Michele Andrasik (left) and Tracy Harachi (right) receive 2019 MLK awards
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Please join us in congratulating two UW Department of Global Health faculty on receiving 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. awards! Tracy Harachi, Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health/Associate Professor, School of Social Work, has been awarded the 2019 MLK Community Volunteer Recognition Award, and Michele Andrasik, Affiliate Assistant Professor, Global Health/Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, has been awarded the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.

Tracy Harachi was unanimously selected to receive the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Volunteer Recognition Award. The tribute recognizes the distinguished service of community members in the six health science schools: dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, public health, medicine and social work. The ceremony is part of MLK Week—a series of events in which the UW comes together as a community on all three campuses to serve others and learn from the rich legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Tracy has served the social work community for nearly three decades, where she has been a tireless champion of students, particularly those who are first generation or from underrepresented minority groups, including international students. Her long-standing efforts to establish and grow a powerful and effective partnership with Cambodia’s Royal University in Phnom Penh and its Department of Social Work figured prominently in her selection for this year’s award. This new department at RUPP, which is celebrating its 10thanniversary this year, is the first and only higher education unit in Cambodia to receive external accreditation. 

 “Dr. Harachi…has worked assiduously, tirelessly and selflessly to create a local social work infrastructure in Cambodia to meet basic psychosocial needs and in Seattle, where she collaborates with others to address the needs of Cambodian immigrants locally,” said Professor Nancy R. Hooyman, dean emeritus and director of the doctoral program. “Her passion, persistence and thousands of volunteer hours have ensured that this capacity building effort has not only grown, but also, and most importantly, been sustained.”

In her supporting letter, Associate Professor Emiko A. Tajima said: “Honoring Tracy Harachi with the Martin Luther King Jr. Award would acknowledge her longstanding work on behalf of marginalized communities, would recognize the vital role she plays in the University of Washington and global community, and would do great justice to this esteemed award.”

Tracy is an extraordinary mentor to both students and alumni, going the extra mile on numerous occasions. As Chenglin Hong (MSW ‘20) wrote in his letter of support: “As a professor, mentor and friend, the support that she gave me is more than I can possibly imagine.” Lecturer J’May Rivara echoed these sentiments, noting that Tracy is the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s message to create “a more equitable and inclusive environment on campus and around the world.”

Michele Andrasik was selected by the UW School of Public Health to receive the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award for her efforts to create an environment where individuals can empower themselves and her commitment to addressing community needs. She will receive the award at an MLK celebration on Thursday, Jan. 17, in the Magnuson Health Sciences Center.

Andrasik is a founder of the UW’s Student of Color Affinity Group (SOCAG), a student organization that offers graduate students of color a network linked by shared experiences. Andrasik, a senior staff scientist in the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, continues to support the group as a faculty liaison.

“Michele has offered her space, time, ideas, mentorship and resources to uplift and advance the vision of graduate students of color and other diverse students for both the School and the broader Seattle community,” said Courtney Jackson, a SOCAG member and MPH student in global health.

SOCAG member Emmanuel Rodriguez says: “She has the distinction of offering both instrumental and psychosocial mentorship for students.” Andrasik provided feedback for Ramirez and other graduate students who were preparing for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity. “She candidly shares strategies for how underrepresented students can navigate predominantly white spaces,” adds Rodriguez, an MPH student in epidemiology.

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