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Recipients of Equity & justice awards 2021

Congratulations to the recipients of Equity & justice awards 2021

Recipients: Ashley Summerset & Sarah Hopkins-Chery
Campus Affiliation: Head coach for the UCM women's basketball team & Game Operations Manager
Nominator:  Marie Supanich
Through the leadership of co-chairs Ashley Summerset (Game Operations Manager) and Sarah Hopkins-Chery (Head Women's Basketball Coach) the Bobcats for Equity & Social Justice was formed within the Recreation & Athletics Department this year. Website information is here: https://www.ucmercedbobcats.com/bobcats-for-equity-social-justice
Ashley and Sarah have provided educational resources on race and gender equity for students, faculty and staff and organizing all of resources in a central online hub for all to access. Both have been instrumental by having monthly forums on equity and social justice issues impacting our students and inviting guest speakers, webinars and town halls for the Bobcat community. Ashely and Sarah also have collaborated and partnered with UC Merced Police to engage with our student athletes and provide programing and educational opportunities.
Recipient: Dalena Ngo
Campus Affiliation: Graduate/Professional Student
Nominator: Sean Malloy
Ms. Ngo is unique among those students in the outstanding intelligence, original thinking, commitment to diversity, and community service that she brings to her work. She is not only a superb scholar and teacher, but also deeply committed to building bridges between the university and underserved Asian American and immigrant populations in the Central Valley. As a brilliant first-generation college and graduate student with a commitment to using the tools of humanities and the sciences to address health disparities. As both a graduate and undergraduate student, Ms. Ngo has worked extensively with community engaged projects.
As an undergrad, she was a Resident Assistant who worked closely with students as they grappled with both academic and personal challenges. She has a particularly strong commitment to diversity and social justice, as evidenced by her work as a Multicultural Liaison to the Political Awareness Committee as well co-chair of the Vietnamese Organization. At UC Merced, Ms. Ngo has integrated community engagement and involvement into her work as a scholar and teacher.
Nominee: Merritt Writing Program
Campus Affiliation: Intergroup Collaboration
Nominator: Catherine Koehler
The Merritt Writing Program has demonstrated comprehensive and sustained advocacy and efforts toward equity and justice at UC Merced, particularly for non-senate teaching faculty and toward equitable and just teaching practices. They worked with PROGRAMMATIC DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION GRATN PROJECTS FROM THE OFFICE OF CAMPUS CLIMATE, INTERNAL GOVERNANCE AND PLANNING TO PROMOTE EQUITY AND INCLUSION OF NON-SENATE FACULTY, AFFIRMATIONS AND COMMITMENTS TO RESPECT AND EQUITABLE AND INCLUSIVE TREATMENT, PROGRAMMATIC EFFORTS TOWARD ANTI-RACISM, & EVENTS TO CULTIVATE EQUITY AND JUSTICE. 
Website information is here: https://writingprogram.ucmerced.edu/
Nominee: Danielle Bermudez
Campus Affiliation: Graduate/Professional Student
Nominator: Maria Mora
Danielle Bermudez has done more for social justice initiatives. She is highly conscious of the social justice needs of students of color at the UC Merced campus, both undergraduate and graduate. She has been vocal, brave, kind, and determined. She deserves to be recognized for her efforts to advocate for students who have experienced disadvantages in their educational backgrounds and in their personal lives. She was one of the main proponents of the Graduate Cultural Resource Center and lgbtq+ and womxn’s rights, and she also was awarded a working group grant from the Center for the Humanities. She embodies the commitment that UC Merced needs to develop in relations to social justice and diversity at UC Merced. She has served on many committees regarding diversity and inclusion, and does the actual work of reaching out to others who are marginalized. Danielle has had very positive effect on my life.
Nominee: Dr. Whitney Pirtle
Nominee's Campus Affiliation: Faculty
Nominator: Dalia Magaña
Dr. Pirtle is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, with expertise in race, identity, and stratification, and associated faculty in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies major. Her research has shed light on racial social injustices in healthcare and the academy. She has published over a dozen articles on these topics. Specifically, she published an important essay in 2020 on racial capitalism as a fundamental cause of the racial and socioeconomic inequities of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Pirtle has a forthcoming book on Black Feminist Sociology (Routledge Press), which serves to elevate the voices of Black women academics. Dr. Pirtle was the first Black woman hired in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and, Arts at UC Merced. Since arriving in 2014, Dr. Pirtle has been an advocate for Women Faculty of Color and Black and African students at UC Merced. Dr. Pirtle advocates for equity and justice through her scholarship, student mentorship, and activism in the community. Through this work, she demonstrates her sustained commitment to advancing equity and justice at UC Merced and the larger community we serve.