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Tang receives Servant Leadership Award

January 29, 2007

Pearl TangPearl Tang, whose service to public health helped improve the survival rate for infants in low-income Arizona families, will receive the 2007 Servant Leadership Award from ASU at a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast celebration at 7 a.m., Jan. 30.

ASU President Michael Crow will play host to the annual event at the Tempe campus Memorial Union, inviting about 600 campus and community leaders and more than 30 schoolchildren who won ASU's annual MLK poster-essay contest.

As the first Asian woman doctor in Arizona in the 1950s – and one of a handful of female physicians – Tang developed an immunization program for all children in Maricopa County schools and started prenatal care clinics in rural areas. After she became chief of the Maricopa County Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, it primarily was through her leadership that the infant mortality rate in the county decreased by more than 67 percent from 1960 to 1984.

She also developed a screening program for breast and cervical cancer in county clinics, worked with the Phoenix Union High School to develop health care and education for pregnant adolescents, and helped establish medical and dental services for preschool children in Head Start centers.

Alix Hornyan of Chandler, an ASU junior who sets an example for other students with her optimism, determination and passion for service, will receive the Student Servant Leadership Award. She is co-chair of the student Community Service Coalition and has organized and recruited students for many service events.

ASU instituted an annual tribute to King 22 years ago, before the state recognized an MLK holiday to commemorate the slain civil rights leader. In 1995, the university made a breakfast celebration part of the tradition, and in 1999 ASU began giving an annual Servant Leadership Award to outstanding community members and students who demonstrate leadership through service.

The MLK poster-essay contest has grown in scope each year, with about 1,200 schoolchildren from all across Arizona describing people they know who lead through service. Twenty-four winners have been invited to the breakfast along with their parents, teachers and principals. Their work is on display in the Memorial Union student lounge in Tempe, at ASU Polytechnic campus and on the Web at (

ASU's Polytechnic campus has a “Prayer for Peace” luncheon Feb. 12. An art display with images that reflect the legacy of King will be at the Downtown Phoenix campus from Jan. 16 to Feb. 2, in the University Center lobby. The Phoenix campus also will have a “Stand for Something” roundtable dialogue from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jan. 24, in the Residential Commons Plaza Room.

A more complete calendar of events is on the Web at (