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Updated 2:00 PM February 11, 2005




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Academic Women's Caucus honors faculty with Power Awards

The Academic Women's Caucus (AWC) has chosen Carol A. Fierke and Timothy R. B. Johnson as the 2005 Sarah Goddard Power Award recipients, an honor given to individuals who have worked for the advancement of women.

The caucus has given the award since 1984. It was named after the late, former regent Sarah Goddard Power in 1988.

In addition to the Power awards, the caucus also awarded Karen Dickinson the Distinguished Service Award for her efforts to espouse the cause of women.
Fierke (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

All three individuals will be honored during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Hussey Room of the Michigan League. The event is free and open to the public.

Fierke, a biological chemistry professor, is an international authority on enzymes—the biochemical catalysts of living systems—and how changing their activity can play a role in treating a variety of medical conditions. She particularly is known for her work with zinc enzymes and how regulating zinc concentrations may decrease neuron injury that occurs after stroke, hemorrhage, seizures or brain trauma.

She has spoken at numerous conferences and holds positions on the editorial advisory boards of Biochemistry, the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Archives Biochemica et Biophysica. She also has served as a member of the Physical Biochemistry Study Section for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Fierke plays a significant role in the lives of junior women faculty and graduate students on campus. She represents junior faculty women on the Science and Technology Recruiting to Improve Diversity and Excellence (STRIDE) committee. She also has helped promote full integration of young faculty, facilitating informal mentoring. Fierke administers the Chemistry Department ADVANCE transformation grant, which provides travel funds to promote conference attendance of young faculty.
Johnson (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

Johnson, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is the second man to receive the Power award. The first was James E. Gruber, a U-M-Dearborn sociology professor who was honored in 2001.

Johnson has developed and taught courses in women's health. He has mentored medical students, undergraduates, nursing students, public health students, and others.

Johnson, who came to U-M in 1993, has worked with a program called Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health, which was designed to foster the career development of junior faculty scholars conducting research relevant to the physical, psychological and social well-being of women.

He meets with scholars in multiple disciplines and organizes the women's health speaker series at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Johnson helps young faculty women make important contacts to benefit their careers, annually taking them to an NIH conference to present their work to policy-makers.
Dickinson (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

Dickinson, relationship manager for Information Technology Central Services, is a member of the AWC steering committee, which she chaired for two years. She was instrumental in helping to establish a series of "town meetings" with University leadership.

She helped foster interaction among the various women's groups on campus, organizing an e-mail list that is used to communicate events, solicit feedback and create an electronic community among women campus-wide.

Her energies turned to the Commission for Women, which she chaired or co-chaired for many years. She also has fostered and spearheaded a number of initiatives, including "Awakening the Leader Within"—now called the "New Millennium Leaders program"—adopted by the Center for the Education of Women in fall 2002.

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