January 2011—Michael Hames-Garcia, professor and head of the Ethnic Studies Department; Janis Weeks, professor of biology; and Tina Gutierez-Schmich, a professional development specialist in the Center on Diversity and Community, are among the winners of the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards at the University of Oregon. All three are associated with the Center for the Study of Women in Society. Hames-Garcia is a faculty affiliate of CSWS. Weeks is a faculty affiliate and member of the CSWS Research Interest Group Gender in Africa and the African Diaspora. Gutierez-Schmich, a Ph.D. student in Critical and Socio-Cultural Studies in Education, is a member of two CSWS Research Interest Groups—Queering Academic Studies and U.S. Third-World Feminism.
MaryAnn Glant, an early childhood assistant in the College of Education’s Early Childhood CARES program, is also a winner. The four were honored at the 2011 Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards Ceremony in late January for their commitment to making the UO campus “a welcoming place” and for “embodying King’s humanitarian spirit.”
The UO Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, in collaboration with the UO Department of Human Resources, presented the awards during a reception featuring UO President Richard Lariviere and Charles Martinez, the university’s vice president for institutional equity and diversity.
The UO’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Award was originally established to honor under-recognized classified staff whose activities and achievements help make campus a welcoming place to live, work and learn. The award has since been expanded to include recognition of university faculty and officers of administration whose contributions to the campus community exceed job expectations and exemplify ideals associated with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Criteria for MLK award nominees include fostering a welcoming environment and embodying King’s humanitarian spirit; setting a caring example by building morale and showing compassion; working toward cultural diversity and awareness; promoting diversity, social justice and equity; and demonstrating moral courage, adherence to the principles of non-violence and dedication to the ideals of social harmony.