GTU Alum Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu (PhD, ’07) Awarded Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award
Milwaukee, WI—The Graduate Theological Union is proud to announce that GTU alum Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu (PhD, GTU 2007) has received the Ann O’Hara Graff Memorial Award from the Catholic Theology Society of America (CTSA). The honor was awarded to Dr. González-Andrieu on June 8 at the annual convention of the CTSA in Milwaukee, WI.
The honor is in recognition of her role as a public theologian, teacher, and mentor, especially to undocumented students. In her role as Professor of Theology and Theological Aesthetics at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, Dr. González-Andrieu is recognized as one of the leading scholars of theological aesthetics, and an advocate for issues of Latinx Theology, immigration, and educational justice. At LMU, Dr. González-Andrieu helped organize scholarships for undocumented students and has "served as mentor, advisor, pastor and cheerleader for almost every undocumented person who has come through our university," said her colleague Dr. Layla Karst, Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at LMU.
Dr. González-Andrieu “publishes and speaks widely as a public theologian and is committed to faith that does justice,” said Dr. Jessica Coblentz, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology and of Gender and Womens Studies at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN, in presenting the award. Dr. González-Andrieu was also recognized by Dr. Karst as an activist scholar who has “walked her talk alongside the lives of her students and colleagues,” and who demonstrates "the power of theology to speak into the real lives of people on the margins and empower them to work for liberation and justice."
Alejandra Angel, a former student and current theological teacher and Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary’s Academy in Los Angeles, said that Dr. González-Andrieu “helped form my moral compass. . . . There was no classroom like hers, since her learning spaces included attending student-led protests, accompanying DREAMers at LMU, and working toward more just wages for staff.”
The award is named after the late feminist theologian, educator, and writer Dr. Ann O’Hara Graff who died in 1996. It is given annually by the CTSA's Women's Consultation in Constructive Theology group to a woman scholar who represents the qualities of scholarship, faith and lived experience present in Dr. Graff's work.
In accepting the award, Dr. González-Andrieu remembered her mentor, the late Dr. Alejandro García-Rivera, Professor of Systemic Theology at the GTU, saying, "He left us work to do, and I challenge you mightily to do it.” Of her current work, she said, “This is about building up the beauty of this church that we love so much but [that] needs our critical edge to build its prophetic potential."
Dr. González-Andrieu earned her doctorate in art and religion and systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and her master’s in theology and bachelor’s degree in film & television and Spanish from LMU. At the GTU, Dr. González-Andrieu was the first to combine the studies of systematic theology with religion and the arts, pioneering the field of theological aesthetics. She was named GTU Aum of the year in 2020, recognized for her scholarship and advocacy. As part of the GTU’s Stories of Transformative Impact video series, Dr. González-Andrieu shared reflections on her time at the GTU, the value of cultural work, and the importance of creating spaces of beauty.
Dr. González-Andrieu is the author of Bridge to Wonder: Art as a Gospel of Beauty, co-editor of “Teaching Global Theologies: Power and Praxis,” and a contributor to “Go Into the Streets: The Welcoming Church of Pope Francis.” She is also a contributing writer for America Magazine. She was recently elected vice president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, is a member of the board of the Ignatian Solidarity Network and the Catholic Theological Society of America and is a supporter of the work of Catholic Women Preach.