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, an affiliate assistant professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and of global health at the School, 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 Rodríguez 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 Rodríguez, an MPH student in epidemiology.
In addition to her work with SOCAG, Andrasik co-leads Madrona Elementary’s Girl Scout Juniors (grades 4-5) Troop No. 42514 alongside her partner Jeremy Andrasik. She is also the self-defined “cookie boss” for the entire elementary troop (including the daisies, brownies and junior), which last year sold a whopping 4,000 boxes of cookies to fund troop activities, including camping opportunities for the girls.
Andrasik has organized a purse and toiletry bag drive every holiday season for three years that distributes between 75 and 150 items to Mary’s Place, YWCA’s 5th and Seneca location and the BABES Network. She’s a volunteer trainer and mental health consultant for the BABES Network, the only program of its kind in the region that provides support services for women living with HIV. She also volunteers as a trainer for African Americans Reach and Teach Health Ministries and is an external advisory board member for the Center for Multicultural Health.
She will be honored at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the MLK Tribute, sponsored by the UW Health Sciences Administration and UW Medical Center. The event will be held Jan. 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Hogness Auditorium. Awards are usually given out at around 2 p.m. Donald Chi, an associate professor of oral health sciences and health services, will moderate the event. Several community members will be recognized for their commitment to serving communities in need, including Ben Danielson, director of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and the 2019 SPH graduation speaker.