Kenneth G. Powell

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering

Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?

I think that the MLK Day event that we ran in Stamps Auditorium, showing the documentary film “Me, the Other” followed by a panel discussion and a mixer was a highlight for me last year. It took a lot of planning and work by a number of people, but was well received and thought-provoking. I was honored to be involved with it.

Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?

There will always be DEI work, particularly in our college, particularly in our department. The arc is long.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

I am really honored to be a recipient of an MLK Spirit Award. I believe most of the DEI work I do is small, quiet, behind the scenes. I do it because it is needed, and because I get some satisfaction from the work, and particularly the chance to work with some really tremendous staff, students, and faculty engaged in DEI.