Inclusive Excellence Award Winners to be Honored Next Week

Inclusive Excellence Award Winners to be Honored Next Week

By Lori StilesUniversity Communications
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Edith Sayre Auslander
Edith Sayre Auslander
Toni Griego Jones
Toni Griego Jones
David Martinez III
David Martinez III

The University of Arizona Office of Diversity has selected three individuals, a program and a department as winners of the 2007-2008 Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards.

The recipients are a distinguished group of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions toward enhancing The University of Arizona 's academic excellence by helping to create a diverse and inclusive campus community, according to a memo from Raji Rhys-Wietecha, director, and Lanette Mackey, program coordinator, in the Diversity Resource Office.

President Robert N. Shelton will present awards to the winners at a reception on Oct. 17.

This year's winners are:

Edith Sayre Auslander
Former vice president and senior associate to the president

Auslander is a native Tucsonan who earned two degrees from the UA, a bachelor's degree in 1961 and a master's degree in 1975. She has had a long career in journalism, working for the Arizona Daily Star and as a UA assistant professor of journalism. Auslander became the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Arizona Board of Regents and served as board president in 1989-90, when she initiated the systemwide study on the status of women. Auslander served 2000 to 2003 as the first director of development for the Arizona Alumni Association, vice president and senior associate to the president from 2003 to 2008, president of the UA Hispanic Alumni Club and of the Hispanic Action Committee. Auslander was Tucson's Woman of the Year in 1986 and received an honorary doctorate of law from the UA in 1997. She has been honored six times nationally for her human resources work, was named to the UA Student Media Foundation and was named to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the Woman on the Move award, the YWCA's Iris Dewhirst award.

Toni Griego Jones
Associate professor, College of Education

Griego Jones has promoted inclusiveness and diversity in public education throughout her career in research, teaching and professional service. She has been an active advocate for minority students and parents throughout her career in public schools and higher education. At the UA, she collaborated with doctoral students in developing the Preparing Teachers for Mexican American Students Research initiatives and with the Mexican American Studies and Research Center faculty in developing a graduate minor in Mexican American Studies. Griego Jones was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship earlier this year and used it to study educational experiences of Mexican immigrants prior to coming to the United States. Griego Jones is past president and longtime board member of the Association for Women Faculty. She was a member of the Millennium Study and Report Oversight Committee and co-chaired its diversity task force, as well as a member of the UA Diversity Coalition. She was instrumental in organizing the UA Minority Women Faculty network that supports minority faculty women in the promotion and tenure process and voices their views in discussions with the university's president and provost.

David Martinez III
Senior, secondary education, political science and journalism

Martinez, a first-generation college student from Marana, Ariz., was appointed to the Arizona Board of Regents by Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2007. As the voting student regent, he is an advocate for increased financial aid and rural distance education. The Arizona Senate also in 2007 confirmed him to serve on the Senate's Committee on Higher Education. Martinez has served as president of the UA Young Democrats, secretary of the Arizona Democratic Party, and southern Arizona communications assistant in the 2004 presidential campaign. As a representative of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Office and the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, he served on the Transgender Project Committee, which successfully enacted and implemented the restroom access policy that was adopted by President Peter Likins and reaffirmed by President Robert Shelton. Martinez has been active in the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Human Rights Campaign, and has and mentored students in the College of Education and at Mansfeld Middle School.

Summer Research Opportunities Program
Graduate College

The Summer Research Opportunities Program team works to ensure research opportunities for underrepresented students, helping them pursue graduate education. The program hosts more than 100 students in intensive research each summer, and 85 percent of the participants go on to graduate school. The team collaborates to recruit students, pair them with faculty mentors and provide research workshops. Program participants present their research at the Graduate College Summer Research Conference.

Team members are Donna Treloar of the Graduate College, assistant director for diversity and Summer Research Institute coordinator; Sandi Bartell, senior program coordinator, Minority Health Disparities Summer Research Opportunity Program; Cindy Neal, senior program coordinator in biochemistry, Minority Access to Health Careers; Kimberly Sierra-Cajas of the College of Optical Sciences, science and technology center coordinator; Laura Farrel, administrative associate in chemistry, Research Education for Undergraduates; Nura Dualeh of the Graduate College, McNair Achievement Program assistant director; Andrew Huerta of the Graduate College, McNair Achievement Program coordinator; Nadia Alvarez of the Graduate College, Teaching and Teacher Education coordinator, Verano de Investigacion; and Cynthia Bjerk-Plocke, administrative associate, Graduate College.

Department of Language, Reading and Culture
College of Education

The department, established within the College of Education in 1986 and known as LRC, reflects a rich diversity of faculty, staff and students. Many of the nearly 200 students in the graduate department are practicing educators working toward reading specialist endorsements, English as a Second Language endorsements, or both. The department sponsors an annual conference on literature and literacy for children and adolescents, and it houses the world's second largest collection of children's and adolescent literature devoted to creating intercultural and international understanding. LRC sponsors teachers from Central America to visit the UA to improve their English and teaching skills, and it houses the Immigrant Biliteracy and Immigrant Children project. In collaboration with American Indian Students and Linguistics, LRC also sponsors the American Indian Language Development Institute each summer. The institute works to document and revitalize indigenous languages by reinforcing processes of intergenerational language transfer. The department is headed by Patricia L. Anders.

The University community is invited to attend the awards reception at 1 p.m. in the Tucson Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.

More information about the Inclusive Excellence Awards is available online and from Rhys-Wietecha, 626-5502, and Mackey, 626-8383.

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