U-M Organizational Studies and Program in the Environment associate professor Sara Soderstrom has received a 2022 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award for her contributions to the development of a culturally and ethnically diverse U-M community. Established in 1996, the annual award is given by the Office of the Provost in honor of Harold Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work. Six other professors were also given the award this year.
In addition to being an associate professor of environment and sustainability at SEAS, Soderstrom is an associate professor of organizational studies and Program in the Environment in LSA and associate professor of management and organizations in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.
She has demonstrated a commitment to recruiting a more diverse group of students and faculty, improving the experiences of students from underrepresented groups, and providing an inclusive and supportive atmosphere in her classes.
She also has increasingly addressed DEI issues in her scholarship and professional activities during more than a decade at U-M, continuously working to creating a more equitable environment, within her department, university and profession.
Soderstrom has been deeply committed to facilitating an inclusive classroom. In a required research methods class, she has introduced the Social Identity Wheel to help students explore and share their salient and intersecting social identities.
In 2020, Soderstrom became director of the Erb Undergraduate Fellows Program. Her colleague Emily Keeler, student affairs and alumni manager, said, “Sara has championed for equitable recruitment practices, including late admission for transfer students, lowering GPA requirements, and including optional essays, in which students could provide additional notes if they were impacted by COVID in order for staff to more holistically evaluate applicants.”