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Soribel Genao Oral History

Identifier: QMP-0051

Scope and Contents

Soribel Genao talks about her family, education, interests, and general upbringing in Manhattan, then Brooklyn, then Manhattan again; the challenges of the higher education system and maneuvering it as an undergraduate and graduate student; the importance of mentors in her career and how she started at Queens College as a teaching professor rather than a research associate, as was her initial plan; how COVID impacted her as a teacher and how she has adapted for the current moment with regards to students; reigniting the activist spark within herself during the public confluence of social justice movements and COVID-19 pandemic; the creation of the Black and Latinx Faculty and Staff Association; the personal impact of the Jessica Krug blackface scandal in academia and thoughtful reflection about the differing advantages and disadvantages to being a woman of color in higher education; interacting with staff and bureaucracy at Queens College about social justice initiatives and general frustration with institutional inertia.


  • 2020-09-15



This oral history is open for research. Media files and transcript can be viewed and/or requested through the Queens Memory Project on Aviary: For help using the site, contact

Conditions Governing Use

Interview shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Users are free to share or adapt the material for non-commercial purposes, as long as they meet the terms of the license. See license details at

Biographical / Historical

Soribel Genao is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational and Community Programs at Queens College. Her research has focused on examining the diverse systemic issues in and reform of urban schools while assessing administrative, teacher, and community collaborations that facilitate more positive student academic and behavioral outcomes such as student retention in marginalized communities. She has institutionally lead the development of a dual Masters and certificate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Bilingual Education programs at the P-20 level at Queens College. As an advisor for the New York State Education Department, she continues to assist in the reform of principal preparation programs with an equity and social justice focus. Dr. Genao received her P.D. in Public Administration from The School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University. Her research efforts have been recognized by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Division A (Administration, Organization, and Leadership) through her roles as Chair of Division A and Member of the Professional Development and Training Programs. She was also invited to participate as U.S. delegate in the 2017 CIGE Global Connections: U.K. Networking Intensive program focusing on diversifying global practices for college campuses.


1 Digital Files ; Duration: 01:21:53

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to Queens College and Queens Public Library by Soribel Genao and Obden Mondesir in September, 2020.

Processing Information

Oral history conducted as part of the Queens Memory Project (, a collaborative program of the Queens Public Library and Queens College to collect stories, images, and other evidence of life in the borough of Queens.


Soribel Genao Oral History
Annie Tummino and Caitlin Waldron
November 2021
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us