Yutrzenkas receive second annual Dream Catcher Award

Yutrzenkas receive second annual Dream Catcher Award
Barbara Yutrzenka, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Psychology and director of clinical training in psychology, and Gerald Yutrzenka, Ph.D., associate professor of basic biomedical sciences and director of minority student affairs, received the second annual Dream Catcher Award from the Campus Diversity Enhancement Group (CDEG) Martin Luther King Committee for their dedication to promoting and supporting diversity at The University of South Dakota.

The couple accepted the prestigious award Feb. 22 at the 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture, presented by Robert Bullard, Ph.D., in Colton Recital Hall.

"We are humbled to have been selected for the Dream Catcher Award," said the Yutrzenkas. "This award was certainly unexpected and we are very appreciative of this recognition. It is certainly a privilege to be able to work with our many colleagues on the campus who are involved in the efforts to address diversity at USD."


Barry Vickery, dean of the School of Law at USD, read the following before presenting the award to the Yutrzenkas: "The Lakota have a legend, as most cultures do, about dreams.�In the Lakota legend a spirit disguised as a spider appears to an elder.�The spider spins a circular web with a hole in the middle explaining to the elder that the web will catch bad dreams and the hole will let good dreams through. It is a custom among the Lakota to hang the ?dream catcher' above the crib of a child so bad dreams will be caught by the web and only good dreams will be caught by the child.

"Martin Luther King, Jr., too, had a dream, a very good dream: a dream of equality; a dream of justice; a dream of peace;�a dream of freedom; an American dream," Vickrey said. "Martin Luther King, Jr., lived his dream, working tirelessly to ensure that hisdream and the dreams of others became a reality."

Barbara Yutrzenka is currently a professor of psychology and director of the American Psychological Association accredited doctoral program in clinical psychology at USD. She has been involved in diversity initiatives at the local, regional, and national levels for the past 20 years.

From 1994 to 1998 she helped organize and lead the Campus Diversity Interest Group, a grass roots effort of faculty, staff, and students designed to coordinate, initiate, and advocate for campus diversity. She helped draft the language in the 2000-2005 USD strategic plan that led to the formation in 2001 of the current Campus Diversity Enhancement Group (CDEG).

She has been a CDEG member since its inception and currently serves on the CDEG's Executive Committee as past-chair.�

Gerald Yutrzenka is an associate professor within the division of basic biomedical sciences, Sanford School of Medicine (SSOM). Arriving at university in 1984, Yutrzenka has served as the director of admissions for the medical school from 1991-2000 and is currently the director of minority affairs/director of the INMED satellite office for SSOM.

In addition, he is a health professions advisor for USD and has served on regional and national efforts to diversify the healthcare workforce and promote the entry of Native Americans, and others from groups considered to be underrepresented in medicine, into careers in medicine and the healthcare professions.� �

The Campus Diversity Enhancement Group was charged with the development of the Campus Diversity Plan, and together with Bruce King, assistant vice president for academic affairs and chief diversity officer, oversees the implementation of, and accountability for, this plan.

For more information about the Dream Catcher Award, the CDEG, and diversity at USD, please contact King at 605-677-6497.

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