Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

One U Thriving

Centers & Offices

Black Faculty + Staff Awards

In collaboration with the Utah Museum of Fine Arts and Black Faculty & Staff Association, the Black Cultural Center honors Black faculty and staff for their work on campus and in the community with the Black Faculty and Staff Awards each Black History Month (February). With each award presentation, the Black Cultural Center aims to promote examples of excellence and amazing charges of upholding the four university goals.

Awards & Awardees

Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award

The Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award is for new University of Utah faculty and staff who have stepped up to the plate and helped build and broadcast the University of Utah in a positive light.


Dr. Ariel Blair (Assistant Professor – Department of Management)
JaTara Smith (Academic Program Manager – Master of Public Administration Program)


Dr. Charles R. Rogers (Assistant Professor – Family & Preventive Medicine)
Cha McNeil (Resident Director – Social Justice Advocates)

Madam C.J. Walker Resource Award

The Madam C.J. Walker Resource Award is for individuals who have strengthened community-engaged learning experiences and opportunities tied to civic engagement and fostered stronger partnerships between the local community and the University of Utah.


Dr. Valerie Flattes (Assistant Professor – College of Nursing)
Jacquée Williams (Learning Abroad Coordinator – Office of Learning Abroad)


Dr. Tino Shawish Nyawelo (Associate Professor (Lecturer) – Physics and Astronomy)
Jeilani Athman (Student Success Advocate – Student Success & Empowerment)

Malcolm X Award of Social Justice

The Malcolm X Award of Social Justice is for individuals who have fought for justice in terms of the distribution of equal access, opportunities, and privileges within our campus and the greater community and whose body of academic work (e.g., articles, books, creative works) and life promote or exemplify the area of social justice in modern life.


Dr. Laurence Parker (Professor – Educational Leadership & Policy, Associate Dean – Honors College)
Asma Hassan (Utah Reads Program Manager – Bennion Center)


Dr. Crystal Rudds (Assistant Professor – English)
Tramaine Jones (Student Success Advocate – Student Success & Empowerment)

Maya Angelou Award of Innovation

The Maya Angelou Award of innovation is for individuals who have used creativity to develop or improve processes, methods, systems, products, or services and encourage others to do the same. This award is given to those who make innovation a priority among team/faculty members, encourage reasonable and calculated risk-taking, and improve work and personal life at the University of Utah.


Dr. Paula Smith (Associate Professor – Educational Leadership & Policy)
Katy Riney (Clinical Office Manager – University Counseling Center)


Dr. Erika George (Professor – S.J. Quinney College of Law/Director – Tanner Humanities Center)
Sheila Sconiers (Training & Development Specialist – Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action)

James McCune Smith Award of Veneration

The James McCune Award of Veneration is for individuals who are awe-inspiring examples of dignity, wisdom, dedication, and excellence at the University of Utah.


Dr. William Smith (Professor – Ethnic Studies and Education, Culture & Society)
Nona Richardson (Executive Senior Associate, Director/OEO Title IX Liaison – Athletics)


Dr. Steven Bell (Associate Professor (Lecturer) – Occupational/Recreational Therapy)
Portia Anderson (Director – College of Architect & Planning – Dean)

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