College of Education faculty member receives national award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jennifer L Parks, (808) 956-0416
Communications Coordinator, College of Education
Posted: Nov 5, 2010

Brenda Cartwright
Brenda Cartwright
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa professor Brenda Y. Cartwright received the Sylvia Walker National Multicultural Award at the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) Annual Training Conference last month in New Orleans, Louisiana. Cartwright, an associate professor in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science, was recognized for her commitment to excellence in education and mentoring, advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities, and furthering the cause of multiculturalism through teaching, training, education, research and services.
Established in 2004, the award honors members who demonstrate a leadership role in advancing multicultural issues to enhance the profession and/or organization, and who maintain and stimulate the association’s focus on diversity and multiculturalism as a part of society. Dr. Sylvia Walker, who served as a long-time advocate for multicultural issues in rehabilitation, was a professor, researcher, and director of the first federal Research and Training Center focused on minority issues and disability.
As an educator, Cartwright distinguished herself through her presentations, research, and publications related to multiculturalism, diversity and under-served populations. She is a long-term member of NRA and its National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns division. Highly regarded as a role model and mentor by her students from culturally diverse backgrounds, Cartwright has made a significant impact on awareness, services, and policy relating to multicultural rehabilitation issues with energy and a generous spirit.
In her acceptance speech, Cartwright reflected on how Dr. Sylvia Walker had ignited her passion to embrace a research agenda devoted to diversity. “As an advisory board member of the Research and Training Center for Access to Rehabilitation & Economic Opportunity, I witnessed first-hand how Dr. Walker persistently voiced concern on how minorities fared in the rehabilitation system.”
Cartwright acknowledged Dr. Bobbi Atkins, Dr. Tennyson Wright, and Dr. Bob McConnell as pioneers and personal mentors who paved the way for her. She also recognized the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns leadership for providing a forum enabling her to make a difference in the lives of people of color in the field of rehabilitation.