The 2020 YFRP Dolly the Sheep Award recipient is Research Project Assistant Montaya Dawkins. The award is presented annually to the outstanding YFRP staff person whom program leadership would most like to clone. It is named for Dolly, a female domestic Scottish sheep who was the first mammal ever cloned. Montaya has been instrumental in the development and execution of our projects seeking to understand and prevent stimulant diversion in adolescents and young adults. She recently celebrated her 5-year anniversary with the YFRP and will finish her master of science program in counseling psychology this spring, setting her sights on a PsyD counseling program to further pursue her commitment to improving mental health for marginalized populations this fall.
We are excited to announce that Jenna Pelly and Isaac Cason are the 2020 co-awardees of the Youth and Family Research Program Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. This annual award is given to a YFRP staff member(s) to recognize their past-year contributions to YFRP’s mission to grow in cultural humility and awareness, create a safe and inclusive environment for staff and participants, and address long-standing inequities and lack of representation in academia and research. We greatly appreciate Jenna’s lab-wide presentation on the historical exploitation of Black/African Americans in research, advocacy for health equity for marginalized populations, and sharing of reading materials with our lab related to privilege, power, and identity. Isaac was a leading voice in the initial development of the YFRP equity and inclusion mission, lead a generative discussion on how to move our lab bathrooms to all-gender safe spaces, and provided constructive feedback in the development of 2020 action items. While Isaac departed the YFRP to start a new position and a graduate program at Pitt in the department of Public Health, his contributions to our mission will continue for years to come.