We are thrilled to congratulate and highlight the 2017-18 SOE dije Award Winners! The winners include student, faculty, and staff nominees who embody deep dedication to advancing diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity in all aspects of their professional work.
Collectively, the winners’ input, determination, and consideration greatly benefit the SOE as well as the broader campus and local communities. Award winners were nominated by SOE community members and selected by the SOE Education Diversity Advisory Council (EDAC). There were no undergraduate nominees this year, and therefore no award winner in that category. We thank the winners for all of their contributions and offer excerpts from their nomination statements below.
Graduate Student Winner: Ms. Aurora Kamimura, Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education, Organizational Behavior and Management
Ms. Aurora Kamimura is a doctoral candidate in the SOE’s Center for the Study of Higher & Postsecondary Education where she is specializing in higher education, organizational behavior and management. In partnership with the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good and the National Center for Institutional Diversity, Ms. Kamimura has worked with her peers to develop one of the country’s leading hubs for information and professional development about institutional policy on undocumented students. In 2015, she led the team implementing an online seminar on this topic for which over 500 people registered. Along with being a graduate intern at the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, Ms. Kamimura is a Rackham Merit Fellow. Her student leadership has also been evident through her work with the Coalition for Interdisciplinary Research on Latino/a Issues (CIRLI), Rackham Grad Parents, Becoming Educators of Tomorrow (BET), Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR), and the Division of Student Affairs. Ms. Kamimura’s research pursuits infuse both her social justice commitments and her deep interest in organizational knowledge. She plans to examine hiring practices at universities like Michigan that seek to diversify their faculty as part of her dissertation research.
Excerpt from Nomination:
"Ms. Kamimura adeptly facilitated dialogues, helping students usually reticent to speak find their voice. She also aided students in finding common ground amid divergent identities, worldviews, and political ideologies. Many seasoned professors struggle to succeed at these tasks, making her talent in doing so as a graduate student all the more impressive. Aurora has also been a key member of our community with respect to recruiting new graduate students to Michigan, particularly students of color."
You can read more about Ms. Aurora Kamimura on her SOE profile.
Faculty Winner: Dr. Patricia King, Professor of Higher Education
Dr. Patricia M. King is a professor in SOE’s Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education (CSHPE). Her teaching and research focus on the learning and development of college students and other adults in educational settings. She is interested in approaches to student learning that explore the interactions between student characteristics (such as their expectations, social identities, and developmental levels) and features of their learning environments in curricular, co-curricular, and personal contexts. She previously organized SOE’s Race & Social Justice Seminar, bringing in speakers from around the country, and inviting students and faculty to join these guests in a rich intellectual exchange. Dr. King also helped lead several funding initiatives that yielded funding to support doctoral students during the spring and summer, to support student research on diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity topics in higher education, and to help defray travel costs for CSHPE students who participated in domestic study trips to tribal colleges and historically Black colleges and universities. Additionally, Dr. King worked with former CSHPE Clinical Professor Betty Overton to build a network among minority serving institutions (MSIs) in higher education to encourage undergraduate students at MSIs to pursue graduate education.
Excerpt from Nomination:
“Without a great deal of formal recognition, Professor King has kept dije at the forefront of our efforts in the Center, and she is someone I can rely upon to bring expertise and energy behind my efforts to build a more inclusive climate. I believe she is absolutely worthy of this award.”
You can read more about Dr. King's work on her SOE Faculty profile.
Staff Winner: Ms. Felice Gonzales, Office and Program Manager of the Center for Education Design, Evaluation and Research (CEDER)
Felice Gonzales is the Office and Program Manager at the Center for Education Design, Evaluation and Research (CEDER) where she supports a wide variety of grant-funded and fee-for-service activities. Her position provides program and administrative support to CEDER’s Managing Director and other CEDER staff and faculty, as well as support for a growing number of ongoing program activities and events. Recently, Ms. Gonzales also worked as the Project Associate Manager on the Educational Studies’ Geometry, Reasoning and Instructional Practice (GRIP) laboratory team, led by Professor Patricio Herbst. Ms. Gonzales has brought insights and skills from working over 10 years in K-12 education to the SOE. Indeed, she is both a former a school social worker and former administrator of special education. Ms. Gonzales has generously contributed to School-wide diversity, inclusion, justice, and equity efforts, and she consistently promotes dije issues in her daily work in CEDER. At the SOE-level, she was one of four organizers of the recent SOE Gender Diversity Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Gender Diversity and Hypermasculinity. This event, held in March 2018, attracted nearly 50 students, faculty members, and staff members. Felice volunteered to co-organize the event, along with staff member Liz Dean and SOE dije student team members Eloise Reid (dije GSSA) and Dexter Moore, Jr. (dije intern)
Excerpt from Nomination:
“Felice’s dije efforts and engagement stand as a model for other staff members in many ways. We have particularly appreciated her initiative this academic year given that increasing staff engagement in SOE dije matters has been an important part of the year. Additionally, Felice has routinely attended all-School dije events and has promoted dije-related matters as a member of SOE’s Staff Development Committee. Her service on that committee is voluntary and self-initiated too. We believe Felice would be a deserving and honored recipient of a 2018 SOE dije award.”
You can read more about Ms. Gonzales on her SOE Staff profile.
MORE FROM Expansions Vol 2
The School of Education is proud to be a leader in the campus-wide initiative promoting Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Adding "Justice" to these values underscores the role of educators in the creation of just societies. Through research, public scholarship, community building, and the preparation of education practitioners and policymakers, we articulate and advance our dije agenda.