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Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Awards

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award (individual)

Each year, we select one person on campus for the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award. The Excellence award is for an employee (faculty or staff) who best exemplifies excellence through efforts to enhance diversity, promote cultural diversity and cultivate an inclusive campus community in teaching, service, or leadership.

The Council for Diversity Equity and Inclusion is currently taking nominations for the individual Excellence award.

Our goal is to highlight the positive contributions that are being made to our campus and the state through advancing diversity and inclusion.

In addition to being recognized at Spring Convocation and our Annual Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon in January 2023, the recipient of the individual award will be recognized by IHL at the IHL Board Meeting on February 16, 2023.

To assist you in making nominations please consider the definitions of Diversity and Inclusion, as adopted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

WHAT IS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?

DIVERSITY is defined as valuing individual differences (e.g. personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious and other affiliations) and engagement of differences to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship and administrative and support services.

INCLUSION is defined as the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity - in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities with which individuals might connect - in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Nominations should be sent to Leigh Yarborough, President's Office, W-Box 1600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, 2022.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO NOMINATE AN INDIVIDUAL:

To nominate an individual for the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award, send a nomination letter that includes the individual's contributions to the positive advancement of diversity and inclusion on our campus and/or within the university community, local community and state. Examples of positive contributions should include, but are not limited to, are:

  1. Demonstrating a consistent pattern of diversity and inclusion activities that promote recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations;
  2. Exhibiting visionary and insightful leadership to cultivate and promote diversity and inclusion initiatives that confront and resolve inequities through strategic decision-making, and establishment of priorities that foster a more inclusive and equitable learning environment;
  3. Exhibiting new and progressive best practices that support diversity and inclusion goals through the use of technology and innovative approaches; and/or
  4. Contributing to curriculum planning and implementation that is more inclusive of the needs and interests of underrepresented populations on campus.

*Please note that Individuals who are employed as diversity officers on university campuses or any other position that directly involves promoting diversity are not eligible to be recognized by IHL and are therefore cannot be nominated for the campus Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.

 

Previous Nominees

2000 - Mr. James Edward Jones - Admissions Counselor

2001 - Ms. Ruby Harrison - Custodian

2002 - Dr. Mary L. Alexander - Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of Field Experiences

2003 - Dr. Mary Ann Kelley - Assistant Professor of Nursing

2004 - Dr. Mary L. Alexander - Assistant Professor of Education and Coordinator of Field Experiences

2005 - Ms. Rodie Cunningham - Administrative Assistant in Finance & Administration

2006 - Ms. Anika Perkins - Director of Public Affairs

2007 - Ms. Iika McCarter - Assistant Director of Admissions

2008 - Ms. Towanda Williams - Assistant Director of Career Services

2009 - Dr. Bucky Wesley - Vice President for Student Services

2010 - Dr. Lillie Smith - Assistant Professor of Education

2011 - Dr. James Ward - Professor of Political Science

2012 - Dr. Phillip Cockrell - Director of Student Life

2013 - Ms. Mary Slater - MUW Police Officer

2014 - Dr. Kimberly Dorsey - Associate Professor of Management

2015 - Ms. Janie Shields - Outreach & Innovation

2016 - Dr. Tom Velek - Professor of History

2017 - Kimone Simmons - Coordinator of Student Engagement

2018 - Dr. Dionne Fortenberry - Chair of the Department of Science & Mathematics and Professor of Chemistry

2019 - Dr. Phillip Stockton - Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities

2020 - Penny Sansing - Director, CPDC

2021 - Dr. Ghanshyam Heda – Professor of Biology

2022 - Dr. Shahara’Tova Dente

 


University Impact Award (department or group)

Each year, we select one program and/or department for the University Initiative Impact Award.

Our goal is to highlight the positive contributions that are being made to our campus and the state through advancing diversity and inclusion.

This award is designed to recognize a unit that exemplifies the excellence that is The W through its efforts to enhance diversity, promote cultural diversity, and cultivate an inclusive campus community.  These efforts may be, but are not limited to the following areas:

Teaching – new teaching methods or education programs
Service – community / campus involvement, engagement with prospective students
Leadership – active leadership of ideas embodied in the award 

Eligibility:
A unit is considered to be any department/division, administrative unit, or any officially recognized organizations at The W and are eligible for consideration. 

Awards:
$1000 funding to sustain the initiative
One table (seats 8) at the Excellence in Diversity Award luncheon in January 2023

Nomination Packets:
The following must be addressed in your nomination packet:

  • Completed nomination form
  • Description (750 words or less, strictly enforced)
    • Describe the initiative
    • Explain how it has enhanced diversity, promoted cultural diversity, and/or cultivated an inclusive campus community
    • Quantitative information, if appropriate, that describes the scale of the project
  • Exactly one letter of nomination (from the nominator)
  • Exactly two letters of impact (from individuals impacted by the program)

Deadline:  Nomination Packets should be sent to Leigh Yarborough in the President’s Office, W-Box 1600, by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, 2022 or may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To assist you in making nominations please consider the definitions of Diversity and Inclusion, as adopted from the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

WHAT IS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION?

DIVERSITY is defined as valuing individual differences (e.g. personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g. race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious and other affiliations) and engagement of differences to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, research, scholarship and administrative and support services.

INCLUSION is defined as the active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity - in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities with which individuals might connect - in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.

Previous Recipients

2020 - MUW Galleries

2021 - The University did not award the University Impact Initiative Award in 2021.

2022 - Fant Memorial Library