Nina Cooper

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Ph.D. Student
2016 Cohort
nmcooper@unm.edu

A native of Chicago, Nina has been a part of the cultural fabric of New Mexico for more than 20 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English, Professional Writing, from the University of New Mexico, and her Master of Arts in Communication with an emphasis on Health & Culture from the University of New Mexico.

Nina’s research focuses on communication as a mechanism for social justice to redress health inequities for people of color. Her master’s project was a powerful documentary “Cumulative Impact: Digital Ethnography of Environmental Activism in Mountain View.” It examines the power of community to unite together to transcend being targeted as dumping ground, promotes the inclusion of marginalized voices, and explores the decisions that impacted the environmental dumping in one local New Mexican community. Nina’s work utilizes the lenses of critical race theory, participatory action research, and ethnography in her work.

A 2015 Civikly-Powell Award recipient (for first-year teaching excellence as a teaching assistant), Nina’s aim as a teacher is to inspire “shining eyes” in her students (cause them to think critically and rhetorically, and also ask deep questions about themselves and the world around them) while becoming effective communicators in their chosen fields of endeavor. A 2016 Community Service Award recipient, she works arduously to foster positive social change both the academic community and the community-at-large.