Tenth Annual Ruby Awards Honor Three Influential Biola Women

Nancy Yuen, Tamra Malone and Katie Powell receive awards during women’s history month

Apr. 10, 2017 By Jenna Loumagne

In celebration of National Women’s History Month, Biola University honored the 2017 Biola Ruby Award recipients on Friday, March 24 at the tenth annual Biola Ruby Award ceremony. Professor of sociology Nancy Yuen received the Priscilla Ruby Award for Teaching and Mentoring, Tamra Malone, director of student enrichment and intercultural development, received the Deborah Ruby Award for Leadership and Wisdom, and Katie Powell, director of student care, received the Esther Ruby Award for Obedience and Servanthood.

The Ruby Awards exist to celebrate women in the Biola community who inspire others with their unique voice of courage and are presented to women who exemplify Godly traits and values that align with select women of the Bible. For a decade, awards have been given to alumni, staff, faculty, students and friends of the university. The ceremony occurred during a special lunch at the Advancing Women in Leadership Conference hosted by Biola University.

Yuen, associate professor of sociology and department chair of sociology, earned her bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing) and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She recently released her first book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism, which examines the barriers African American, Asian American and Latina/o actors face in Hollywood. It is the first book to combine statistics from the Hollywood industry with more than 100 interviews with actors and other industry personnel to tell a comprehensive story of racism in Hollywood and how they can creatively challenge stereotypes.

Yuen is an advocate for students and colleagues of color who may feel marginalized. She is a constant source of support, care and counsel as she comes alongside her students as a mentor with care and compassion. She was part of the team who launched the affinity group for female Asian American students on Biola's campus to feel heard, supported, and challenged to grow during their time at Biola.

“Yuen teaches with passion and authority and challenges her students in areas that may be out of their comfort zone,” according to her nominators. “She is constantly being praised by her students and colleagues for her ability to teach with passion and conviction.”

Malone serves in the student enrichment and intercultural development department. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management from Biola and her master’s of science degree in counseling with an emphasis in student development in higher education from California State University, Long Beach. She worked on the admissions team for more than 10 years, first as a full-time recruiter, then admissions counselor, and finally assistant director for multi-ethnic outreach before she took her role leading diversity initiatives.

Malone is passionate about empowering students from diverse backgrounds through mentoring, leadership development and multicultural education in order for them to gain a deeper sense of the unique ways the Lord has created them.

“She is an amazing leader who passionately pours herself into the Biola community,” according to her nominators. “She works collaboratively with many departments across campus in order to serve students well. So many students have been positively impacted by Malone’s influence. More than anything, she is a student advocate, educator and mentor and it is spiritual depth, generosity, and wisdom that serve as a testament to her commitment to diversity and inclusion. She seeks to serve diverse students holistically in order to see them thrive at Biola.”

Powell received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biblical studies from Northwestern College and her master’s degree in counseling from George Fox University. In her role, she is in charge of not only helping Biola students navigate various hardships, but also helping them find the correct path for their future. Powell listens well and engages the students with genuine care for their well-being, while determining the next steps keeping their best interest in mind. She incorporates her heart for God and care for students in her job as she takes the necessary time to make sure that students feel heard and cared for as she stays late when she needs to, and is on call almost 24/7.

Since starting at Biola in 2007, Powell has demonstrated characteristics of obedience and servanthood, both in her work and personal life, as she serves the Biola community by consistently providing compassionate and tender care to Biola’s students. Her position not only demands care from her, but a constant reliance on God for wisdom in each and every situation.

“She has a tremendous amount of discernment, wisdom and courage, and she does her job with a humble and servant’s heart,” according to her nominators.

Contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at jenna.loumagne@biola.edu for more information.

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