The seven winners of the 2012-2013 University of Wisconsin-Madison Outstanding Women of Color awards exemplify being deeply rooted in both the campus and the Madison community through their work toward social justice, service, research and community building. The women will be honored at the annual celebratory reception on Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 5-7 p.m. in the Lowell Center Dining Room.
This year’s UW-Madison campus honorees include:
- Desiree Alva, Assistant Director, Diversity Affairs Office (DAO), College of Engineering;
- Karma Chávez, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts & Chican@ and Latin@ Studies;
- Wilma Callaway, Assistant Director and Mentor Program Director, Center for Educational Opportunity (CEO);
- Roberta Hill, Professor of English & American Indian Studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies;
- Saemyi Park, Doctoral Candidate in Political Science;
- Li Chiao-Ping, Chair and Professor, UW-Madison Dance Department;
- CarmenValdez, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology.
The UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color Awards were created in 2007 to recognize students, faculty, and staff for their service to the community in one or more of the following areas—social justice; advocacy for disadvantaged and/or marginalized populations; scholarly research, writing, speaking and/or teaching about race, ethnicity and indigeneity in American society; and community building to create an inclusive and respectful environment on- or off-campus.
The selection committee has also nominated Assistant Professor Valdez and Professor Hill to receive the UW System 18th Annual Outstanding Women of Color in Education Awards.
This is the sixth annual UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color awards, which supplements the UW System Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award. While the system-wide recognition process once allowed the UW System schools to select several recipients, it now only allows one nominee per school. In order to recognize UW-Madison’s multitude of accomplished women of color, the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer created an internal award to include more honorees.
This year’s seven honorees is the largest cohort to be selected to date, said Ruby Paredes, interim associate vice provost and assistant vice chancellor for diversity and climate. The growing campus-wide awareness of the annual honor focusing on women and their achievements is gratifying, she added.
“People are beginning to recognize how important the awards are and actively looking for women who deserve to be recognized for their outstanding work, tremendous leadership and personal contributions to our society. That’s the purpose of the award.” Paredes said. “But they are not being honored simply for being women of color. Every candidate selected for the title ‘Outstanding Woman of Color in Education’ truly merits the designation among all women in education.”
As is the celebration’s tradition, a 2012 honoree will serve as Mistress of Ceremony for this year’s event. Tonya Brito, a University of Wisconsin Law School Professor, who joined the Law School faculty in 1997 and was honored last year by both the Madison campus and UW-System, will lead this year’s event.
To register for this year’s ceremony and reception, go to: https://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/OHRDCatalogPortal/Default.aspx?CK=43848
The 2013 selection committee members are:
Aaron Bird Bear, Diversity Programs, School of Education; Sharon Long, Professor of Soil Science, and representative, Committee on Women at the University; Nikolas Magallon, ASM Student Representative & MCSC Leadership Team; Althea Miller, Graduate Student & Office Associate, University of Wisconsin Survey Center; Nicole Nolan, Undergraduate Major in International Studies, OVPCDO Intern; Luis Piñero, Director of the Office for Equity & Diversity & Assistant Vice Provost; Janice Rice, Senior Academic Librarian & Recipient of UW-Madison & UW System Outstanding Woman of Color Awards in 2008; Ilsa Valdez, Program Associate, MBA Program, Wisconsin School of Business; Ruby Paredes, convenor.
For a complete list of past UW-Madison and UW System Outstanding Women of Color honorees, go to our Creating Community web site at: http://diversity.wisc.edu/ under See past Spotlights: Outstanding Women of Color.
More about our 2013 Outstanding Women of Color:
Desiree Alva, Assistant Director, Diversity Affairs Office (DAO), College of Engineering, is a woman who breaks down barriers, builds bridges and ties essential components of success together for both her students and her department with tremendous insight and compassion. Colleagues in the School of Engineering say such boundaries are almost invisible, thanks in a large part to Desiree, who infuses herself into their work and office. Her latest position is just one of many she’s held in student counseling and development getting students from pre-college interest to doctoral degrees and beyond, including the shepherding of UW Chicago Posse 8. Desiree’s presence is felt through all the people she has guided, motivated, supported and inspired, according to Assistant Dean of Engineering Manuela Romero. Acknowledging her leadership is to also recognize the reverberations of her activities throughout the campus community.
“We could go on and on about Desiree’s contribution to the College of Engineering and larger campus community,” wrote close to a dozen colleagues who nominated her for this year’s award. “However, to put it succinctly, we’ll say this: Every day, Desiree directs her energy and enthusiasm to create an authentic space for socially-just learning and work. Not only for students, but advisors, faculty, staff and everyone else she interacts with. We are better professionally and personally because of her character and determined pursuits.”
