Three faculty members to receive Goddard Power awards


Oveta Fuller and Reshma Jagsi, both of the Medical School, and Bhramar Mukherjee of the School of Public Health will receive 2022 Sarah Goddard Power Awards.

The School of Kinesiology and Department of Mechanical Engineering will be recognized with Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Awards.

The awards, given by the Academic Women’s Caucus, will be presented virtually from 3-5 p.m. Feb. 1.

Sarah Goddard Power Award

Named after the late 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.

Fuller is an associate professor of microbiology and immunology and member of the African Studies Center. Her laboratory research team and interdisciplinary collaborators studied early events in herpes simplex and influenza virus replication.

Her implementation science research with the Trusted Messenger intervention partners with officials of community organizations in Zambia, South Africa and the United States for prevention of HIV/AIDS and recently on COVID-19.

Fuller was the first woman to achieve tenure in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

“Upon achieving tenure, Dr. Fuller took her interests in viral entry and viral pathogenesis and made a conscious effort to do more community-based work focused on education regarding infectious disease, … which is a significant issue for women, and especially women of color,” said Bethany Moore, the Nancy Walls Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and chair of microbiology and immunology, in a nominating letter.

Jagsi is deputy chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at U-M.

She has led seminal studies quantifying underrepresentation of women in authorship, editorial, principal investigator and leadership positions in medicine and in comparable compensation.

She also is internationally recognized for research to strengthen autonomy in breast cancer patients and to individualize breast cancer care.

“Dr. Jagsi is an international scholar, advocate and leading voice for gender and BIPOC equity, and a well-funded researcher who lifts many women through inspiration, collaboration, and mentorship. She embodies the virtues of Sarah Goddard Power and I cannot support her more highly for this reward,” said David J. Brown, associate dean and associate vice president for health equity and inclusion, and associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, in a nominating letter.

Mukherjee, a professor of epidemiology and global public health, is chair of the biostatistics department. She also serves as the associate director for quantitative data sciences in the Rogel Cancer Center.

Mukherjee is highly engaged in Precision Health and serves as the associate director for cohort development. Her research interests include statistical methods for the analysis of electronic health records, studies of gene-environment interaction, Bayesian methods, shrinkage estimation and analysis of high dimensional exposure data.

Jenna Wiens, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, said of Mukherjee, “Her record as a mentor to students and faculty, especially women, is exemplary. Not only does (she) serve as a significant role model for women in biostatistics but she also works to create opportunities for women across the university and beyond.”

Wiens said she benefits from working with Mukherjee, who “is not in my department or even my college, yet she has encouraged me and supported me in numerous endeavors” since coming to EECS in 2014.

Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award

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 School of Kinesiology has made great strides over the past five years with respect to faculty promotion, recruitment and retention. These efforts have resulted in a noticeable gender rebalancing and a modest but important increase in ethnic diversity as well. Kinesiology has supported faculty toward promotion at all ranks in several deliberate ways.

Over the past several years, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has made significant strides in increasing faculty diversity while simultaneously fostering a climate that promotes the growth and success of its faculty. The department has made diversity, equity and inclusion efforts a top priority.

To make this happen, it has undertaken efforts in mentoring junior faculty, improving the faculty search process and reinvigorating its overall DEI activities. The results of these efforts are reflected in the department’s record of hiring women and underrepresented minorities for the last several years, including six women and seven URMs.


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