UW News

March 30, 2022

Faculty/staff honors: Student union association’s highest honor, supplier diversity award and more

Recent recognition of the University of Washington includes the Butts-Whiting Award for L. Lincoln Johnson, INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award, Ben Brunjes’ fellowship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Policy Planning and Liaison, and the recognition of Yong Wei as an NOAA Ambassador of Tsunami Risk Assessment.

UW’s Lincoln Johnson receives student union association’s highest honor

Lincoln Johnson, associate vice president for student life at the UW, has been recognized with ACUI’s highest honor, the Butts-Whiting Award, for his significant contributions to the college union and student activities movement.

Lincoln Johnson

Founded in 1914, ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization that brings together college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries.

Johnson has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in higher education, working at small, large, public, private and faith-based institutions. He’s been an active volunteer with ACUI since 1995 and has been at the since 1996, where he first served as director of the Husky Union.

“For decades, Lincoln Johnson has continued to serve as a role model for our association and our campus communities,” said ACUI Chief Executive Officer John Taylor. “His willingness to participate, the energy he directs toward others to become involved, and his commitment to maintaining a culture of care on campuses are but a few of the attributes that have made his contributions so significant.”

Johnson received the award during a live ceremony at the Association’s 2022 Annual Conference in Chicago. In making the announcement before a live audience, Dave Barnes, James Madison University director of University Unions and ACUI past president (2012–13), reflected on nominator statements in support of Johnson receiving the honor.

“He constantly reminded me of that difference that I and so many of my colleagues were making, making it clear that we were supported whole-heartedly,” one student nominator wrote. “He emphasized that our work, and more importantly, that we as individuals, mattered. It made all the difference.”

You can view Johnson’s acceptance speech here.

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UW receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s Jesse L. Moore 2022 Supplier Diversity Award

The UW received the Jesse L. Moore Supplier 2022 Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and only print diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

The award is a national recognition honoring colleges and universities that take proactive steps to support and engage with minority-owned businesses through supplier diversity offices, unique programs and leading initiatives.

The UW was recognized for its Business Diversity and Equity Program, which supports the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by encouraging the UW community to consider small, local and diverse businesses when sourcing and purchasing goods and services. It is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team, which includes Procurement Services, UW Facilities and the Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center.

“The UW Business Diversity and Equity team is proud of its collective efforts to identify, utilize and grow small and diverse businesses,” said Monica Acevedo-Soto, interim director for Facilities and Business Diversity at the UW. “Supplier diversity programs help communities and businesses thrive. Creating equity in business opportunities and diversity in our supplier base is integral to the UW’s values and exemplifies our commitment to making a positive social and economic impact in the community.”

The Business Diversity and Equity Program worked to raise awareness campuswide to the value of engaging with new and existing diverse businesses and providing opportunities for them to grow and thrive. Examples of collaborative efforts recognized by this award include student internships focusing on supplier diversity, a consulting and business development program offered to minority-owned small businesses, and inclusion goals for capital projects focused on minority-owned small businesses.

Winners will be announced in the April 2022 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

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Ben Brunjes begins fellowship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Policy Planning and Liaison

Ben Brunjes, an assistant professor of public policy at the UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, this month will begin a fellowship with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Policy Planning and Liaison.

Ben Brunjes

The fellowship is designed to meet the Biden administration’s mandate for studies and recommendations to increase equity in federal procurement. The administration last December announced a plan to reform procurement in order to better serve small businesses owned by women and people of color.

An expert in federal contracts and government procurement, Brunjes will advise SBA officials; help create and update federal procurement rules and regulations; identify and share new data on federal contracting; and study trends in and the performance of federal procurement equity programs. More specifically, the work includes studying disparities by location and type of industry among small businesses owned by women and people of color, and how to provide tools and incentives to improve contracting and potential community revitalization.

“The SBA’s equity programs help support growing businesses around the U.S. This fellowship will give me the chance to help improve access for small businesses,” Brunjes said. “Procurement equity programs are among the most successful social improvement policies in our country and making them work better will improve the lives of hard-working Americans in communities that need investment the most.

The fellowship runs through Sept. 15, alongside Brunjes’ current responsibilities in the Evans School.

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Yong Wei honored by NOAA as ‘Ambassador of Tsunami Risk Assessment’

Yong Wei, a senior research scientist at the UW-based Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, was recently honored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory as an “Ambassador of Tsunami Risk Assessment.”

Yong Wei

Wei is an expert in tsunami modeling, coastal flooding, and tsunami effects on structures in the U.S. and overseas. He is currently working on a multiyear NOAA project to assess tsunami hazards and develop “Tsunami Design Zones” for select overseas State Department facilities.

Wei helped developed probabilistic tsunami risk maps to update the American Society of Civil Engineers’ design standards, and applied these new design criteria in a UW–NOAA project funded by the U.S. Navy and the National Institute of Building Science to assess tsunami hazards for 23 Navy overseas installations. In the Pacific Northwest, Wei performed tsunami inundation modeling and debris tracking for the Oregon State University’s Gladys Valley Marine Studies Building in Newport, Oregon, which last year won an Excellence in Structural Engineering Award for its focus on coastal resilience.