The University of Cincinnati will honor seven members of the UC community for their daily dedication to UC’s Just Community initiative through teaching, learning, living, working or serving the community. UC Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Student Services Mitchel D. Livingston will present the honorees with the Just Community Awards at the University Recognition Ceremony at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 17, in the Great Hall of Tangeman University Center.
Now entering its 13th year, UC’s Just Community, developed with input from students, staff, faculty and administrators across the university, is a nationally recognized program for civic education developed around the principles of pursuing scholarship and leadership, celebrating the uniqueness of each individual, practicing civility, embracing freedom and openness, seeking integrity, promoting justice, striving for excellence and accepting responsibility.
The recipients were nominated by members of the UC community for incorporating the values of the Just Community into their daily practices.
The recipients of the 2009 Just Community Awards are
Grace Auyang – The professor of sociology for Raymond Walters College (RWC) was honored for incorporating diversity into all of her teaching endeavors. She was also recognized for serving on a committee that developed and implemented the Cultural Diversity Certificate Program at RWC. Auyang has served as co-chair and facilitator of six peace conferences during RWC’s spring Worldfest celebrations of UC’s diversity and was the recipient of the college’s first Diversity Is Beautiful Award in 1996.
Lanthan Camblin Jr. – The professor of education and 2008 member of the Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning (AFTL) was co-chair of the Just Community Principles Committee. He was recognized for his support in developing the statement that evolved into the values of UC’s Just Community. His commitment to equity and justice was recognized in his teaching and his research. “Dr. Camblin serves as a clear model to students and faculty alike, and demonstrates in his practice how people with compassion and a willingness to understand others can cross social boundaries that operate as barriers for many,” says Roger L. Collins, professor of education.
Dewey Enderle – The UC alumnus and UC senior staff engineer for Planning + Design + Construction was recognized for his service in guiding UC student volunteers through UC’s home-building partnerships with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity. “His interest in the university and its student body extends well beyond the work week, as exemplified by his efforts to build affordable housing in the community surrounding the university,” says colleague Kurt Ponting. “His dedication has reached beyond our local community as he assisted Habitat builds in Louisiana, which benefited families affected by Hurricane Katrina.” Enderle was recently honored with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity’s Volunteer of the Year Award for his dedication.
Kanniks Kannikeswaran – An adjunct faculty at the College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) division of Composition, Musicology and Theory, Kannikeswaran is described as a visionary musician, composer and educator credited for building diverse communities through innovative large-scale choral productions at UC, Greater Cincinnati and other communities across the nation. “As a producer, composer and teacher he has been a model of good character and artistic vision,” says Marilyn Krebs, CCM admissions coordinator. “By expressing the commonality of the human experience in music, he has helped us appreciate the richness and beauty of both the Indian and Western culture,” Krebs says. "His work embodies the essence of learning the music of both common and diverse traditions and living the inherent ideas through performances that reflect inclusiveness of diverse communities. I believe that he and his work represent all the values inherent in a Just Community, bring those values in action and transform them as living principles of the larger student and city community," says Raj Manglik, professor of mechanical engineering.
Velta Kelly-Foster – The adjunct assistant professor of UC’s Career Development Center (CDC) and UC alumna was recognized for her leadership in a variety of roles related to diversity and inclusion fore more than three decades of service to the university, including her service on the UC Diversity Task Force. Kelly-Foster was praised for her weekly professional development classes she teaches to UC students in the College of Business. “She constantly seeks diversity and inclusion in solving problems and finding solutions in this daily changing employment arena,” says Terry L. Bankston, program director and adjunct instructor for the CDC. “Dr. Kelly-Foster consistently receives the highest evaluations from students, employers and those who interact with her as an ambassador of the university.”
Un Kyong Ho – The diversity education program coordinator for Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) was honored for recently incorporating themes of social justice into UC’s annual spring Worldfest celebrations. She was also recognized for her work as a graduate assistant with UC’s Racial Awareness Program (RAPP). “RAPP’s purpose is to create an opportunity for students to engage in open, critical dialogue about issues related to various systems of oppression including racism, sexism, homophobia and classism,” says Amy Howton, assistant director and sexual assault response coordinator for the UC Women’s Center. “Un Kyong not only provided these opportunities in RAPP but also worked to develop other opportunities, expanding on the alumni program, RAPPORT, and exploring study abroad experiences that promote social justice.”
Elyse Lohrbach – The UC student from Fremont, Ohio, is majoring in secondary education with a focus in language arts and will be graduating in June. A four-year member of the Bearcat Bands program and a student worker for the Bearcat Bands the past three years, she is being recognized for being an ambassador for the program. She plays the flute and the alto saxophone. “Our program crosses a huge segment of diverse populations. The issue of fairness to all, respect for cultural differences, understanding of limitations or handicap, ethnic background, race, gender or any manner of social situations are all handled with the utmost respect in every situation she has encountered,” says Terren L. Frenz, director of Bearcat Bands. “She has become a ‘Superior Front Door’ for the Bearcat Bands and the university,” Frenz says.
“The Bearcat Bands truly made my UC experience,” says Lohrbach. “The excitement and spirit and support that the Bearcat Bands give to the UC community is personally revitalizing. It’s a great opportunity for students to give and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Frank Russell – The director of UC’s Community Design Center is recognized for bringing UC students and administrators together with developers and community members all to work for design efforts to better the community. A highlighted example was his involvement in the latest UC building partnership with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity, in which students updated a design for a home to accommodate a family with disabilities.
Dawn Wilson – The director of UC’s Resident Education and Development (RED) was recognized for her work in implementing programs in the residence halls reflecting the values of UC’s Just Community, such as the back-to-school canned food drive to benefit the FreeStore Foodbank. She was also honored for leading a university-wide school supply drive to benefit students in Cincinnati Public Schools. “Her supervision has had the greatest impact on my development into a young professional and is a great example of the ways in which she demonstrates daily commitment to the values of this university, namely to the Just Community principles,” says former assistant residence coordinator and RAPP coordinator Rebecca Lehman.