Academic Women’s Caucus presents Goddard Power awards


Valeria Bertacco, Sally Camper and Patricia Coleman-Burns have been selected as Sarah Goddard Power Award recipients for 2015-16.

The Academic Women’s Caucus presents the Sarah Goddard Power awards to individuals who demonstrate scholarship, leadership and support of women faculty, staff and students.

The Sarah Goddard Power Distinguished Service Award for 2015-16 will be presented to Gloria D. Thomas, director of the Center for the Education of Women.

The ceremony for the 32nd annual awards is at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Henderson Room of the Michigan League. The university community is invited.

Valeria Bertacco

Sally Camper 

Patricia Coleman-Burns

Gloria Thomas

Descriptions of the recipients’ work are from their award citations.

Bertacco is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science. Her work in runtime correctness for microprocessor designs has profoundly influenced the work in her research area, in industry and academia.

Her passion for a diverse student body led to a recruiting relationship with the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology in Ethiopia. She helped it modernize its computer science and engineering programs.

She also is the principle investigator of Computing CARES, a Third Century Initiative seed grant to boost the retention of women in computing. Bertacco also is on the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Female Faculty.

Camper is an internationally recognized researcher in the field of inherited birth defects. She has supported and mentored women at all levels.

The James V. Neel Professor and chair of the Department of Human Genetics is a pioneer in the use of transgenic mice, recognized for her contributions to basic research on the genetics of pituitary disorders, hearing and skeletal development.

As founder of the Transgenic Animal Model Core at U-M, Camper has improved the ability of a large number of researchers to carry out cutting-edge research on the genetic basis of disease.

Coleman-Burns, assistant professor of nursing, has served as a voice for underserved students in roles including special adviser to the dean on multicultural affairs, and director of the Genesis Program. The program has created change in nursing education and prepared high school and college students for health and science careers.

Her research in nursing education examines culturally competent, evidence-based literacy to reduce disparate health outcomes for African-American women and girls. As a steering member of the Women of Color in the Academy Project, she has worked to make the university more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

Thomas has encouraged leadership development and education of students, staff and faculty at U-M by her inclusive management style. She has long advocated for women of color, which included coordinating the Women of Color in the Academy Project, a support network for faculty at U-M.

She has worked to evolve campus programs with workshops, counseling and support to enable the entire community to be successful at work and at home. Thomas ensures that CEW supports the U-M campuses and also works for global improvement for women.

The Academic Women’s Caucus was founded in 1975 by women working to overcome inequity issues in the workplace. It presents the Sarah Goddard Power Award to distinguished faculty and senior administrative staff. The award was established in memory of Power, a former regent and strong advocate for women within the university community.

The Sarah Goddard Power Distinguished Service Award is given to a faculty member who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the betterment of women and a clear record of success and significant achievement in research and scholarship, distinguished leadership and mentoring women.


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