Stony Brook Educators Receive 2017 MLK Suffolk County Public Service Award
STONY BROOK, N.Y., FEBRUARY 8, 2017 -- Bonita London , PhD, Professor of Psychology in the Stony Brook University College of Arts and Science s, and Toni Sperzel , Interim Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion for the Stony Brook Center for Inclusive Education (CIE), were awarded the 2017 Public Service Award by the Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission . The award was presented in recognition of their “ demonstrated record of dedication to civil rights .”
“This award is a fine tribute to Bonita London and Toni Sperzel, and to the Stony Brook University community,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Their work is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to diversity, access, and inclusiveness, and to creating a campus environment that welcomes all. We value the contributions of all of our students, faculty and staff. The diversity of thought, background and experience at Stony Brook enriches our campus in so many ways.”
A psychologist, Dr. London studies historically underrepresented groups and how their gender, race and sexual orientation impact their ability to succeed. She has worked to identify and address issues of student engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. A faculty advisor for the undergraduate Psychology Student Alliance, an organization that promotes underrepresented student engagement in the field of Psychology at Stony Brook, Dr. London has mentored many undergraduate and graduate students who have pursued and completed graduate degrees.
Toni Sperzel has managed Stony Brook’s participation in the National GEM Consortium, which is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering. She has supported the writing and development of several winning National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Department of Education grant proposals submitted by the CIE and other Stony Brook departments focused on supporting the successful advancement of underrepresented scholars in graduate education and postdoctoral training.
“The receipt of the 2017 Public Service Award from the Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission is an acknowledgement of the excellent work of Dr. Bonita London and Toni Sperzel in helping to create a campus climate that provides access, support, and opportunities for all members of our community,” said Michael A. Bernstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.
About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students, 2,500 faculty members, and 20 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 40 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.
Reporter Contact: Jane Bartnett