University to honor three at annual MLK Awards lunch

Three members of the UO faculty and staff and four innovative programs will be honored in the upcoming Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon.

The annual event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Ford Alumni Center’s Guistina Ballroom and is open to all members of the university community. A lunch will be served, and those planning to attend are asked to RSVP here with meal preferences by Monday, Jan. 19.

The MLK awards celebrate those who go beyond prescribed job duties to exemplify the values and principles of racial justice, equity and inclusion. All the award winners were nominated by peers who see them regularly demonstrate qualities and causes the late civil rights leader supported.

The 2015 honorees are:

  • Gerardo Sandoval, professor in Public Planning, Policy and Management
  • Karla Kennedy, coordinator of scholastic journalism, School of Journalism and Communication
  • Deb Casey, director of student support services, University Teaching and Learning Center

This year’s MLK award program also includes the Equity and Inclusion Innovation Awards, which recognize policies, procedures and structures that further equity and inclusion efforts across campus.

This year’s award recipients are:

  • Summer Academy to Inspire Learning, Department of Economics
  • School of Journalism and Communication
  • Spanish Heritage Language, Department of Romance Languages
  • UO Libraries/Special Collections and University Archives

The Division of Equity and Inclusion will also recognize the winners of the Student Paper Competition, who will be announced at the event.

“All of this year’s award winners were exceptional, but I’m particularly proud to recognize the work of our three honorees,” said Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh. “They have shown a deep, lasting commitment to helping students and members of our community succeed, no matter their background or barriers to success. The spirit of Dr. King is alive and well in them and so many others at the University of Oregon. It fills me with hope.”

The UO Gospel Choir will kick off the event, which will be followed by lunch. Alex-Assensoh will welcome guests before introducing interim President Scott Coltrane and acting Provost Frances Bronet, who will make remarks.