Alumna Lissette Acosta Cornel ’99, MEd ’05 Honored with Thomas H. Kean Outstanding EOF Alumni Award The award is given to those who have entered a New Jersey college or university through the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, and have made outstanding contributions to their communities and/or have demonstrated success in their professional endeavors Lissette Acosta Corniel Lissette Acosta Corniel, PhD, who graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor of arts degree in English literature in 1999 and a master’s of education degree in 2005, received the Thomas H. Kean Outstanding Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Alumni Award at the EOF Professional Association of New Jersey’s awards banquet on March 31, 2016. The award is given to those who have entered a New Jersey college or university through the Educational Opportunity Fund Program, and have made outstanding contributions to their communities and/or have demonstrated an exceptional degree of success in their professional endeavors. Acosta Corniel was admitted to the EOF program at William Paterson University as a freshman. She went on to receive her PhD. in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino studies from the State University of New York at Albany on a four-year scholarship. Her doctoral research focused on gender violence in Latin America since the colonial times, as well as the early years of the transatlantic slave trade. Because of her passion for learning and black and Spanish culture, she continued to do post-doctoral work at the Dominican Studies Institute, City College of New York, as associate director of the pioneering project, “First Blacks in the Americas.” She was co-curator of the exhibit, Sixteenth Century La Espan~ola: Glimpses of the First Blacks in the Early Colonial Americas, highlighted for its importance by the New York Times and New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Department of State website. Currently, Corniel is a scholar in residence at Hamilton College and the editor of the forthcoming book, Blacks in Spain and Spanish Caribbean: Colonial Slave Legislation and Slavery in the Americas (1500-1860), 2016, Cambria Press. In addition to her scholarly work, she is also active in her community, receiving the Elon University I-Media Service Award for social service and philanthropy in the Dominican Republic as the founder of the non-profit Alegri´a Gri Gri (2016). Her desire to share information about culture was evident in the awarding of the Citizens Committee of New York City Service Grant, for developing cultural and educational community events (2015).