Lydia Mensah wins MLK Spirit Award

Among her many accolades, Mensah has been instrumental in forging a partnership between U-M and a SWE chapter in Liberia.
Lydia Mensah wins MLK Spirit Award

MSE is proud to announce that Ph.D. candidate Lydia Mensah won a North Campus Deans' MLK Spirit Award at a special ceremony on January 20. The MLK Spirit Award is given to students, student organizations, staff, and faculty members at the University of Michigan North Campus who exemplify the leadership and vision of Dr. King through their commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In his introduction of Mensah at the awards ceremony, Jonathan Massey, dean of the U-M Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning (pictured at right with Mensah), remarked: "Lydia is a leader in the U-M Graduate Society of Engineers and has fostered a partnership with the Undergraduate Society of Women Engineers and Liberia Society of Women Engineers chapter. Over the past five years, these three organizations have partnered to host a leadership camp that provides mentorship and career and grad school readiness. Lydia applied for external grant funding, organized logistics and programming of the camp, mentored undergraduate students in USWE who were involved in the planning and thought through future changes to best structure the partnership to ensure its longevity and impact. The camp also serves as a potential pipeline for LSWE students interested in graduate programs both at Michigan and in neighboring African countries. Through her work, Lydia strengthened the long term potential of this partnership in expanding opportunities for LSWE students.

"Furthermore, Lydia has been a long-standing advocate for the College of Engineering to recruit more minority students to campus," Massey continued. "She has been a tremendous force actively driving change for the goal of all people to have an equal opportunity and be treated equally regardless of their racial identity."

"I am honored to have been nominated and selected to win the Deans' MLK Spirit Award," said Mensah. "My motivation for service has never been for accolades, but for the betterment of my society so it was humbling to hear my name called."

MSE unit administrator Todd Richardson and MSE Ph.D. student Joseph Valle were also nominated for the award.

Congratulations, Lydia!