2007 Recipients

Caroline Kane

Professor Caroline KaneDr. Caroline Kane is Professor in Residence of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has gained international recognition in the field of gene expression, one of the foremost segments of cellular biology. Throughout her many years of teaching and activism, Professor Kane has been committed to addressing issues of diversity. As one reviewer noted, in her role as a mentor, innovative teacher, and visionary administrator, Professor Kane is a steadfast advocate for diversity. She is a pioneer who has addressed the extreme under-representation of diverse students and scholars in the niche area of stem sciences. Professor Kane is the founder of Biology Scholars Program that has helped hundreds of underrepresented women and minority students graduate in biology. She also chairs the Coalition for Excellence and Diversity in Math, Science, and Engineering that received the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence from the White House. Professor Kane's commitment to serving all students interested in scientific careers extends beyond UC Berkeley. She has actively participated in local educational outreach efforts and has been a voice for inclusive teaching strategies at state and national meetings on K-20 education. Currently, Professor Kane is chair of the National Advisory Council for Minority Health and Health Disparities where her leadership continues to have significant impact on national standards of care and the practice of science on our society.

Jabari Mahiri

Professor Jabari MahiriDr. Jabari Mahiri is Associate Professor of Education in the division of Language, Literacy and Culture. Professor Mahiri is a scholar at the forefront of research in the field of education with tremendous range and versatility in his teaching portfolio. As one recommender noted, "Professor Mahiri's research has been contributing to our understanding of how to make classrooms and community learning settings equitable and diverse." Professor Mahiri's research focuses on the literacy learning of urban youth—particularly African American students—inside and outside of schools. Toward this effort, he is coordinator of the Center for Urban Education and a principal investigator for the Diversity Project. He is also an Academy Instructor for the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) and serves on the board of the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools (BAYCES). Professor Mahiri has also been a tireless champion for creating a positive and welcoming environment for graduate students. Professor Mahiri is a highly sought after faculty advisor who has been critical in the success of countless underrepresented minority graduate students who have gone on to influential positions in universities across the nation. Professor Mahiri's life's work in urban education and mentoring spans decades starting in Chicago's public school system (where he taught high school English for 11 years), to authoring several books on urban education focusing on youth of color, to exemplary teaching and mentoring in the Graduate School of Education.

Frederick Collignon and Susan Schweik

Together, Drs. Collignon and Schweik have "demonstrated decades of pioneering work locally and nationally on behalf of disability-related research, curriculum development and teaching, mentoring, and public service leading to a variety of significant institutional reforms on campus, in the city of Berkeley, and at the national level of federal policy."

Professors Sue Schweik and Fred CollignonDr. Frederick Collignon is Undergraduate Dean of the College of Environmental Design, Associate Professor of City & Regional Planning, and the co-chair of the Disability Studies Program. He has been involved in disability policy studies and efforts since arriving on campus in 1970. Professor Collignon has held the Carmel Friesen Chair in Urban Studies and with Professor Schweik, the U.C. President's Chair for Undergraduate Education. Professor Collignon has mentored numerous students who have gone on to become leaders of the disability rights movement, including a former student who helped to open the first Center for Independent Living (CIL). This mentorship has had direct influence in transforming the lives of disabled persons around the world. Professor Collignon is founder of Berkeley Planning Associates (BPA), a national planning and public policy firm whose work has been influential in setting standards for national CILs. His work with BPA was instrumental in the passage of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. On the local level, Professor Collignon has been a Berkeley city council member, vice mayor, and member of the planning commission for 7 years. Nationally, Professor Collignon has provided management consulting to governments and community agencies in over 40 states.

Dr. Susan Schweik is Associate Professor of English and co-chair and lead faculty of the Disabilities Studies Program. Professor Schweik has been instrumental in the development of Disability Studies at Berkeley. She has constructed and co-taught a number of highly attended, rigorous courses that have provided students with an opportunity to learn from leading disabilities scholars and activists from around the world. Professor Schweik has helped to create and sponsor such innovative and campus-altering courses such as the Inclusion Initiative which offers an attached seminar on the history of the independent living movement and the politics and theories of attendant care. The Inclusion Initiative places students in jobs as personal care attendants and has significantly increased the number of available local personal care assistants for disabled UC Berkeley students. In addition to her teaching and scholarly work, Professor Schweik has been a steadfast mentor for undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities. She is also co-coordinator, along with Fred Collignon, of the Ed Roberts Postdoctoral Fellowships in Disability Studies program at Berkeley. Professor Schweik is currently completing a book entitled The American Ugly Laws, a social and cultural history of an ordinance adopted by many American cities in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that prohibited "diseased," "maimed," and "deformed" people from exposing themselves to public view.