WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Five individuals in our community and a Purdue sorority will be presented with the inaugural MLK Awards on Thursday at Purdue University.
In a press release, Renee Thomas the director of Purdue’s Black Cultural Center and co-chair of the Martin Luther King Planning Committee said, “MLK Awards go to members of the Purdue community who have aided in creating an inclusive community and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity and fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences.”
The awards will be presented Thursday at 4 p.m. during a reception in the Anniversary Room of the Purdue Memorial Union. The reception is open to the public.
Those individuals receiving the awards are:
- AnnDrea Butler, a senior studying industrial engineering from Indianapolis. She is the treasurer of Zeta Phi Beta sorority, first vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers student organization and participates in the Purdue Minority Engineering Program. She also has worked to reinstate the Purdue chapter of the NAACP.
- Rolyn Clarke, a senior studying nursing from Avon, Ind. She started and has led a multicultural organization in the College of Health and Human Sciences called ACCLAIM (A Cultural Connection promoting Leadership opportunities Academic achievement for International and Minority Students). She served as the cultural liaison for the African Student Association and helped organize the African College Symposium and Workshop to help more than 20 high school students prepare for college.
- Tyrell Connor, a graduate student studying sociology with an emphasis in law, society and criminology. A doctoral candidate, he is doing his dissertation research in New York City. He is a member of the Black Graduate Student Association, serving as president last academic year, and is one of the student leaders of the Purdue Anti-Racism Coalition. He was one of the students who served on the committee that created the Purdue creed.
- Wilfrido Cruz, cultural programs administrator in the director of University Residences office. He has initiated Cultural Nights in the dining courts, Lunch ‘n’ Learns that help service staff learn about other cultures, open enrollment translation events and beginning computer training sessions for staff.
- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zeta Theta chapter. The chapter plans and hosts programs to benefit students, faculty, staff and community members of all backgrounds through organized discussions and interactive activities. These include voting registration, Adopt-A-Spot to promote a clean environment at Purdue, and weekly service at the Hanna Community Center in Lafayette, where members help students with their homework.
- Sadie B. Harper-Scott of West Lafayette, who is receiving a community award. She has served as president of Tippecanoe County Church Women United, president of the Hanna Community Center board and as president of American Business Woman. She has helped reactivate the Lafayette/West Lafayette NAACP branch with the recruitment of 90 new members, almost doubling the minimum number required. She also has worked with troubled youth, and partnered with the Indiana State Police in bolstering the recruitment of African American employees.