Karma Chávez, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts & Chican@ and Latin@ Studies, has the resume of a scholar and teacher far beyond her years; she’s written two books, 15 journal articles including top journals in her field, and 13 book chapters — an astounding volume of productivity for a junior scholar in the humanities. Her overall body of scholarly work is challenging, innovative, excellent and highly-recognized because of the breadth of her thinking and her willingness and ability to speak to many different kinds of scholarly audiences as she explores the issues that face women of color.But scholarship is only one part of Chávez’s contribution to our community, according to Robert Howard, professor in the Department of Communication Arts. She has a unique energy fueling a relentless drive for social justice that seems born from a genuine kindness that always seems to see the value in her fellow humans—often despite wide gulfs of experience and sometimes even despite powerful differences of perspective. “Only in Madison three years now, she has already made her presence felt in her advocacy for people of color and especially for women of color, LGBT individuals, and immigrant communities. Just as her scholarship explores the potential and limits of public discourse as a means to social change, Chávez has engaged the Madison community by creating venues for just this sort of public discourse.”
Wilma Callaway, Assistant Director and Mentor Program Director, Center for Educational Opportunity (CEO), where she has compassionately and effectively guided students in all facets of the success for nearly two decades. She has provided thousands of hours of advising, advocacy and support to UW-Madison’s CEO students, most of which come from disadvantaged and marginalized populations. She tirelessly advocates for the success of her students, and through the years, countless numbers of students have attributed their success and graduation from UW-Madison in large part to her. She has successfully striven to build an inclusive community where all students feel that they are welcome.“Whether a student is in need of support and guidance through struggling academics as they navigate unexpected personal challenges, or needs assistance in selecting a good balance of courses, Mrs. Callaway’s door is always open with an ear ready to listen,” her colleagues testify. “She is a mother figure to many students, as she is able to convey to students that she has their best interest at heart and that, regardless of their situation, she will do the best she can to resolve the situation. She seeks out their success and well-being. She is like no other.”
Roberta Hill, Professor of English & American Indian Studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, is an accomplished and well-known American Indian poet. In addition to her accomplishments in poetry and fiction, she served as Director of the American Indian Studies Program from 1997 to 1999 and deserves great credit for her leadership of the American Indian Studies Program. Her students say her unique teaching style, along with her welcoming and sincere persona, opens a tremendously safe and effective class arena for discourse on broad, culturally-diverse important and emotionally charged topics. She also teaches outside the classroom through shared personal memories, struggles and thoughts, embracing the perspective of others as openly as she expresses her own.But perhaps the biggest gift Hill has given to UW-Madison and other institutions where she has worked or visited is to be a role model for students of color, especially American Indian students. She has demonstrated that it is possible to live in multiple worlds simultaneously by becoming a successful creative artist while having a successful academic career and retaining her deep involvement in the American Indian communities in Wisconsin and nationally. “Not everyone is able to carry this off, but most American Indians who obtain college degrees are expected to do so by their families and tribal communities, she is a role model for them,” said former College of Letters and Science Dean Gary Sandefur.
Saemyi Park, Doctoral Candidate in Political Science, is a promising scholar and an excellent addition to the department’s graduate program, bring exceptional academic skills and invaluable contributions to raising awareness on the UW-Madison campus concerning race and ethnicity. Saemyi is also an outstanding teacher, students rave about her dedication, accessibility and enthusiasm for teaching.Park brings her sincere engagement with her own political science research, which is rooted in an enduring interest in a set of fundamental democratic questions,” wrote Katherine Cramer Walsh, associate professor of political science. She has a clear passion for the subject of political representation and her research demonstrates incredible promise as a future political science scholar in its innovative and effective approach to exploring little-documented political beliefs and trends among Asian Americans. She aptly provides a more nuanced understanding of group membership and its juxtaposition with distinctive group identity and politics.
Li Chiao-Ping, Chair and Professor, UW-Madison Dance Department, is a talented and dedicated artist with a deeply-felt passion for making dances, performing, teaching and giving service to the University and Madison communities. Sharing her knowledge with the community through her Li Chiao-Ping Dance company, she is professional, patient, and powerfully knowledgeable about the world of dance. She exemplifies an amazing dancer who is able to use her performing talent to highlight and advance the role of women artists. In both settings, her teaching is grounded in community building, on and off campus, for an inclusive and respectful environment. She is a prolific choreographer of more than 130 dance works, and through dance, she explores her Chinese heritage and her individuality as an Asian American.Chiao-Ping is very intentional about including a diverse group of community members in the broadest sense of the word. She offers dance classes and performance opportunities to people of all ages and abilities. Moreover, she successfully attracts a group of participants that includes older adults, children, people with disabilities and members of various racial/ethnic groups, the LGBTQ community and others. Chiao-Ping expects technical proficiency and performance quality from her professional dancers and dance students, yet she is also able to meet community members at their own movement levels and elicit strong performance from them as well, creating an integrated whole. In these ways, she is a leader in community building and a role model for others.
Carmen Valdez, Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology, has distinguished herself as a campus leader and mentor as she has consistently engaged in community action-based research (community-based participatory research) with the Latina/o community, providing greatly needed services and culturally-steeped interventions and programming through grant-funded projects. Through her research, she engages in scholarship that seeks to promote health and educational equity and to inform policy at the local and national level. Working with mental health and primary care clinics throughout the Dane County area, she addresses the mental health disparities for Latina/os and to address the provider-patient communication.Her community-based research experience has prepared her well to research and facilitate access for vulnerable populations through cultural sensitivity and community engagement, including partnerships with community agencies and schools. The relevance of her work to contemporary socio-political issues puts her in a good position to inform public policy at the national level. Dr. Valdez has contributed substantially to the psychological wellness of multiple Latina/o families in Wisconsin with her project Fortalezas Familiares (FF) or Family Strengths, which in turn has developed scholars who are interested in and understand the importance of community-engaged research. Members of her research team described their experiences as “a learning experience each and every day…Dr. Valdez is an inspiration to all of us who want to be involved in multicultural work and do good deeds in various communities in general.”
