Taubman College wins in three categories in this year’s North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards

Taubman College wins in three categories in this year’s North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Awards

Every year, the University of Michigan North Campus Deans (College of Engineering, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning) celebrate the outstanding achievements of the North Campus community whose leadership and service exemplifies the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Students, faculty, staff and student organizations are nominated for the Martin Luther King Spirit Award for their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. This year, three Taubman College members received awards in three different categories.

MURP student Grace Cho received the student award. Grace is not only actively academically, but she has been instrumental in efforts to diversify the Urban and Regional Planning program student body, and the extracurricular offerings of the program, even insuring that the program had equitable space in the new building addition at Taubman College. In the words of one of her nominators “Grace is an excellent example of what the planning program should be: inclusive, patient, authentic, and spirited.”

Representing the staff, Kate Granfield, Administrative Specialist, received this year’s recognition. Kate was instrumental in getting the Taubman College DEI Strategic Plan off the ground. As part of her efforts, she initiated DEI staff training offerings at Taubman College and supported the effort to improve relations between our international and domestic students through the One School Task Force. Kate has supported her colleagues on a personal level as well as professionally. According to her nominator “Kate has been a leader in helping us find avenues to get involved with causes important to us. She has helped us mobilize and channel a collective sense of despair into something that can still make a positive impact. Kate cares about people, the way we are treated, and the kind of access and opportunities we have in our lives.”

The Initiative for Inclusive Design, i(ID), received a student organization award. i(ID) is a student group focused on accessibility, disability, and design. Their work has included extensive research on accessibility on the U-M campus, and the group hosts lunch-and-learns, lectures, and discussions at Taubman College. Recently i(ID) competed in the Campus of the Future competition and made it to the final round with their project on accessibility at the scales of room, building, and campus. The project identified many inaccessible spaces on campus and encouraged young designers to speculate on new design solutions to these problems. The group’s main goal is to bring attention to a topic that has historically been overlooked, to encourage young designers to think beyond minimum code requirements, and to act as allies to the disability community.

Other Taubman College nominees are: Liam Li (M.Arch student), Mieko Preston (M.Arch student), Elpis Wong (M.Arch), Kim Kinder (URP faculty).