Lisa Cooper, a physician and professor, received the first ever Provost's Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity during an awards ceremony May 10. The Johns Hopkins University Diversity Leadership Council also honored 11 individuals and three groups with Diversity Recognition Awards during its annual event.
"The deserving recipients of our annual Diversity Recognition Awards, along with our inaugural Provost's Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity, have made invaluable contributions to our university and community," Johns Hopkins Provost Robert C. Lieberman said. "Without exception, they have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion here at Johns Hopkins, shaping the future of our university, "
The provost's prize recognizes a full-time faculty member who has made meaningful scholarly or creative contributions related to diversity. The award is accompanied by a $50,000 honorarium.
Cooper is the James F. Fries Professor of Medicine at the School of Medicine and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities. She also holds appointments in the schools of Nursing and Public Health. She is an internationally recognized expert on cultural, social, and economic barriers to equitable care and the effectiveness of relationship-centered interventions.
"Lisa has a passion for social justice, human dignity, and health equality since her childhood days in Liberia, where she witnessed and suffered from discrimination and violence," David M. Levine, Cooper's mentor, said during the nomination process. "… She has been one of an elite group of pioneer investigators, studying and uncovering disparities in care and health and functional status amongst populations, particularly minority, poor, and vulnerable ones."
Cooper has developed interventions to enhance care for diverse populations and worked to educate and mentor other physicians about these disparities, Levine said.
Peabody's Judah Adashi was named a finalist for the Provost's Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity and received a $10,000 honorarium. As a faculty member in the composition department, Adashi has composed and performed works that explore civil rights in America, worked with young people through the Junior Bach community engagement program, and participated in initiatives focused on diversity at Peabody and throughout Johns Hopkins University.
"It is extremely important to highlight and support the critical scholarship and creative work being done by our faculty to broaden discourse on diversity and inclusion," says Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, vice provost for faculty affairs. "I'm pleased that the selection committee chose to recognize a winner and a finalist who work in vastly different disciplines but reflect excellence and commitment to underserved populations and inclusive practices."
The Diversity Recognition Awards celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of faculty, staff, students, or groups whose demonstrable efforts foster greater appreciation, advancement, and celebration of diversity and inclusiveness at Johns Hopkins. This year's winners have founded or led organizations for underrepresented groups, advocated to increase diversity and inclusion at the university, and mentored both Johns Hopkins students and young people in the community, among other accomplishments.
"Each year it is inspiring to read the nominations for so many faculty, staff, and students doing amazing work around diversity and inclusion," says Ashley Llorens, chair of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council. "Their work is fascinating as it brings our societal ideals around social justice and equity into alignment with excellence in the pursuit of our various missions at Johns Hopkins. While every candidate was worthy of recognition, our awardees represent a cross-section of outstanding contributions from across the Johns Hopkins enterprise."
The winners of the 2016 Diversity Recognition Awards are:
- Alicia Arbaje, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Eric Chang, Applied Physics Laboratory
- Sean Chou, Carey Business School
- Blessing Deeyaa, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
- Marc Edwards, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Jasmine Holmes, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Rachel Levine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Damani Piggott, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Carolyn Robinson, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Sabrina Scarborough, Johns Hopkins School of Education
- Jordan White, Bloomberg School of Public Health
- The Johns Hopkins Black Student Union
- The Johns Hopkins Student LGBT Curriculum Team for the School of Medicine
- The Deaf Health Initiative at the Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Diversity Leadership Council is made up of more than 50 individuals from across Johns Hopkins who serve as an advisory council to university President Ronald J. Daniels and help the institution achieve its goals of diversity and inclusion.