Six members of the UAB community received the 2010 President’s Awards for Diversity for their commitment and contributions to diversity on campus. UAB President Carol Garrison recognized outstanding leadership in five categories: faculty and staff plus professional, graduate and undergraduate students.

Brian Sims, M.D., Ph.D., a UAB assistant professor of pediatrics and cell biology, received the President’s Diversity Faculty Award for his efforts to promote diversity in the UAB School of Medicine and increase the numbers of minority post-doctoral candidates at UAB. He is a member of the School of Medicine’s Diversity Task Force. He also has been a member of the search committee for the School’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.

Isabel Scarinci, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAB Division of Preventative Medicine, also received a Diversity Faculty Award for her work to address health disparities in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Scarinci is a scientist with the UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) and a co-founder of Manos Juntas, the first mentoring program at UAB targeting Hispanic and Latino students.

Marsha Sutton won the President’s Diversity Staff Member Award. A program administrator for the UAB School of Medicine’s Office for Diversity Programs, Sutton was honored for her outstanding contributions toward the recruitment and retention of minority students.

Ngandu Sonia Nkashama, a student in the UAB School of Dentistry, received the President’s Diversity Professional Student Award. Nkashama developed and implemented a pre-adolescent oral health program called Sammy Shark’s Smile Squad for at-risk youth ages 8-13. As a member of the UAB Student National Dental Association, she helped organize health fairs and screenings at local schools, churches and community groups and talked with under-represented groups about careers in dentistry.

Irene Tamí Maury, a doctoral student in the UAB School of Public Health, received the President’s Diversity Graduate Student Award. Maury is an international program coordinator with the UAB School of Nursing. She also has volunteered with a number of cultural activities sponsored by UAB International Scholar and Student Services (ISSS), including the annual International Bazaar and the International Food Fair. She also has worked with the ISSS Speakers Bureau, visiting several schools in the Birmingham area.

Kelli Money, a senior chemistry major, won the Diversity Undergraduate Student Award. Money has been a volunteer Spanish translator at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital and a teacher’s assistant at Jackson Elementary School through the UAB Center for Urban Affairs.

These awards were presented during a special banquet held Jan. 28 as part of UAB’s annual Community Week, a weeklong series of events designed to challenge ideas related to diversity and culture.