Professors Jody R. Lori of the School of Nursing and Rada Mihalcea of the College of Engineering will receive the 2019 Sarah Goddard Power Award, and the School of Nursing will be recognized with the Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award by the Academic Women’s Caucus.
The awards presentation will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Henderson Room of the Michigan League.
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.
Lori is a professor of nursing and the associate dean for global affairs at the School of Nursing. She also serves as director of the PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery at the nursing school.
A fellow in the American College of Nurse Midwives and the American Academy of Nursing, Lori’s research uses community-based participatory research focusing on the development and testing of new models of care to address the high rates of maternal and newborn mortality in sub-Saharan Africa.
“She is a tireless advocate, ally, and mentor for the trainees she supervises, the women she works with, and the women and babies in Africa to whom her life’s work is devoted. Jody is an exceptional leader,” Cheryl Moyer, assistant professor of learning health sciences, and obstetrics and gynecology, said in nominating Lori.
Sarah Rominski, a mentee of Lori’s, adds, “She leads by example and spends a lot of time and energy building up the junior researchers around her, and she does this with kindness and good humor. She expanded my horizons beyond my disciplinary comfort zone, and connected me with people she thinks will allow me to become a better researcher.”
Mihalcea is a professor of computer science and engineering, and the director of the Michigan Artificial Intelligence Lab. Her research interests are in computational linguistics, with a focus on lexical semantics, multilingual natural language processing, and computational social sciences. She currently serves as the Association for Computational Linguistics vice president elect.
She received a National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2008 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama in 2009. She was nominated by Trevor Mudge for her ability as an internationally recognized researcher and leader promoting equity, inclusion and advancement for women and minorities in the computer science and engineering program.
“She, like so many others, has recognized the persistent challenge of representation for women in CS (computer science). She differentiates herself by her drive to act, to confront this challenge head-on,” said Emily Provost, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
“She organizes workshops, outreach events and courses. She attends panels and other speaking events. She has devoted herself to showing students that CS is a field in which they can explore problems that they care about, that CS is a field in which they can truly make a difference, that CS is a field in which they can succeed.”
The School of Nursing has been selected to receive the Dumas Award for its steady progress to increase diversity by race and gender among their faculty over the past two years, including at the full and associate professor ranks.