Inclusive Excellence Awards
Sep 14, 2018 3:00 PM
The Office of Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) at the University of Utah Health is pleased to announce the 2018 Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Award recipients. The Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Award recognizes those who have helped to foster inclusive communities on campus through inter-cultural dialogue that fosters equal opportunity; inclusive research and programming; or recruiting and retaining excellent and diverse faculty, staff, trainees, or students. We invite you to reach out to all award recipients with warm congratulations.
KALI DALE, BA - STUDENT RECIPIENT
Kali embodies inclusive excellence through her long-standing involvement with associations that work toward creating an inclusive community for underrepresented minorities and generating opportunities for career advancement. She is currently an American Indian Science and Engineering Society Lighting the Pathway Scholar, a highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funded interdisciplinary program that utilizes mentorship as a tool to create a strong network to foster academic success and increase the representation of American Indians in Faculty positions, where they can then act as mentors and role models for future generations creating a full circle of support. She is also the University of Utah Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Chapter Secretary, where she not only participates in the chapter recruitment and outreach activities but also helped to develop the undergraduate SACNAS chapter within the University of Utah. Beyond her work within these associations, Kali also serves as role model for her community working as a mentor for the Native American Summer Research Internship (NARI) program and tutoring undergraduates in the American Indian Resource Center. Kali's involvement in these University of Utah programs speaks of her desire to help undergraduates to integrate into scientific communities and to give back to her community.
“Receiving the Leadership in Excellence Student Award motivates me to continue my mentoring efforts to increase the representation of Indigenous Peoples in STEM fields.”
Since Dr. Torres started her postdoc at the University of Utah she has served in several leadership roles with the Utah Postdoctoral Association (UPDA) and participated in the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion’s (OHEI) committees that support diversity
to reach academic success. Dr. Torres has acted as a mentor for ACCESS, and is currently mentoring students from
“I am extremely honored to have been awarded the OHEI Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Award. While it has been rewarding to work on different projects to advance the goal of an inclusive University of Utah campus, I am grateful for the recognition to my work and for the positive impact that it will have in my career”
-Dr. Natalia Torres
SCOTT WILLIE, BA - STAFF RECIPIENT
Scott has served as the Native American Summer Research Internship (NARI) Coordinator for two years. In that time, Scott has transformed the program with his devotion to the students. He works tirelessly to recruit students from the entire country, participating in many Native American education societies and traveling to reservation schools to open science research to all communities. His efforts have made NARI a top research program for undergraduates, and the heart he puts into the program has created a sense of community that allows the students to feel at home during their summer experience.
Scott also served as the chair for the powwow planning committee for 2018 SACNAS Conference. Scott’s organization and vision helped make the powwow the largest in SACNAS history, and the SACNAS national office spoke highly of Scott's work on this project. From his work in NARI and SACNAS, Scott has transformed the University of Utah campus in two short years.
“Being recognized for the 2018 Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Staff Award has been a profound step toward recognizing indigenous spaces within the University of Utah Health. The award means so much for all those who have come before me – Richard White, Sam Hawkins, and Steven Just; also, those who will come in the future to promote excellence for American Indian/Alaska Natives. I hope that this recognition will continue to sustain relationships and improve the health and well-being of indigenous people in Utah.”
KOLAWOLE S. OKUYEMI, MD, MPH - FACULTY RECIPIENT
Dr. Okuyemi has dedicated his academic career to equity and diversity matters. As chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, he collaborated with the Center for Clinical &
Translational Science (CCTS) and Office of Health Equity & Inclusion (OHEI) to bring an evidence-based research mentor training to the University of Utah (UU) in February 2018. The training addressed equity and inclusion within mentoring relationships. Mentors were encouraged to think about how to foster an inclusive environment where everyone can do their best learning and create the highest quality of research. In addition, Dr. Okuyemi is collaborating with UU faculty to develop a mentoring and leadership program for researchers who are from and/or working with populations affected by health inequities. The program launched in September 2018 and will utilize an innovative multi-level culturally responsive model to foster career and leadership development and success. Dr. Okuyemi was one of five Principal Investigators awarded a $22 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to establish the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). NRMN’s mission is to diversify the biomedical research workforce and address the “grant gap” through mentoring. Under his leadership, over 350 junior investigators from across the nation have completed a 4-12 month grant writing coaching group. An NRMN grant writing coaching group was launched at UU in January 2018 with the support of other UU senior faculty. Finally, Dr. Okuyemi has a passion for mentoring and has mentored Underrepresented Represented Minority (URM) trainees from all levels many of whom have progressed to establish their own independent careers.
“Inclusive excellence in an academic health system—or any organization for that matter—is necessary to bring new talent, creativity, and intellect to the challenging health and socio-economic issues facing our society today. There is compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation, productivity, and creativity. As a
-Dr. Kolawole Okuyemi
NANCY A. ALLEN,
Dr. Allen is a tenure-track Assistant Professor and Nurse Practitioner in the College of Nursing. Since joining the faculty in 2013, she has focused her research on diabetes in ethnically diverse communities. In particular, she has led
Spanish peer leaders in diabetes management. In that way, her research, which was grounded in the values of the community, led to interventions meaningful to the community and delivered by community members. In addition to her work with the Hispanic community, Dr. Allen has been instrumental in mentoring nursing students from diverse populations in research and advocates for them to present at local and regional research conferences. She supported and advised students to organize a Hispanic Nurses Society at the University of Utah. Dr. Allen is passionate about diabetes research and decreasing the risk, and improving the management, of diabetes in the Hispanic community through community engagement and empowerment.
“I was humbled by receiving this award. I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who have chronic diseases and are the recipients of health disparities. This award recognizes my ongoing research and community work with the Hispanic Type 2 Diabetes community that is so very important to me.”
-Dr. Nancy Allen