For the Second Year in a Row, Queensborough Massage Therapy Students are chosen finalists for Vanguard Award

Published: February 25, 2019

Luke Goldberg and Son

Luke Goldberg, who graduated from Queensborough last spring with an A.A.S. in Nursing, is inspired by people who do not conform to gender stereotypes.

So he was extremely honored to be named a 2018 Vanguard Awardee. Vanguard celebrates women and men who choose careers that are non-traditional for their gender. Luke majored in Therapeutic Massage at Queensborough and was accepted this past fall to study in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program at Columbia University.

“I’m extremely proud of Luke. He is an example of an outstanding student who is turning his passion for Therapeutic Massage into a rewarding career,” said Dr. Isabella Lizzul, Associate Professor, Massage Therapy; Coordinator; Health, Physical Education and Dance. Dr. Lizzul added that the Therapeutic Massage program at Queensborough has grown in recent years to include more men than women. “The reality is that men thrive in nurturing, empathic careers, just as women can excel in male dominated professions such as engineering and computer technology.”

Zhiyuan Du, also a Therapeutic Massage graduate, was the only Vanguard finalist last year.  He has moved on to study nursing at New York University.

Luke, who has prior degrees in social work and English reflected on his long history of not conforming to gender stereotypes. “I am married to a man and raised our child full-time while studying at Queensborough. I myself was raised by a single mother and see the world through a feminist lens that questions the status quo, especially about gender.”

“I will always be grateful to Queensborough for being an inspiring community and thank the Vanguard Award program for seeing value in my gender-nonconforming ways!”

Read more about the Massage Therapy program at Queensborough Community College:

The Vanguard Award is administered by the New York State Nontraditional Employment & Training (NET) Project, Center for Women in Government & Civil Society, and is sponsored by the New York State Education Department through a Carl D. Perkins grant. The award recognizes outstanding post-secondary level students who are enrolled in CTE programs that are not traditional for their gender. A nontraditional career is an occupation where one sex comprises fewer than 25% of the total employed. Please visit the NET website for a complete list of these occupations.


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