Professors Cathleen Connell of the School of Public Health and Allison Steiner of the College of Engineering and LSA will receive the 2020 Sarah Goddard Power Award from the Academic Women’s Caucus.

The AWC will recognize LSA’s Department of Women’s Studies with the annual Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award.

Named after the late University of Michigan Regent Sarah Goddard Power, the award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the betterment of women through their leadership, scholarship or other ways in their professional life.

The Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award supports a long-standing vision of increasing the number of diverse women in the academy.

Named after late Vice Provost Rhetaugh Dumas, it recognizes outstanding institutional initiative in demonstrating notable progress by academic units in achieving ethnic, racial and gender diversity among those pursuing and achieving tenure as professors, clinical professors, research professors and research scientists.

The awards presentation will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Koessler Room of the Michigan League. Tiffany Ng, assistant professor of music, will honor Goddard Power with a carillon performance prior to the awards presentation. Information about the event is available at

Photo of Cathleen Connell
Cathleen Connell

Connell, professor of health behavior and health education, is being honored for her significant achievement in addressing current challenges faced by women through distinguished leadership at U-M.

She began her academic career as an assistant professor of health behavior and health education in 1989 and rose through the ranks to professor in 2003. She has served in many leadership roles in her tenure at the university, including associate and senior associate dean of academic affairs, department and associate chair, and in directorships.

“Cathleen brings true kindness, empathy and graciousness to her leadership roles. With her attitudes and actions, she has helped make the department and school a place where female scholars feel comfortable and can thrive personally and professionally,” May Janevic, associate research scientist in health behavior and health education, wrote in a nominating letter.

“Cathleen embodies the characteristics of an inspired leader. A patient listener, she has an innate ability to motivate teams to institute changes, meet goals, and achieve success,” wrote Angela Beck, assistant dean for student engagement and practice in Public Health.

Photo of Allison Steiner
Allison Steiner

Steiner, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering, CoE, and professor of earth and environmental sciences, LSA, has provided breakthrough contributions toward developing a diverse and inclusive workforce both at U-M and in her own scientific field at a national and international level.

She will receive the Sarah Goddard Power Award for her tireless advocacy toward the advancement of women in earth sciences worldwide, and her leadership role in promoting equality for female faculty in the College of Engineering.

Steiner co-founded the Earth Science Women’s Network, an international peer-mentoring network of women in the earth sciences, to promote career development, build community, provide opportunities for informal mentoring and support and facilitate professional collaborations.

At the university and within CoE, Steiner plays active leadership roles in a variety of programs and efforts to develop and implement strategies and plans to support diversity, equity and inclusion. She chaired the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Female Faculty, is a member of the CoE ADVANCE Advisory Committee and co-chaired last year’s NextProf Committee.

“Looking through the list of the last few years’ Sarah Goddard Power Award winners is inspirational. … Prof. Allison Steiner’s significant achievements in contributing to the betterment of current challenges faced by women through her leadership and community building roles clearly place her in the same company,” Mark Moldwin, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of space sciences and engineering, wrote in a nominating letter.

Since 1973, the Department of Women’s Studies has advanced equity and awareness of the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class across the university through its research, teaching, mentoring and community outreach.

In fall 2019, 50 percent of the department’s faculty were people of color. Over the past five years, its leadership has embodied and practiced an “institutional commitment to change,” while numerous faculty members have provided dedicated mentorship to their junior colleagues.

Two recent department chairs — an African-American and Latinx — during those five years have moved on to assistant dean, associate dean and interim dean positions at LSA.