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Faculty at IUPUI honored for achievements in education, professions at Minority Achievers Awards dinner


INDIANAPOLIS — Faculty from the IU School of Medicine and the IU School of Social Work will be honored March 26 for their achievements in education and professions during the annual Minority Achievers Awards dinner.

Presented by the Center for Leadership Development, the event allows Central Indiana business, educational and community leaders to come together and recognize minority professionals who have demonstrated high achievement in life’s work and in providing valuable service to the community.  Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has been in a strategic partnership with the center since January 2008. The partnership was created to increase the impact of IUPUI’s contributions to the center and extend IUPUI’s reach to more youths and their families within Indianapolis.

Irene Queiro-Tajalli, a professor in the IU School of Social Work and interim executive director of the school’s Department of Labor Studies, will receive the Achievement in Education award. Queiro-Tajalli, a native of Argentina, is recognized as a pioneer in international social work education and has had an impact the very nature of how social work education is presented at our university, said Michael Patchner, dean of the School of Social Work.

In nominating her for the award, Patchner wrote, “Her interest in social work and social work education permeates her daily duties whether on campus or in the community. … Simply put, Indianapolis, the state of Indiana and social work students at IU have benefited from her commitment to civic engagement and her desire to help others.”

Dr. Jo Ann Matory, a neonatologist and associate professor of pediatrics in the IU School of Medicine, will receive an Achievement in Professions award. She is described as a physician who has dedicated her life to the care of critically ill newborn infants.

“When I first met Dr. Matory, I immediately recognized her humility, her strength and her genuine caring for others,” wrote Dr. James A. Lemons, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics in the IU School of Medicine. “Upon arriving in Indianapolis, she quickly became respected by all as a quiet leader, a physician’s physician, a wonderful teacher, a person of unwavering integrity and a moral compass for her colleagues.

“As medical director of the Wishard Hospital neonatal intensive care unit, she gradually developed this unit into a model facility … but more importantly, she has quietly used this as a platform to teach and model to all of us of the need to attend to the least fortunate with the same care and respect, the same excellence and the same compassion that should be afforded everyone.”

Dr. David S. Wilkes, executive associate dean for research affairs in the IU School of Medicine, also will receive an Achievement in Professions award. Wilkes is renowned for discovering the role of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of lung transplant rejection.

His work and collaborations with colleagues led to the creation of the Indiana University School of Medicine’s Center for Immunobiology, for which he is the director. As the executive associate dean for research affairs, he directs the $150 million Strategic Research Initiative at the School of Medicine and Indiana University Health, as well as the Physician Scientist Initiative, a $60 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

The Center for Leadership Development is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professional, business and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment. 


The awards dinner has developed into a showcase of the significant academic talents and successes of “CLD Scholars” — Center for Leadership Development youth participants who have achieved distinction by being awarded scholarships from educational institutions for their persistence and diligence in realizing their intellectual and educational potential. In 2013, 21 colleges and universities and community partners awarded over $2.1 million in scholarships to 34 CLD participants.

IUPUI will provide scholarships for incoming freshmen to students who were involved in the Center for Leadership Development’s college preparatory programs. These scholarships will be offered through the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholars Program. Each student selected as scholarship recipient will be provided with a guaranteed $8,000 scholarship.