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Honorees for 2016 Vulcan Awards announced

Odessa Woodfolk (left) and Henna Budhwani (right) are among the honorees for the 2016 Vulcan Awards.

Times staff report

Odessa Woodfolk (left) and Henna Budhwani (right) are among the honorees for the 2016 Vulcan Awards.
Odessa Woodfolk (left) and Henna Budhwani (right) are among the honorees for the 2016 Vulcan Awards.

A long-time educator and civic activist and a University of Alabama at Birmingham professor are among the honorees for the 2016 Vulcan Community Awards for their impact on the Birmingham community.

Odessa Woolfolk will be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement award and Henna Budhwani, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Public Health Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, will be honored with the Newcomer award at an awards dinner on Nov. 3 at The Club.

The awards at the third annual Vulcan Awards recognize citizens who exemplify civic pride, leadership and progress within the seven-county metro area in five award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Servant Leadership, Hero, Game Changer, and Newcomer.

Woolfolk is known for her work as an educator, public administrator and civic activist.

During her extensive career with the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) Woolfolk directed the Center for Urban Affairs, taught urban history and served as Assistant to the President for Community relations. Her expertise was applying academic research to urban problem solving. At her retirement from UAB in 1993 the University established the Odessa Woolfolk Presidential Community Service Award to be given annually to a member of the faculty.

She was state chair of the National Conference of Christian and Jews, first African American President of Operation New Birmingham’s Board of Directors and founding member of Leadership Birmingham. She was the ‘driving force’ behind the establishment of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and is its Emerita President and Board Chair. The Institute named a gallery in her honor.

Budhwani, as deputy director of the UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health, works closely with community partners in the United States and abroad who are interested in improving health outcomes through public health practice. Her research interests include health disparities, with an emphasis on immigrant and minority health, as well as global health, specifically in the areas of reproductive health and health systems strengthening. Budhwani teaches undergraduate and graduate global health courses in the School of Public Health and has active projects across the Caribbean.

Prior to joining UAB in July 2013, Budhwani worked in East Africa and the Middle East in the areas of program implementation, program management, and monitoring and evaluation to assist international nongovernmental organizations better serve vulnerable populations. Budhwani has worked domestically, most recently with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and its subsidiary, Cahaba Safeguard Administrators, as senior statistician evaluating health outcomes and program effectiveness and identifying fraud, waste and abuse for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Other honorees include:

The Vulcans 

Servant Leadership: Carrie Leland

Hero: John Croyle

Game Changer: Tom Cosby

The Spears

Servant Leadership: Bill Heintz and Philip Morris

Hero: Tajuan McCarty and James Strong

Game Changer: Dr. Jarralynne Agee and Jim Wooten

Newcomer: Victoria Hollis and Daniel Branum

To get involved, contact the Vulcan Park and Museum Development Department at 205.933.1409 x.111 or email thevulcans@visitvulcan.com.