Four to receive Sarah Goddard Power awards from AWC


Professors Isis Settles of LSA and Dawn M. Tilbury of the College of Engineering will receive the 2021 Sarah Goddard Power Award, and the Sarah Goddard Power Distinguished Service Award will go to Sonya Jacobs, U-M’s chief organizational learning officer, and Ellen Judge-Gonzalez, director of UM-Dearborn’s SOAR program.

The School of Information will be recognized with the Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award.

The awards, given by the Academic Women’s Caucus, will be presented virtually from 3-5 p.m. Feb. 10.

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

Settles is a professor of psychology, Afroamerican and African studies, and women’s and gender studies. Using an interdisciplinary, intersectional framework, her research focuses on the experiences, perceptions and consequences of unfair treatment directed at devalued social group members, especially Black people and women, and protective factors that counteract the effects of those experiences.

Settles, who also serves as associate director of ADVANCE, “brings psychological science to bear on pressing gendered and racialized problems, hoping to influence real-world change,” said Lilia M. Cortina, professor of psychology, and women’s and gender studies, in a nomination letter.

Tilbury is a professor of mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering and computer science. Her research interests lie broadly in the area of control systems, including applications to robotics and manufacturing systems.

“Throughout her career, from her leadership of the Society of Women Engineers student chapter as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, through her leadership of the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Directorate today, Dr. Tilbury has been an advocate and supporter of women in engineering,” said Kira Barton, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Jacobs also is senior director for faculty and leadership development at Michigan Medicine. Daniel Little, professor of philosophy at UM-Dearborn, and of sociology and public policy in Ann Arbor, chairs the Culture Education Advisory Group with her. The CEAG was charged in 2018 to serve the university by providing analysis and strategies through which the culture and climate of the university can be improved so as to eliminate virtually all sexual and gender harassment.

“I have come to admire Sonya deeply for her commitment to gender and racial equality at the university, her intelligence and effectiveness as a leader of organizational change, and her ability to bring out the best from the groups of women and men of the university with whom she has worked,” Little said.

At UM-Dearborn, Judge-Gonzalez directs the Support, Opportunities, Advocacy and Resources for Nontraditional Students program.

“Ellen is one of the most determined champions of gender equity, economic justice, and student success we know,” said Lisa Martin, an associate professor of College Wide Programs at UM-Dearborn who works with her on the SOAR Advisory Board.

“She truly embodies the spirit of Sarah Power in that for Ellen, failure is impossible when it comes to championing students in their goals of achieving academic and personal success. She truly embodies the values of opening the educational system up for students who have faced significant life challenges and gaps in their education.”

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.

Over the last five years, the School of Information has made significant strides to increase faculty diversity, while working to foster a climate that helps faculty to thrive and advance their careers. To achieve these goals, UMSI has recruited diverse candidate pools for all faculty positions and participated in the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program over multiple years.

UMSI has also included important diversity, equity and inclusion goals into the school’s retention and promotion processes and continued faculty development and mentoring practices designed to encourage professional and personal growth.

The results of these efforts are reflected in the makeup of the 21 untenured, tenure-track UMSI faculty, 52 percent of whom are women, while 19 percent are underrepresented minorities. Of 10 faculty promoted to tenured associate professor in the past five years, three are underrepresented minorities and five are women.


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