Four individuals and one student organization were honored with the President’s Diversity Champion Award Feb. 21. The annual award recognizes employees, students and organizations that have helped create a more culturally diverse, inclusive university community through their achievements.

Nominations are solicited from the UAB community for all categories, and awards are given in each of five categories for projects or activities that best reflect the implementation of unit and/or campus diversity goals.

Also, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine co-publisher Lenore Pearlstein was there to present the HEED (Higher Education Excellence in Diversity) Diversity Champion award to President Ray Watts. In November 2018, the magazine recognized UAB as a diversity champion and a role model that sets the standard for U.S. campuses striving for inclusive excellence.

Congratulations to the 2019 recipients:

BaskinMonica Baskin, Ph.D.Monica Baskin, Ph.D.
Faculty, School of Medicine

Monica Baskin, Ph.D., is a professor of Preventative Medicine and vice chair for Culture and Diversity in the Department of Medicine and associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement for the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. Baskin is a licensed psychologist with an extensive research program that uses community engagement to better understand and address social determinants of minority health and health disparities.

Beyond her scholarly work, Baskin is a tireless advocate for diversity and advancing health equity. She sits on multiple university committees focused on equity, diversity and inclusion. She is part of the inaugural cohort of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Program, and she chairs both the Jefferson County Collaborative for Health Equity and the new Jefferson County Health Action Partnership, which comprises more than 80 organizations and agencies working together to make Jefferson County, Alabama, a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.

Meal Time eating strategies 400Valene Garr BarryValene Garr Barry,
Graduate Student, School of Health Professions

Valene Garr Barry is a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and a pre-doctoral fellow of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center. In her research, Barry, who earned a master’s degree in nutrition sciences from UAB, investigates methods for early detection of disease and the association between body composition and risk for cardiometabolic disease in women.

Barry champions diversity through mentorship and advocacy. She is an engaged member of the Executive Board of the Black Graduate Student Association and co-directs its BLUEprint Connect program, which pairs undergraduate students with graduate and alumni mentors. She also mentors students in UAB’s Women in STEM program and multiple off-campus programs. She is the graduate student representative for UAB’s School of Health Professions Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and a student representative for its Student Affairs Committee.

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