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2010 University of Utah Diversity Awards Announced

April 14, 2010 – The University of Utah announced today the recipients of the 15th Annual Equity and Diversity Awards. The awards are presented each year to outstanding individuals and organizations who have demonstrated sustained excellence in fostering leadership and a commitment to promote and enhance equity and diversity for students, staff and faculty at the University of Utah.

Octavio Villalpando, associate vice president, Office for Equity and Diversity, announced that Karol Kumpfer, Martha Bradley, Gladys Adjel-Poku and the Hispanic Business Student Association are this year’s Equity and Diversity Award recipients. University of Utah President Michael K. Young will welcome the recipients and present the awards at a luncheon on April 16, 2010 at the Rice Eccles Stadium Tower.

Karol Kumpfer (Pawnee) is professor of health promotion and education in the College of Health. She has had a long and distinguished career in academia, public service and in the community by supporting women, families and ethnic communities with issues related to equity in health care and education. Early in her career, Kumpfer facilitated the creation of the Department of Family and Consumer Studies and the Women’s Studies program at the U. She has promoted diversity by mentoring and hiring numerous graduate and undergraduate students focusing on inclusion and the success of the underrepresented. She served in the Clinton administration as the director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention promoting community coalitions and family strengthening starting the American Indian Prevention Initiative. Locally, she is a board member of the Indian Walk-in Center and the Salt Lake City mayor’s Office for Drug-free Communities. One nominator writes, “Kumpfer has dedicated her University of Utah career to reducing discrimination and promoting ethnic and women’s issues while mentoring many students who have gone on to very successful careers.”

Martha Bradley is professor of architecture and planning in the College of Architecture+Planning and dean of the Honors College. She is credited with “transforming the Honors College into one of the most diverse, exciting spaces on campus,” and making it a safe place for women and underrepresented students of color, who are often excluded, to learn, create and excel. She champions collaborative teaching and civic engagement, which she models in her own work. Last year she formed the Social Justice Scholars program connecting community involvement and service learning with academic work, shaping unique learning and teaching opportunities throughout campus. In her work and teaching in architecture and the Honors College, Bradley is credited with creating supportive learning environments for all students, inclusive of those who traditionally may not have had access to these areas. She is described by students and colleagues alike as a great individual, scholar, teacher and friend. As one nominator says, “Dr. Bradley’s involvement in diversity and equity demonstrates her commitment to making a difference at the U through research, teaching, social responsibility, participation and action.”

Gladys Adjel-Poku is a nurse manager for the Cardiovascular Medical Unit in the University Hospital and is described as a “tremendous advocate for diversity.” She was nominated because of her leadership skills, the ability to hire, unify and promote staff from diverse backgrounds and the support and encouragement she provides staff and patients under her care. Her nominators describe her as “an exceptionally strong, nurturing leader, an amazing teacher who is genuinely invested in her employees and celebrates the qualities that make people different.” Her nominators say she empowers her employees on every level, including active participation in continuing education to expand their careers. Because of Adjel-Poku’s diverse hiring practices, her unit is known as a “mini United Nations,” and she is given credit for the way this rich community seamlessly works together. The diversity also benefits the patients and their families under stressful circumstances. She speaks 6 languages and her staff is able to provide translations in13 languages.

Hispanic Business Student Association (HBSA) is the first and currently the only diversity focused student group in the David Eccles School of Business. Their motto is “Creating a New Culture” and their mission is to strive for the development of Hispanic business students by networking and creating leadership opportunities within the business community.” Only five years ago HBSA was struggling with low participation. Since then, a motivated group of students has given it new life. The group now has over 45 members and is actively engaged in not only the professional development of its members, but also actively reaching out to the community through volunteering, mentoring and making presentations to middle- and high-school students. They’ve created partnerships with key community groups and developed “Bailamos,” a semi-annual dance event that gives them the opportunity to raise funds for student participation in the National Hispanic Business Association conference. As one nominator states, “The success of the group truly resides in their collective belief that an advanced education is a key element in creating future careers and a stronger community.”

Each recipient is nominated via letters of recommendation submitted by colleagues and students. The final selection is made by the equity and diversity awards committee of the Office for Equity and Diversity at the university.

For more information please visit or call communications and community outreach in the Office for Equity and Diversity at 801-581-4250.