UW News

February 26, 2015

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley to receive UW’s 2015 Odegaard Award

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley, diversity affairs director for Nordstrom, has been named the 2015 recipient of the University of Washington Charles E. Odegaard Award.

Established in 1973, the Odegaard award honors individuals whose leadership in the community exemplifies the former UW president’s work on behalf of diversity. It is the only university- and community-selected award, and is regarded as the highest achievement in diversity at the UW.

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley

Colleen Fukui-SketchleyAnil Kapahi

The award will be presented at the 45th annual EOP Celebration, Fête and Honors event hosted by the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program on Thursday, May 7. The dinner and scholarship fundraiser will be held at the Husky Union Building on the UW Seattle campus.

“Through her leadership role in the private sector and dedicated service on UW volunteer boards, Colleen’s advocacy for diversity has made a tremendous impact both on campus and in the community,” said Sheila Edwards Lange, UW vice president for minority affairs and vice provost for diversity. “We are proud to celebrate her selfless commitment to social equity and education.”

Fukui-Sketchley has been employed by Nordstrom since graduating from the University of Washington in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication. Her tenure began with a part-time sales position while she was attending the UW, and after gaining experience in a variety of departments, she found her calling in diversity affairs.

For 16 years, Fukui-Sketchley served as Nordstrom’s corporate diversity affairs specialist until being promoted to her current role in 2012. Her work focuses on developing and executing a comprehensive approach to diversity and inclusion through initiatives that support the entire company. She enhances Nordstrom’s commitment to diversity by weaving strategic elements into initiatives involving people, products and services.

A second-generation Husky born and raised in Seattle, Fukui-Sketchley’s deep commitment to giving back has been inspired by her family’s longtime efforts to do the same. For more than 12 years, she was a member of the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program’s board of trustees, which promotes academic excellence for underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged students at the UW. Her tenure with the program included terms as its president and vice president.

For six years, Fukui-Sketchley served on the UW Alumni Association board of trustees and in 2000 became the association’s youngest and first Asian American woman president. She helped launch UW Impact, the alumni associations’s legislative advocacy program, and continues to serve on its legislative advocacy committee. She was also a member of the advisory committee that developed Viewpoint, an award-winning diversity magazine published by the alumni association in partnership with the UW Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity.

Fukui-Sketchley is a board member for the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, a national leadership consortium, and the U.S. Business Leadership Network, a national disability organization. She is currently serving a four-year term as an appointed member of the Governor’s Taskforce for Disability Employment, which will provide a roadmap for increasing the employment of people with disabilities in the state of Washington.

“My number one goal is to ‘leave it better than I found it,’’ said Fukui-Sketchley, the youngest woman to receive the Odegaard Award. “This means elevating the topic of diversity at every opportunity and leveraging the power of leadership positions I’ve held to further the cause. I am incredibly honored to receive this award and will remain steadfast in my commitment to the UW for decades to come.”

Charles E. Odegaard Award recipients

2015       Colleen Fukui-Sketchley
2014       Denny Hurtado
2013       Rogelio Riojas
2012       Gertrude Peoples
2011       Assunta Ng
2010       Nelson Del Rio
2009       W. Ron Allen
2008       1968 Black Student Union
2007       Alan T. Sugiyama
2006       Charles Mitchell
2005       Mike McGavick
2004       Jeff and Susan Brotman
2003       Herman McKinney
2002       Constance L. Proctor
2001       Ernest Dunston
2000       Vivian Lee
1999       Albert Black
1998       Bill Hilliard
1997       Andy Reynolds
1996       Hubert G. Locke
1995       Ron Moore
1994       Bernie Whitebear
1993       Ron Sims
1992       Sandra Madrid
1991       Ken Jacobson
1990       Herman D. Lujan
1989       J. Ray Bowen
1988       Frank Byrdwell
1987       Andrew V. Smith
1986       Phyllis Gutiérrez Kenney
1985       Norm Rice
1984       Nancy Weber
1983       William Irmscher
1982       Mark Cooper
1981       Millie Russell
1980       Minoru Masuda
1979       Toby Burton
1978       Vivian Kelly
1977       Sam and Joyce Kelly
1976       Leonie Piternick
1975       Larry Gossett
1974       Dalwyn Knight