Dr. Camilla Westenberg, EdD
Dr. Camilla Westenberg was born in Arkansas where she received her education in the public school system. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education and English from the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, formerly known as Arkansas A.M. & N. College. Her Master of Arts degree is in Communication, focusing on code switching from the Black dialect to Standard English from Arizona State University, and her Doctor of Education is in Higher Education, focusing on Curriculum Development from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She has also received her certification as a Developmental Education Specialist from the Kellogg Institute, Center for Developmental Education at Appalachian State University.
Dr. Westenberg, now Professor Emeritus, was a tenured professor at Phoenix College where for a number of years she advocated for and coordinated Developmental English. She taught various English classes, African American Literature, and a class which she created – Rap Literature: The Oral Tradition. Currently, she continues to teach one African-American Literature class each semester and to co-advise the student NAACP/BSU club on campus. Along these lines, she has participated on the roundtable titled “Know- the-ledge: Hip Hop Scholarship Meets Hip Hop Media, at Stanford University sponsored by The Hip Hop Archives of Harvard University and has been a panelist for the community preview and discussion of the film “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes.” In addition, she has coordinated numerous related community forums and given numerous presentations. Presentation titles have included “Understanding Hip Hop Culture: Looking Back to Move Forward” and “Poetry, Rap and Hip Hop Culture: A New Legacy in the Black Cultural Experience”. Recently, she presented a workshop titled “Hip Hop in Arizona: A Contemporary Archeological Dig” for the Arizona Hip Hop Experience presented by the Arizona Humanities Council, and she presented at the Rhyme and Reason Conference in Cape Coast, Ghana, and the WAPI Festival at the British Council in Accra, Ghana and most recently in Ethiopia. Westenberg is advisor for the Phoenix College NAACP/ Black Student Union, one of three SASS advisors for the Phoenix College football team, and faculty advisor for the campus African-American Alumni Association. Currently, she continues to teach one African-American Literature class each semester and to co-advise the student NAACP/BSU club on campus.
She, also, has numerous civic and community affiliations. She has been a co-chair of the annual City of Phoenix MLK Youth Celebration for a number of years. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Delta Beta Omega Chapter for which she chairs the HBCU Fair Committee and is Graduate Advisor of its undergraduate chapter Zeta Alpha at Arizona State University. She is a member of the Phoenix Chapter of the Links, having acted as the chair of the Educational Linkage Committee and currently the Arts Committee, and a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction – Phoenix Chapter. She has been a member of the Maricopa Council of Black American Affairs, the Maricopa NAACP, and the National Pan Hellenic Council – Metropolitan Phoenix Chapter for a number of years. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix AKARAMA Foundation, Inc. and the West Valley Arts Council.
Dr. Westenberg has received numerous awards, among which are the Maricopa County NAACP Image Award, the City of Phoenix MLK Living the Dream Award, The George Washington Carver Museum Community Service Award, the Phoenix College Alumni Association Faculty Award, the Phoenix College Woman of Distinction Award, and several NISOD Awards. Most recently she received the Southwest Urban Music Life Time Achievement Award and has become a member of the Board of Directors for the West Valley Arts Council. Her most proud achievement is that of her and her late husband’s, Dr. Irwin Simon Westenberg’s, successful parenting, development, and education of their daughter, Erica Lucinda Westenberg, Esq.