The 2013 selection committee members are:
Aaron Bird Bear, Diversity Programs, School of Education
Sharon Long, Professor of Soil Science, and representative, Committee on Women at the University
Nikolas Magallon, ASM Student Representative & MCSC Leadership Team
Althea Miller, Graduate Student & Office Associate, University of Wisconsin Survey Center
Nicole Nolan, Undergraduate Major in International Studies, OVPCDO Intern
Luis Piñero, Director of the Office for Equity & Diversity & Assistant Vice Provost
Janice Rice, Senior Academic Librarian & Recipient of UW-Madison & UW System Outstanding Woman of Color Awards in 2008
Ilsa Valdez, Program Associate, MBA Program, Wisconsin School of Business
Ruby Paredes, convenor.
UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color:
- Dawn Bryant Crim, Associate Dean for External Relations, School of Education
- Rohany Nayan, Fellow, The Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions
- Jacquelynn Dawn Arbuckle, Staff General Surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine & Public Health
- Tonya Lynn Brito, Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Law
- Cynthia Lin, Social Justice Education Specialist, Multicultural Student Center, Division of Student Life
- Erica Laughlin, Director of the Information Technology Academy (ITA), Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
- Manuela Romero, Assistant Dean for Student Diversity & Academic Services, College of Engineering
- Nancy Marie Mithlo, Assistant Professor of Art History & American Indian Studies
- Patty Loew, Associate Professor, Life Science Communication, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and Enrolled Member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe
- Araceli Alonso, Faculty Associate & Lecturer, College of Letters & Science and the School of Medicine & Public Health
- Emuye Asfaw, Administrative Officer, Office of Human Resources
- Diane Gooding, Professor of Psychology, College of Letters & Science; Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine & Public Health
- Sandra Magaña, Associate Professor of Social Work and Director, Latino/Latina Chicano/Chicana Studies Program
- Idella Yamben, PhD Candidate, Cellular & Molecular Biology, and Research Assistant in Anatomy, School of Medicine & Public Health
- Janice Rice, Senior Academic Librarian in College Library and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation
- Peggy Choy, Lecturer & Sr. Outreach Specialist, Dance & Southeast Asian Studies; now Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Dance
- Le Ondra Clark, PhD candidate, Department of Counseling Psychology
- Sheri Williams Pannell, MFA candidate, Department of Theatre and Drama
- May Lee Moua-Vue, Student Services Coordinator, International Student Services
- Linda S. Greene, Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law | UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color:
- Jacqueline DeWalt, Director of PEOPLE (Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence)
- Laura Klunder, Residence Hall Manager, Kronshage Hall-Holt Commons; now Assistant Director of Campus Programs for Leadership and Social Justice at Macalester College, Minneapolis MN
- Susana Lastarria-Cornhiel, Senior Scientist, Urban and Regional Planning, College of Letters and Science & College of Agricultural & Life Sciences
- Mary Layoun, Professor of Comparative Literature, College of Letters and Science
- Norma Saldivar, Associate Professor of Theatre and Drama, also Chican@ and Latin@ Studies
- Patricia A. Tellez-Girón, Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health
Women who have been selected both the UW System Outstanding Women of Color in Education and UW-Madison Outstanding Women of Color:
2012-2013: Roberta Hill, Professor of English & American Indian Studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and CarmenValdez, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology
2011-12: Tonya Lynn Brito, Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School
2010-2011: Leslie Bow, Professor of English and Asian American Studies, College of Letters & Science, and Ana Martinez-Donate, Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine & Public Health
2009: Patty Loew, Associate Professor, Life Science Communication
2008: Janice Rice, Senior Academic Librarian in College Library
2007: Linda Greene, Evjue Bascom Professor of Law
2006: Alberta Gloria, Professor, School of Education
2005: Gloria Ladson-Billings, Professor, School of Education
2004: Linda Denise Oakley, Professor, School of Nursing & Joann Pritchett, Director of Diversity, School of Pharmacy
2003: Hazel Symonette, Senior Policy Planning Analyst
2002: Seema Kapani, Director of Diversity Programs & Learning Communities
2001: Ada Deer, Senior Lecturer in Social Work
2000: Gloria Hawkins, Assistant Dean, School of Medicine & Public Health
1999: Amy Ling, Professor & Director, Asian American Studies
1998: Lucille Badger, Community Leader; Stanlie James, Professor, Afro-American Studies Department, and Nancy Rodriguez, Student
1997: Linda Stitt, Program Director, Wisconsin Union
1996: Nellie McKay, Professor, Afro-American Studies Department
1995: Mercile Lee, Assistant Vice Chancellor