The nominations are in and the winners have been selected for the 2005 WSU/UI Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards.

Since 1988, WSU, joined by University of Idaho in 2001, has presented the awards to community members who demonstrate their commitment to racial harmony and equality in their day-to-day activities and interactions with others. 

Awards are given in five categories: faculty, staff, graduate student, undergraduate and community member.

Nominators were required to submit an essay, under 500 words, explaining how the nominee demonstrated commitment to harmony and equality during the past year through a number of criteria.

This year’s recipients are:

* Michelle Bidot, an undergraduate education major active in Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority, Inc., Future Teachers of Color and the McNair Program. Bidot also is known as a strong voice in articulating the importance of diversity and leadership on campus.

* Kristal Moore, a graduate student in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies recognized for her dedication and quality instruction within the department. Additionally, she is working to establish a community-based summer school for youth in Seattle.

* E. Lincoln James, a communication professor and editor for the Western Journal of Black Studies who has been responsible for distributing diversity education literature globally. He has served as an adviser to the president of WSU on diversity issues and is currently working with a women’s multicultural Ph.D. student group to help members complete their doctoral process and publish their work.

* Brenda Maldonado, an intercultural student development coordinator for Campus Involvement at WSU and adviser for six student organizations on campus. She has been involved in the WSU President’s Council on Campus Climate, Chicana/o Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association, and Coalition of Women Student’s Advisory Council. She is passionate about working with students of color toward their retention in higher education.

* Ernest Sanders, a high school basketball coach for the past 15 years and DARE teacher in Pullman schools. He is a foster parent and has worked with troubled teens and taken at-risk youth into his home. He also teaches a women’s self-defense program on weekends and evenings through Parks and Recreation.

Recipients were recognized at a banquet Tuesday night. Michael Tate, WSU interim vice president for equity and diversity, was the featured speaker.