Six Women To Be Honored as Outstanding Women of Color

Walking in our shoes as Women of Color: A photo tradition launched by the 2014 Outstanding Women of Color. (Photo @ Andy Manis)

The six winners of the 2016 University of Wisconsin-Madison Outstanding Women of Color awards will be honored at the annual celebratory reception on Tuesday, March 7, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Edgewater Hotel, 1001 Wisconsin Place.  The event is free to the campus and community, registration is requested.

By tradition, these six women exemplify being deeply rooted in both the campus and the Madison community through their work toward social justice, service, research and community building.

This year’s UW-Madison campus honorees include:

Fabu Phillis Carter
Fabu Phillis Carter

 Fabu Phillis Carter, Poet, Scholar, Teaching Artist, and Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of the School of Medicine & Public Health;

Joan Fujimura
Joan Fujimura

Joan Fujimura, Professor, Department of Sociology and Holtz Center for Research on Science and Technology;

Binnu Palta Hill
Binnu Palta Hill

Binnu Palta Hill, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Wisconsin School of Business;

 Sagashus Levingston, Tutor/mentor with the Odyssey Project, Co-teacher in the Odyssey Junior Program, and Founder of the “Infamous Mothers” Project;

Denise Thomas, Coordinator of Title VII American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Madison Metropolitan School District; and

Sagashus Levington
Sagashus Levington

Julissa Ventura, Ph.D. Candidate in Educational Policy Studies, and Fellow of the Morgridge Center for Public Service Community-University Exchange-South Madison.

Denise Thomas
Denise Thomas

Please register to join us today at

In 2007, UW-Madison launched an annual program of awards to women of color for outstanding service in higher education following in the footsteps of the UW System, which began their program of celebrating such women in 1994, said Ruby Paredes, associate vice provost in the Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer.

Julissa Ventura
Julissa Ventura

The System has discontinued their program, but UW-Madison has decided to continue honoring  women of color doing extraordinary work on campus and in the larger Madison community.

The UW-Madison’s has a multitude of accomplished women of color, Paredes said, and the celebration will continue not only because of the exemplary work being done by women of color, but also to recognize how these individuals embody the university’s commitment to community outreach, especially in diversity.

“The growing campus-wide awareness of the annual honor focusing on women and their achievements continues to be very gratifying,” Paredes added. “As I’ve stated in the past, we are not honoring these women simply for being women of color.  These are women in higher education and the community who deserve to be recognized for their outstanding work, tremendous leadership, and personal contributions to our society. That’s the purpose of the award.”

As is the celebration’s tradition, a 2015 honoree will serve as Mistress of Ceremony for this year’s event. Earlise Ward, Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, faculty at the Health Equity Leadership Institute (HELI), Institute for Clinical and Transitional Research, School of Medicine & Public Health, was honored last year by both the Madison campus and UW-System, will lead this year’s event.

The 2016 Selection Committee members are: 

  • Jessica Behling, Law Student; Senior Intern, Office of the Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer, Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Aaron Bird Bear, Assistant Dean, School of Education
  • Nancy Blake, Precollege Coordinator, Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Jacqueline DeWalt, Director of External Relations, Partnerships & Development, Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Carl Grant, Professor of Curriculum & Instruction, School of Education
  • Sharon Long, Professor of Soil Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Luis Piñero, Director of the Office for Equity & Diversity, Assistant Vice Provost
  • Spring Sherrod, Department Manager, English Department
  • Lindsey Stoddard Cameron, Faculty Services, Office of the Secretary of the Faculty
  • Ilsa Valdez, Program Associate, MBA Program, Wisconsin School of Business
  • Ruby Paredes, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement