy but they LIVE it and apply it in their actions as well…When I look back at my undergrad, I will be forever grateful that I got to be a student to Dr. Soares. It is my greatest wish that everyone has a teacher as brilliant and committed as Dr. Soares!”