By Inside IUPUI, Sept. 27, 2018
Three IUPUI Office of Community Engagement staff members received awards for their involvement in the area of adult and continuing education at the 2018 Indiana Council for Continuing Education (ICCE) annual conference on September 20, 2018.
Khaula Murtadha received the Leadership Award
Khaula Murtadha, Ph.D., associate vice chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement, received the Leadership Award in recognition of her hard work and forward-thinking leadership in the face of many academic, organizational and societal changes. Robin Cunningham, treasurer of ICCE, said, “Dr. Murtadha has been involved with ICCE for many years and is an integral part of the advisory board and past president of the organization.”
“Khaula is a champion of urban education and has worked tirelessly to create collaborative programs with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS),” said the nomination letter. From 2001 to 2007 Khaula served as Executive Associate Dean of the IU School of Education at IUPUI. She also previously served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Lifelong Learning at IUPUI. In 2008, Khaula received the Madam C. J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year Award for her commitment to IUPUI and the Indianapolis community.
“Khaula’s research focuses on affecting change through collaborative leadership in urban schools,” the nomination letter said. “She also studies community engagement, ethical responsibilities of universities, and the role of African American women administrators in urban school reform.”
“Overall, Khaula has been extremely influential at promoting the needs of adults who are attending the university as their experiences are unique to traditional aged students,” the letter said. “She has also championed the cause for IUPUI to serve as an anchor institution to the surrounding community as it is mutually beneficial for both.”
“Not only is Dr. Murtadha a great leader, she is also a great mentor,” according to the nomination letter. “Countless students, faculty, staff, and community members schedule time to meet with her to glean from her reservoir of knowledge as a tenured faculty, senior college administrator, and social justice advocate in the greater Indianapolis area.”
“Khaula is an inspiration and an icon in the field of Adult Education as well as a remarkable woman leader,” the nomination letter adds.
Myron Duff, Jr. received the Award for Community Engagement and Partnerships
Myron Duff, Jr., director of workforce readiness and program development, received the Award for Community Engagement and Partnerships in recognition of his hard work in community engagement and leadership in the IUPUI Community Learning Network as well as the Office of Community Engagement.
“For more than 10 years Myron has been known for his leadership in advancing the goals of adult learning,” said the nomination letter. Myron previously served as advisor for the IUPUI Community Learning Network for adult learners working towards a bachelor’s degree through the IUPUI General Studies program.
“He was a team leader with outstanding skills and empathy for adults who may have taken many years to obtain the treasure of a 4-year degree,” his nomination letter said.
In his current role, Myron “is responding to the need for adults in our community to continue their education, leading workforce readiness programs and lifelong learning initiatives,” according to his nomination letter. Workforce Readiness Programs offer culturally responsive, results-focused workforce programs in partnership with community organizations. These programs support the unemployed and the underemployed in their move to living-wage career opportunities.
Myron also serves as the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement liaison to the Near West neighborhood in Indianapolis, attending and supporting community meetings where the stakeholders develop Quality of Life Plans and goals, while also being attentive to partnership cultivation as well as equity of opportunity, according to the nomination letter.
“With a commitment to using data and research, Myron has demonstrated a vision for change and influenced our Office of Community Engagement staff so that we have now begun to learn from the community and not assume we at the university already know what the community needs and wants as we build partnerships,” the letter said.
“Myron Duff is a leader for community engagement and partnership development. He is attuned to the peoples’ needs and desires.”
Denys Pittman received the Award for Staff Support
Denys Pittman, Workforce Readiness Program assistant, received the Award for Staff Support in recognition of exemplary work in support of IUPUI workforce readiness programs. Denys coordinates courses, supports community partnerships, maintains the online course catalogue, and assists with student enrollment.
According to her nomination letter, “In addition to performing her job at an exemplary level, Denys demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to the university community, the general public, and the workforce readiness programs that we offer.”
“Denys takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to workforce readiness instructors and students,” the letter said. “Denys displays patience with the student population and stakeholders and always thinks ahead, while being aware of timelines and providing suggestions that are timely for the mission of the office, according to her nomination letter. Denys is helpful, caring, resourceful, and often goes above and beyond her duties.”
“Her quick wit, attention to detail, and loyalty to the students, staff, and University have endeared Denys to her colleagues. She is a true champion for continuing education and community engagement,” the nomination letter added.
The Indiana Council for Continuing Education is a professional organization that represents continuing education efforts at institutions of higher education and other organizations that promote adult learning in the state of Indiana. It is the only state-focused continuing education organization in Indiana.