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University of Utah Honors 2005 Diversity Award Recipients

November 10, 2005 — The University of Utah announced yesterday recipients of the 2005 Diversity Awards. Five awards were presented at the tenth annual Diversity Awards luncheon. The awards are given each year to outstanding individuals or organizations that demonstrate an active commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity at the University of Utah.

According to Karen Dace, University of Utah, Associate Vice President for Diversity, “The awards are presented on the basis of excellence in fostering leadership and commitment to diversity and expanding opportunities for students, staff and faculty at the University of Utah. Further, the award recognizes sustained contributions to diversity.”

This year’s award recipients are as follows:

Gladys Mixco – Administrative Assistant in the University of Utah Ethnic Studies Program for nearly 20 years, now retired. Mixco tirelessly worked to facilitate the success of the program which houses Asian Pacific American, African American, American Indian and Chicana/Chicano Studies.

Irv Altman – Professor and Former Vice President for Academic Affairs. Altman is characterized as a man of vision who fought for inclusion, diversity and affirmative action without apology. He set in place a number of programs that continue today including the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement Program, Martin Luther King Celebration and Days of Remembrance in honor of the more than six million Jewish persons killed during the Holocaust.

Liz Leckie – Assistant Dean in the College of Humanities. Leckie is described as deeply committed to enhancing diversity awareness at the University. She was instrumental in the creation of the College of Humanities’ new diversity scholarship program. She is also a “safe zone” trainer coordinating trainings with the Colleges of Health, Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences and is a liaison between LGBT students and the College of Humanities. Leckie planned a symposium “Communicating Whiteness” to be offered in January 2006.

JoAnn Lighty – Professor of Chemical and Fuels Engineering; former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering. Past recipient of the Linda K. Amos Award for distinguished Service to Women, and the 2004 National Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Society of Women Educators, Lighty is credited with a long history of work in the area of opening the doors for diverse individuals in the field of engineering. She played a role in the College of Engineering’s outreach and diversity efforts through the creation of two new programs – High School Girls Engineering Abilities Realized (HiGEAR) and Teaching engineering Concepts in High School (HiTEC), programs that encourage underrepresented student participation.

LEAP – A program of the University of Utah Office of Undergraduate Studies. LEAP is described as a learning community enabling students to play an active role in their own education. LEAP is honored for a sustained commitment to diverse communities and students in at least four areas: enrollment and program demographics, curriculum, strong service ideals and the creation of the Health Sciences LEAP. LEAP has programs in partnership with Northwest Middle School, West High School as well as a new cohort of Health Sciences students.