Two prominent Stony Brook staff members were honored in January for making significant contributions in furthering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for society: Tonjanita Johnson and Christina Vargas Law.
Tonjanita Johnson, chief deputy to Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., was honored with the Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission Award at the 22nd Annual Luncheon on January 13, 2012. Johnson’s professional career in higher education spans nearly 15 years. Her parent’s stories of their participation in the Civil Rights movement during their college years influenced her desire to pay tribute to them and others who had been engaged in the struggle for equality and educational opportunities for persons of color.
Christina Vargas Law, director of Stony Brook’s Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action, was honored with a Meritorious Award on January 16, 2012, during the 27th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast. Throughout her career, Vargas Law has displayed a passion for social justice, multiculturalism, inclusion and diversity and has worked to bring various communities together in partnership with Stony Brook.
Both events were held at the Hyatt Regency Wind Watch in Hauppauge, New York. Sister Sanaa Nadim, an instructor and Muslim chaplain in the University’s Interfaith Center, was the keynote speaker at the awards luncheon on January 13 and was an awardee at last year’s event. She has dedicated her career and life to public service, building bridges among different faith groups to positively enhance the image of Islam through unity and understanding.