Deidre Martin, vice chancellor of advancement at USC Aiken, was recently awarded the Martin Luther King Social Justice Award by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs at the University of South Carolina.

The award is tailored for individuals who have exemplified the philosophies of King through acts of community service, social justice or racial reconciliation.

Martin said she was honored and humbled to be recognized with the award.

“I believe we are all at our best when we look beyond our own circumstances to be inclusive and welcoming to others, and reach out to those in need,” she said in a recent press release. “If I can play even a small part in bringing people together, I want to give it my best.”

Distinguished Chancellor Emeritus Thomas Hallman acknowledged Martin's efforts, stating she has found ways to bring groups together by establishing the USC Aiken Inclusion Advisory Council.

“She took the lead in establishing this group and through Dr. Martin's leadership and significant efforts, this group has emerged as an ongoing application of the principle of inclusion as a core value for USC Aiken,” Hallman stated.

Advisory Council member Dee Crawford said Martin is a champion for inclusion and is always accessible to discuss how to impact and pursue what is needed to assist the community.

“She will continue to be a leader in moving South Carolina toward becoming one,” Crawford added.

In addition to her role as vice chancellor, Martin is also a communications professor on campus.

Martin has been a part of the USC family for a large part of her educational career. She earned her Ph.D in curriculum and instruction from USC in 1995 and began working as an administrator at USCA in 1988.

Derrek Asberry is a beat reporter with the Aiken Standard. He joined the paper in June.