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Three receive Distinguished Woman of Color Award


Left to right: Juanita Tate, director, diversity affairs; Jacky Johnson, Western College archivist; and Jane Goettsch, director, women’s center
Jacqueline "Jacky" Johnson, Western College archivist, Denise Taliaferro Baszile, associate professor of educational leadership, and Vicka Bell-Robinson, associate director, office of residence life, received the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award presented at Miami University's annual Women of Color Celebration March 2.

The Woman of Color award recognizes spirited women of color, particularly those who have been warm and welcoming to others. It was given in 1994 for the first time to Jennie Elder Suel, who was dedicated to the Miami University and Oxford communities by providing housing, meals and entertainment for Miami students. 

Johnson, a longstanding member of the Women of Color coordinating committee, has served as chair of the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award committee since 2002. She has served on the steering committee of the Oxford Branch of the NAACP for the past year and has served the local and Miami communities as treasurer of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff; as a member of the Oxford Citizens Advisory Committee; and as a member of the United Campus Ministries Board of Trustees, among others. Her research focuses on civil rights and the Mississippi Freedom Summer training, and she co-chaired the Freedom Summer Reunion and Conference held at Miami in 2009.

Baszile has a strong commitment to understanding race in American society through her scholarship and she directs diversity initiatives for the School of Education, Health and Society. Her research includes the pedagogical challenges of teaching race in predominately white universities, the importance of considering radical leadership for educational change, the significance of the black autobiographical voice in curriculum studies and critical race testimony. She has served her community through volunteering with the West Chester, Hamilton, Fairfield NAACP, Jack and Jill, Middletown Central Academy, NKU Community Lock In, NKU African American Student Affairs Orientations, African American Families of West Chester, West Chester Martin Luther King Day Committee, National Black Graduate Student Association, Civil Rights Speakers Bureau and Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.

Bell-Robinson “goes beyond what is expected to serve as a mentor and advocate for women and students,” say her nominators. At Miami, she chairs the student affairs professional development committee and is a member of the Black History Celebration committee. She also advises the Miami chapter of the honor society Alpha Lambda Delta, and she has served as Ohio Delegate for the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers. In her community (Fairfield) she serves as a small-group Bible study host for the Vineyard Community Church and serves as job coach for people who are unemployed and need career advice. She also serves on the Diversity Alliance and as yearbook co-editor at Fairfield South Elementary School.

First-year students Zane Hemming, from Westfield Center, and Taylor Vaughn, from Sandusky, received the Myrtis H. Powell Scholarship at the Women of Color Celebration.

The annual Women of Color Celebration and the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award are sponsored by Miami’s women’s center.

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Photos Photos  
Left to right: Denise Taliaferro Baszile, associate professor of educational leadership, and Vick Bell-Robinson, associate director, office of residence life.


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