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Black faculty and staff honored for outstanding achievement

During Black History Month, the University of Utah’s Black Cultural Center recognized the U’s best and brightest academic and professional community members at the 2024 Black Faculty and Staff Awards. The annual event spotlighted individuals who exhibited excellence in their positions within the university in addition to providing outstanding service and support to the campus community. This year’s honorees are listed below.

Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award

  • Anastasia Fynn (Director for International Student & Scholar Office)
  • Simone Lawrence (HBCU IMPACT Program Manager)

Madam CJ Walker Award

  • Dr. Myra Washington (Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies)
  • Dr. Ademuyiwa Aromolaran, PhD, FHRS, FAHA (Investigator, Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research Training institute (CVRTI), Associate Professor of Surgery)

Malcolm X Award of Social Justice

  • Sara Cody (Programming Manager, Black Cultural Center)
  • Dr. Joselli Deans (Associate Professor, School of Dance)

Maya Angelou Award of Innovation

  • Mark Giles (Media Specialist, Videographer)
  • Dr. Karleton Munn (Associate Director of Advising, Honors College)

James McCune Smith Award of Veneration

  • Monet Iheanacho (Business Data Analyst, Pediatric Administration)
  • Emma E. Houston (Assistant Vice President Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer)

Minijean Brown Award of Virtue

  • Leaticia Mimche (Mechanical Engineering Student, College of Engineering)
  • Emmauel Addo (Graduate Research Assistant, John A. Moran Eye Center)

After receiving their awards, several recipients expressed their sincere gratitude for the recognition.

To receive the James McCune Smith Award of Veneration is an even greater honor to be placed in such distinguished ranks as those of the past honorees,” said Emma E. Houston. “Thank you to the Black Faculty and Staff Association for creating space where we can all be celebrated and recognized for our passions and in doing good work.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized alongside such an amazing group of individuals,” said Sara Cody. “Being named the Malcom X Awardee for Social Justice is a personal milestone for myself, but the stories and journeys of the other award recipient is what really resonated with me.

Their service to the campus and community along with their personal achievements is what will continue to propel me through the coming weeks and year advancing my advocacy for change.”

I take pride in my work with IMPACT,” said Simone Lawrence. “To know that I’m making this type of impression on my community, at a young age, means the world to me. It is an honor to receive the Marcus Garvey Black Star Excellence Award for doing work that I am passionate about, and to be nominated by the community I love.”