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Two from School of Education earn Outstanding Women of Color honors

September 20, 2013

UW-Madison is honoring its annual Outstanding Women of Color award winners during a reception on Wednesday, Sept. 25, and two of the seven honorees are from the School of Education, University Communications reports.

Those from the School of Education being recognized are Professor Li Chiao-Ping, chair of the Dance Department, and Associate Professor Carmen Valdez, who is a faculty member with the Department of Counseling Psychology.

Valdez also is being nominated to receiver the UW System’s 18th Annual Outstanding Women of Color in Education Awards. Valdez is a licensed professional psychologist who is also is an affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. She currently is serving on the American Psychological Association Committee on Children, Youth and Families (2013-2015), under the auspices of the Board for the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest. Valdez also has been appointed to be an inaugural investigator of the Collaborative Center for Health Equity at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Those being honored by UW-Madison are deeply rooted in both the campus and the Madison community in their work toward social justice, service, research and community building. The reception runs from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Lowell Center Dining Room.

Others from campus who are being honored include: Desiree Alva, assistant director, Diversity Affairs Office (DAO), College of Engineering; Karma Chávez, assistant professor of communication arts & Chican@ and Latin@ studies; Wilma Callaway, assistant director and Mentor Program director, Center for Educational Opportunity (CEO); Roberta Hill, professor of English & American Indian studies, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; and Saemyi Park, doctoral candidate in political science.

The Outstanding Women of Color Awards were created in 2007 to recognize students, faculty and staff for their service to the community in one or more of the following areas: social justice; advocacy for disadvantaged and/or marginalized populations; scholarly research, writing, speaking and/or teaching about race, ethnicity and indigeneity in American society; and community building to create an inclusive and respectful environment on- or off-campus.

In addition to Valdez, the selection committee has also nominated Hill to receive the UW System 18th Annual Outstanding Women of Color in Education Awards.

University Communications reports that this year’s seven honorees are the largest cohort to be selected to date, says Ruby Paredes, interim associate vice provost and assistant vice chancellor for diversity and climate. The growing campus-wide awareness of the annual honor is gratifying, she adds.

“People are beginning to recognize how important the awards are and actively looking for women who deserve to be recognized for their outstanding work, tremendous leadership and personal contributions to our society. That’s the purpose of the award,” Paredes tells University Communications. "But they are not being honored simply for being women of color. Every candidate selected for the title 'Outstanding Woman of Color in Education’ truly merits the designation among all women in education."

As is the celebration’s tradition, a 2012 honoree will serve as mistress of ceremonies for this year’s event. Tonya Brito, a Law School professor who joined the faculty in 1997 and was honored last year by both the Madison campus and UW System, will lead this year’s event.

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