The 2022 Sarah Goddard Power Award and Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award Ceremony

February 1, 2022 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Please join us for the annual Sarah Goddard Power & Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Awards Ceremony. This event celebrates the legacies of Sarah Goddard Power and Rhetaugh Dumas by recognizing current staff, scholars, and units that are carrying forward shared values through named awards.

The Sarah Goddard Power & Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Awards are presented on behalf of the Academic Women’s Caucus, which was founded in 1975 with the charge ”to develop an inclusive organization of all women faculty members of the Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint campuses of the University of Michigan which will serve as a forum for the exchange of information about the status of faculty women at the University and as a focus for action necessary to the investigation and resolution of their special concerns.”

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2022 Sarah Goddard Power Award

Sarah Goddard Power was widely acclaimed as a major contributor to the advancement of higher education, an advocate for affirmative action and human rights, and a champion of freedom for the international press. As a Regent of the University of Michigan for more than 12 years, Sarah Goddard Power worked tirelessly to advance the position of women and minorities in faculty and administrative roles.

Regent Sarah Goddard Power originally suggested that the Academic Women’s Caucus present awards to such individuals. In 1984, an Awards Committee was established to select the first recipients of the Academic Women’s Caucus Awards. Thus, it seemed appropriate that the Academic Women’s Caucus Award be renamed to honor Regent Power. In 1988, Regent Philip H. Power graciously consented to allow the Caucus to rename its awards the Academic Women’s Caucus Sarah Goddard Power Award. In 1998, President Lee Bollinger enabled the Award to be offered with an accompanying stipend. Each year, nominations are selected for the Sarah Goddard Power Awards.

2022 Sarah Goddard Power Award Recipients:

Oveta Fuller, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the U-M Medical School and member of the African Studies Center, a virologist, and an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC). Dr. Fuller’s laboratory research team and interdisciplinary collaborators studied early events in herpes simplex and influenza virus replication. Her implementation science research with the Trusted Messenger intervention partners with officials of community organizations in Zambia, South Africa, and the U.S. for prevention of HIV/AIDS and recently on COVID-19. She has taught medical, graduate, dental, and undergraduate students about human virus pathogens, and provides an experiential learning course called “Global Impact of Microbes: Fieldwork” to increase competencies for global research and medical care. As an adjunct professor at Payne Theological Seminary, she teaches “What Effective Clergy Should Know about HIV/AIDS” and “Health Matters: What Effective Leaders Should Know” to seminary students from the U.S. and Africa. To bridge the science and community gap, Dr. Fuller provides Trusted Messenger workshops and training, and from 2012-2016, she authored a weekly column to promote wellness and control of infectious and chronic diseases for the official AMEC global publication.

She is a Ford Foundation fellow, a Fulbright Faculty Scholar, and inaugural alumna of Women in Academic Leadership at the U-M Medical School. As the former Associate Director and Director of the U-M African Studies Center, the Faculty Liaison for Ford Foundation Fellows in the state of Michigan, and as faculty in the Medical School, she has enabled national and international early-career scholars. She has advisory roles that inform national and international policy change with the Samuel D. Proctor Conference, the Black Microbiologists Association, and the International Health Commission of the AMEC. Her expertise is tapped by the Federal Drug Administration for two science and medical advisory boards that review vaccine and drug approvals to combat COVID-19.

During the global emergence of the SARS-Coronavirus 2 pandemic, Dr. Fuller has been a trusted guide for networks of religious leaders, policymakers, seminarians, journalists, elected leaders, educators, student and parent coalitions, and the public. Her work has received numerous recognitions, including a 2021 DAPCEP inaugural “WonderMaker” Real McCoy award for innovative leadership and influence.

Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., is the Newman Family Professor and Deputy Chair of Radiation Oncology and Director of the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine at the University of Michigan. She has led seminal studies quantifying the under-representation of women in authorship, editorial, principal investigator, and leadership positions in medicine and in comparable compensation. She has identified causal mechanisms, including sexual harassment, inequitable access to sponsorship and endowments, and gendered societal expectations. She also developed and led evaluations of novel high-impact interventions to target those mechanisms, including a multimillion-dollar program to mentor and support those with extraprofessional caregiving demands, institutional report cards on equity metrics, blinding of peer review, and transparent policies on promotions, compensation, and leave. In addition to establishing gender equity as a matter of ethics, Jagsi has illuminated patients’ and physicians’ ethical concerns about the common practices of using routinely collected clinical data for quality improvement and research and raising funds from patients, causing changes in ethical guidelines, institutional policies, and practice. She is also internationally recognized for research to strengthen autonomy in breast cancer patients and to individualize breast cancer care. She leads multicenter randomized clinical trials of forgoing radiotherapy in lower-risk patients, intensifying it in patients with more aggressive disease, and enhancing patient-centered communication. Recipient of multiple R01 grants and independent grants from foundations, she has authored over 300 publications, delivered scores of keynote addresses and visiting professorships, and received many honors, including serving as Fellow of the Hastings Center.  Active in the U-M Medical School’s ADVANCE committee, she also serves in numerous national leadership roles, including serving on the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

