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Washington State University
College of Education

January 2024

Four take home MLK awards

A faculty member and two doctoral students were honored by Washington State University with system awards as part of the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations.

Shameem Rakha, from WSU Vancouver, an associate professor in Teaching and Learning, was honored for her inclusion and justice efforts.

Students Johana Thomas Zapata (Mathematics and Science Education), Golrokh “Rose” Maleki (Language, Literacy, and Technology), and Oluwasola Samuel Oni (Educational Psychology), were also recognized.


As part of the weeklong festivities, WSU hosted an awards banquet on Thursday, January 18 in the Comption Union Building Senior Ballroom. In addition to the poetry, dance, and singing performances, the MLK Spirit Awards, as they are known, were given out.

Recipients of the awards were notified by Obie Ford III, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Katherine Rodela, Rakha’s colleague at WSU Vancouver, says she has seen the work Rakha has done first hand.
“It’s so well deserved for all the hard work enacting justice, equity, and belonging in our college and campus.”
Congratulations to Dr. Rakha, Johana, Rose, and Samuel.