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 Faculty members Susan Schweik, Frederick Collignon, and Caroline Kane, with Chancellor Birgeneau. Not pictured: Jabari Mahiri, the fourth Chancellor's Award recipient.(Peg Skorpinski photo)

Profs reap Chancellor's Awards for diversity-related contributions

| 12 April 2007

Four faculty members were the guests of honor April 4 at a University House ceremony celebrating recipients of the 2007 Chancellor's Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence. Now in its second year, the honor acknowledges meritorious achievement by Senate faculty members who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence by providing leadership - through research, education, and public service - in helping create a more equitable and diverse learning environment.

This year's recipients are Caroline Kane, professor in residence of biochemistry and molecular biology; Jabari Mahiri, associate professor of education; Frederick Collignon, professor of city and regional planning; and Susan Schweik, associate professor of English.


Soprano Candace Johnson, a postdoctoral fellow in the music department, performs musical selections at the University House ceremony honoring award recipients. (Peg Skorpinski photo)
 

Honors went to Kane, founder of the Biology Scholars Program, for steadfast efforts to help women and underrepresented minority students graduate in biology, particularly stem-cell biology. For Mahiri, it was his research on literacy learning of urban youth, his mentoring services, and his contributions to urban education (starting with an 11-year stint teaching English in the Chicago public high schools) that caught the attention of the nine-member selection committee. Collignon and Schweik were honored jointly for decades of pioneering work - research, curriculum development, teaching, mentoring, and public service - on behalf of students with disabilities. Their efforts have led "to a variety of significant institutional reforms on campus, in the city of Berkeley, and at the national level of federal policy," the citation said.

In keynote remarks to the invited guests, Berkeley political-science graduate Michael Yaki '83, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said that programs like the Chancellor's Award - honoring "modern-day heroes of the 21st century" for defending the ideals of diversity, opportunity, and equality - are "buying us time, creating a new generation of leaders . until we can have that great policy course correction that has, as its foundation, the diverse student population that has always been emblematic of Cal."

Recipients of the new award receive $30,000, placed into a departmental account for discretionary use by the awardee to continue his or her diversity-related work.