Bhramar Mukherjee, Ph.D., is John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate Professor and Chair of Biostatistics; Professor of Epidemiology and Global Public Health in the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She also serves as the Associate Director for Quantitative Data Sciences in the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center. Mukherjee is highly engaged in U-M’s Precision Health and serves as the Associate Director for cohort development. Her research interests include statistical methods for the analysis of electronic health records, studies of gene-environment interaction, Bayesian methods, shrinkage estimation, analysis of high dimensional exposure data. She has co-authored more than 300 articles in statistics, biostatistics, medicine, and public health. She is the founding director of U-M’s undergraduate summer institute on Big Data. The program has trained 247 undergraduate students in the last six years. Approximately 52% of the undergraduate trainees have been females and 20% came from historically marginalized groups. Mukherjee has served as a primary mentor to 11 female Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. She is the first female chair of the Biostatistics department at the University of Michigan, which was founded in 1949. Under her leadership, the department has made strides in fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and in creating an environment that is welcoming to all scholars in data science. Mukherjee is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Gertrude Cox Award in 2016, the L. Adrienne Cupples Award in 2020, and the Janet L. Norwood award in 2021. Mukherjee and her team have been modeling the SARS-CoV-2 virus trajectory in India since the start of the pandemic. This work has been profoundly influential in guiding pandemic policies in a country of 1.4 billion people.

2022 Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award

The Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award supports a long-standing vision of increasing the number of diverse women in the academy. Named after late Vice Provost Rhetaugh Dumas, it recognizes outstanding institutional initiative in demonstrating notable progress by academic units in achieving ethnic, racial and gender diversity among those pursuing and achieving tenure as professors, clinical professors, research professors, and research scientists.

Rhetaugh Dumas was an esteemed leader with vision, insight, and wise counsel who had a major impact in the advancement of nursing, healthcare, and academic programs at U-M. Vice Provost Dumas was only the second African-American to hold the position of a Dean at the University of Michigan when she was appointed in 1981, and the first African-American to be named a Dean. She was reappointed Dean of Nursing in 1986 and 1991 to second and third terms. Prior to that appointment, she was the first woman and first nurse to serve as a deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Dumas was Deputy Director, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (1979-1981) and before that Chief, Psychiatric Nursing Education Branch of the Division of Manpower and Training Programs (1972-1976). She was also a founding member, a Charter Fellow, and a former president of the American Academy of Nursing. Dumas served the University of Michigan for over 20 years with vision and a commitment to excellence.

2022 Rhetaugh G. Dumas Progress in Diversifying Award Recipient:

The School of Kinesiology has made great strides over the past five years with respect to faculty promotion, recruitment, and retention. These efforts have resulted in a noticeable gender rebalancing and a modest but important increase in ethnic diversity as well. Kinesiology has supported faculty towards promotion at all ranks in several very deliberate ways. Progress in our faculty gender balance and our ability to both attract and retain BIPOC faculty directly improves our community and our students’ experiences. It is important for our students to be able to see themselves as successful. Mentors and teachers who look like they do, appreciate their cultural heritage or backgrounds and understand the value of diversity is important. Having a diverse set of faculty at all levels, but particularly among the senior ranks, will uplift and give a new voice to every conversation about the future of our school.


Over the past several years, the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering has made significant strides in not only increasing faculty diversity while simultaneously fostering a climate that promotes the growth and success of its faculty, but also in making its diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts a top priority.

To make this happen, U-M ME has undertaken efforts in mentoring junior faculty, improving the faculty search process, and reinvigorating its overall DEI activities. The department enthusiastically participated in the Advance Launch Program, a resource for new tenure track assistant professors in the STEM field, offering support and guidance as they begin their careers at Michigan. In the area of recruitment, the department seated a very diversity-forward tenure track faculty search committee consisting of faculty and staff who have been champions of its DEI efforts. The search had a specific focus of finding faculty whose work lies at the intersection of mechanical engineering and social justice/common good. Although the department only had one hiring slot allotted by the Dean, it was able to make four hires because of the quality of candidates and the importance of hiring more than one individual in this space. On the DEI front, U-M ME was the first department in the College of Engineering to appoint an associate chair with DEI in their title, a full-time DEI Liaison, and the first to flip the narrative from solving social justice issues just “because diverse teams come up with the best solutions” to include “because it is the right thing to do.”

The results of these efforts are reflected in the department’s record of hiring women and underrepresented minorities for the last several years, including six women and seven URMs. In 2019 the department’s DEI Strategic Planning Committee began to put together a strategic plan, which led to the creation of both a faculty/staff DEI committee and a student DEI committee to help to execute various aspects of that plan.

ME leadership sees faculty diversity and work in the DEI space as essential to its success as an interdisciplinary department with a mission to “make the world work better.”

We congratulate the Department of Mechanical Engineering as the 2022 Rhetaugh G. Dumas Profess in Diversifying Award recipient.


This event is cosponsored by Human Resources and Affirmative Action, CASL UM-Dearborn, the Office of the President, and the Office of the Provost.