Each year, UMB presents Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Recognition Awards for individual and/or group achievements in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness. Recently, the Diversity Advisory Council named the 2017 winners, who will be honored at UMB’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 1, featuring keynote speaker Sherrilyn Ifill, JD. The MLK award recipients serve as models of the ideals epitomized by the life and work of Dr. King.
Outstanding UMB Staff Award
Courtney Jones Carney, MBA
Director, Office of Interprofessional Student Learning and Services Initiatives (ISLSI), Campus Life Services
Carney started working on diversity programs at UMB in 2011 and now develops and manages over 200 programs a year focusing on educating UMB students and staff through opportunities that emphasize leadership development, social responsibility, and cultural competence. She has tirelessly advocated for and produced diversity education and cultural celebration activities for the UMB campus as a whole.
These programs have provided students, faculty, and staff from various backgrounds an opportunity to take part in the education and celebrations of their cultures. Events such as World Hijab Day, which explores the reasons why some UMB women wear a hijab (next event is Feb. 1), and Poverty Simulation, where participants navigate their way through a day as someone living below the poverty line, expose students and staff to cultures and conditions they might not have had the opportunity to learn about in their everyday life.
“It is an honor to receive the MLK Outstanding Staff Award as recognition of the initiatives that I have created related to diversity and inclusion,” Carney says. “It shows that my contributions and the contributions of the ISLSI staff have not gone unnoticed. Additionally, winning this award means that the co-curricular learning that is thoughtfully planned, managed, and executed through ISLSI is valued by the UMB community. Further, it emphasizes the importance of the co-curricular in shaping culturally knowledgeable professionals.”
Outstanding UMB Faculty Award
Daniel Mullins, PhD, professor and chair
Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, School of Pharmacy
The PATIENTS program (PATient-centered Involvement in Evaluating the effectiveNess of TreatmentS) founded by Mullins has engaged a number of local communities in Baltimore as well as researchers from UMB schools and other universities in placing patients at the center of clinical studies.
Originally funded with a $5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the PATIENTS program partners with patients and care providers to answer questions about the best treatment options to improve health and quality of life. It engages people from all communities, especially those from underserved and minority populations, in every step of the patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) process. Through its collective efforts, PATIENTS creates an effective learning health care community.
Under Mullins’ direction, the PATIENTS program supports diversity and inclusiveness in clinical studies. It now has a role in two new PCOR awards with over $10 million each in new funding.
The UMB Co-Researcher of the Year in 2014 and recipient of the Dr. Daniel D. Savage Memorial Science Award in 2013 from the Association of Black Cardiologists, Mullins is thrilled by his latest honor.
“Being selected for the MLK Diversity Faculty Award is not just a prestigious honor, but also a call to arms to advance health equity,” he says. “With the honor comes a responsibility to advance the transformational change necessary to make research more patient-centered. Unlike many other research programs, we encourage patients and caregivers to get involved in every aspect of our research, because we believe that incorporating patients’ perspectives can improve health care research and delivery for all Americans.”
Outstanding UMB Student Award
Third-year student, Francis King Carey School of Law
Hasan organized several University events that demonstrate her commitment to Dr. King’s ideals of diversity and concern for underserved populations.
“Immigration Issues in the 2016 Election: Be Informed and Vote” in October featured a panel that included Sen. Benjamin Cardin and six other experts who addressed many of the key immigration concerns raised by the election cycle. The event attracted more than 100 people.
Nine months earlier, Hasan, a Virginia native whose parents emigrated from Pakistan, organized “Combating Islamophobia — Constitutional Issues Affecting Muslim Americans and Asian Americans in a Post-9/11 World.” This featured another stellar panel of community leaders who discussed the topic with over 135 people in attendance.
In addition, Hasan is co-president of the Women’s Bar Association and serves as a tireless advocate for the rights of women law students and legal issues relating to women in general.
“Winning the MLK Outstanding UMB Student Award is humbling,” Hasan says. “MLK embraced diversity and made it his goal to bring individuals from different backgrounds together in a peaceful way. If I can break down gender, racial, or stereotypical barriers and accomplish even a fraction of what Martin Luther King Jr. achieved, then I am content. We are a nation founded from immigrants, and the beauty of America is that we are the melting pot of different races, cultures, and religions. If we are not able to showcase that beauty and respect one another’s differences, then how can we embrace our similarities?”
Register to attend UMB’s MLK/Black History Month celebration!
– Chris Zang