On March 27, associate professor of government Margaret Groarke, Ph.D., received a Citation of Merit from the Bronx Borough President at a celebration for Women’s History Month.
Groarke was recognized by her involvement in both her on-campus and off-campus communities. At Manhattan College, Groarke serves as faculty adviser for both the LGBTQ Student Group and the Government and Politics Club. Groarke also coordinates the college’s community-based learning courses.
Off-campus, Groarke is a community organizer for the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, a hot spot among students seeking internships in the government department.
Groarke is a lifelong Bronx resident, leaving only for the four years she attended college, as well as the year she spent working in Washington, D.C.
Groarke was contacted about the award by the borough president’s office.
“They were looking for active women to recognize during Women’s History Month, and I guess someone in the borough president’s office thought of me and called me up,” Groarke said.
The event at which Groarke and four other women (also including Tamara Britt, MC’s general counsel) were honored consisted of a dinner and a panel discussion, in which each of the women spoke about obstacles they had faced and handled in their respective fields, as well gave advice for women who wanted to follow in the career footsteps of the honorees.
“We’re not of the generation where we’re the first women in our fields, but there’s continuing discrimination… There are ways in which women are stereotyped in a way that can be an obstacle in moving forward in your career. So there were some similarities across the panel about how that works,” Groarke said.
“We somehow got into a conversation about voter suppression. Somebody had heard that was an area of interest if mine. So we talked for a bit about the importance of getting more people in the Bronx to vote,” Groarke said. “New York state has very low voter participation, the whole state, and so we had a conversation about doing some things to make that better.”
Students and faculty both felt that Groarke’s recognition was well-deserved.
“I know whenever a student is looking for an internship or wanting to get involved with community things… I always send them to her,” said Pamela Chasek, Ph.D., chair of the college’s government department. “She knows everybody: she knows everyone politically, she does a lot of community organization and she’s helped a lot of students get internships in the Bronx.”
Chasek describes Groarke’s role in the government department as an adviser to new faculty members and a trusted friend of tenured faculty.
“Whether you’re looking for…an apartment or a house in the Bronx, go to Margaret. If you’re looking to become involved in community based organizations, go to her. If you’re looking to get involved politically, she’ll tell you who to go to,” Chasek said.
Sophomore marketing major Ryan Kwiecinski serves as the president of the college’s Government and Politics Club, of which Groarke is the faculty adviser. As a result he has had numerous opportunities to collaborate and work with her.
“One of the first organizations I joined on campus was the Government and Politics Club,” Kwiecinski said. “In February, I held an event where I featured four different political speakers from four different political parties in a way to educate students on all viewpoints. I started planning the event in October, and Dr. Groarke was with me every step of the way, ensuring that we would be able to not only get speakers, but also put on a successful event.”
“She does so much on campus, but still is incredibly involved in New York politics. I admire her for always putting forward her best effort in every realm of her responsibility, and excelling in doing so,” Kwiecinski said.