MLK Awards given to Newman leaders

By Mikenna Barcelona, Staff Writer

Newman University’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award ceremony happened last week, and three members of the Newman community were recognized for their dedication to the values King represented: justice, equality and service.

The faculty award was given to Dr. Yelando Johnson, who is the director of Newman’s Master of Social Work program and the chair of the social work department. Dr. Andi Giesen, the dean of students, won the staff award. Senior Alondra Valle, who is the Student Government Association president, received the student award.

“Something positive to take away is how we still have good leaders that students look up to and at the same time how some students stand out in our Newman community,” said Katherine Reynoso, director of multicultural engagement and campus life.

The ceremony took place on Feb. 8 in the Dugan Library Conference Center, and about 40 people from both inside and outside the Newman Community attended.

The awards, Reynoso said, originally started as a Student Affairs initiative but were taken over by Newman’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee last year.

Candidates for the award were nominated by their peers at Newman. The nomination form asked people to nominate those who “demonstrate an unwavering commitment to fostering positive change, promoting inclusivity and advancing the cause of equality for all.”

PHOTO: Jack Schafer, University Relations