By Kim Roth
Professor Kim Kearfott has been honored with the Sarah Goddard Power Award by the U-M Academic Women’s Caucus.
The late Sarah Goddard Power was an advocate for social justice and former regent of the University, and the eponymous award honors those whose leadership, scholarship and other professional contributions have improved the status of women.
“Sarah Goddard Power cared deeply and broadly about both the success of women and human rights,” said Kearfott. “It was an incredible honor to be selected for the award that bears her name.”
Kearfott, whose career at U-M spans a quarter-century, was recognized for the many programs she helped launch that have supported the advancement of both female students and faculty. These include founding the College of Engineering’s Women in Engineering Office, today the Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach. She helped draft a policy, the University’s first, enabling faculty to stop the tenure clock for childbirth, created several networking opportunities for women across campus working in STEM fields, has mentored hundreds of students and helped improve the campus climate for minority and LGBTQ students.
“Today I expend most of my energy trying to empower undergraduates,” said Kearfott, who is also a professor of radiology in the U-M Medical School. “For me, the award represents a time to reflect upon both people and ideas and both the past and the future. I suspect what Sara Goddard Power would have wanted was for social activists not only to survive but to thrive.”
Kearfott was presented with the Sarah Goddard Power Award by the Academic Women’s Caucus during a ceremony in February at the Michigan League.