Taubman College students recognized for MLK Spirit

Taubman College students recognized for MLK Spirit

The third annual North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards Dinner and Celebration took place Monday, January 20, 2014 in the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. The annual event, this year titled, “Engineering the Dream: From Martin to Mandela and Beyond,” is designed to recognize students within the North Campus community whose leadership and service exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thirty-four students representing the College of Engineering; School of Music, Theatre & Dance; Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design; and Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning were nominated for the MLK Spirit Award. Aja Bonner and Alexander Hermann of the Taubman College Urban and Regional Planning program earned top honor.

Aja Bonner, a Rackham Merit Fellow who led a student-run urban planning symposium in honor of Dr. King earlier this year won the award. Bonner was responsible for recruiting prospective students of color to Taubman College for the “Planning in a Post-racial Society” symposium held last November. She also serves as the primary organizer for the local chapter of Planner’s Network, a group dedicated to working for social justice in urban planning, and serves as editor for the student-run journal Agora.

Aja Bonner

Aja Bonner with Taubman College Associate Dean Milton Curry

Alexander Hermann received the MLK Spirit Award for his service to the homeless people of Detroit. Hermann’s insightful columns and articles on the dispossessed reflect the sensibility of a samaritan and the courage of a crusader.

Alexander Hermann with Taubman College Associate Dean Milton Curry

Terra Reed, Danielle Thoe, Elizabeth Treutel, and Travis Williams of Taubman College were all nominated for the award.

MLK Spirit Award winners and nominees

The evening included remarks from the MLK Day Reflections Keynote speaker W. David Tarver, a graduate of the College of Engineering and a video tribute to Nelson Mandela by David Turnley, U-M Professor and award-winning photojournalist. The Spirit Awards were presented by Taubman College’s Milton Curry, Associate Dean of Taubman College.