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SU Honors Campus Community Members with President’s Diversity Champion Awards

Diversity champion award winnersSALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University honored seven members of the campus community with its 2021 President’s Diversity Champion Awards.

SU President Charles Wight and Joan Williams, associate vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, presented the awards at the University’s Center for Equity, Justice and inclusion during the University’s annual Multicultural Week celebration.

Awards included:

  • Undergraduate Student – Dorien Rogers
  • Undergraduate Student Group – Inclusive Instruction for Secondary Teachers class
  • Exempt Professional Staff – Robert Score
  • Faculty – Drs. Rebecca Anthony, Carolina Bown, Jennifer Jewell, Yuki Okubo and Tina Reid

Rogers, a sophomore political science and international studies major from Clarksburg, MD, “has been a tireless champion of student efforts to ensure that SU has a curriculum, culture and policies that recognize and respect diversity and foster inclusion,” said his co-nominator, Dr. April Logan, associate professor of English. According to student co-nominator Danielle Jackson, he also has worked to plan a number of diverse student events as the SU Student Government Association’s director of diversity and inclusion.

Under the direction of Dr. Andrea Suk, assistant professor of secondary and physical education, students in the Inclusive Instruction for Secondary Teachers class created a video-based online interactive field trip to SU’s campus for high school students with disabilities. Students in the class “not only embody the inclusion mindset, but also demonstrate qualities of being advocates for individuals with disabilities … by promoting and supporting campus inclusion,” said Suk.

Students honored for the project included Douglas DeLost of Annapolis; Allan Hall of Pittsville, MD; Hailey Lagimoniere of Huntingtown, MD; Tayah Redina of Gambrills, MD; Elizabeth Robles of Lothian, MD, Logan Smith of Fruitland, MD; and McKinsey Zepp of Milton, DE.

Score, SU videographer in the University Advancement and External Affairs Division, “is directly responsible for helping shape the perceptions of the University to both internal and external audiences through visual imagery, videos and photography,” said his nominator, Katie Curtin, director of marketing strategy. “He is very thoughtful about how various audiences will perceive University marketing materials and about how all different individuals and groups on campus are shown and represented in such materials,” making campus community members feel included and valued, and potentially attracting new students and others to SU.

Anthony, associate professor of social work, has a “commitment to diversity and justice at SU {that] is steadfast, and her impact is exemplary,” according to her nominator, Dr. Erin Stutelberg, assistant professor of secondary and physical education. Anthony co-facilitated SU’s Equity, Justice and Teaching Transformation Faculty Learning Community for four years, co-authored the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Curricula Guide and currently serves as the co-coordinator of SU’s Safe Space LGBTQIA education and inclusion training program. Her scholarship is focused on diversity-related research topics and questions.

Bown, visiting assistant professor of communication, has conducted work that “spans multiple areas of diversity and inclusion in Maryland and around the globe,” including gender, indigenous peoples, students with disabilities, study abroad, underserved communities and civic engagement, according to her co-nominator, Dr. Chrys Egan, associate dean of SU’s Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts. She also “serves the needs of our Latinx students, which helps retain them at SU,” said her co-nominator, Dr. Eric Rittinger, associate professor of political science.

Jewell, director of SU’s School of Social Work, “keeps diversity and inclusion initiatives at the forefront of every conversation and decision,” said her nominator, Dr. Kelly Fiala, dean of SU’s College of Health and Human Services. Jewell created and chaired a diversity interest group in the University’s Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education, and partnered with SU’s Office of Institutional Equity to offer diversity and inclusion training for faculty and administrators.

She also established a leadership development and mentoring program to enhance the training of full-time master’s-level social work students who show a propensity for culturally responsive practice and has worked strategically to increase the number of adjunct faculty of color in the School of Social Work. Jewell recently was a leader in the inaugural SU Anti-Racism Summit.

Okubo, assistant professor of psychology, “has made extraordinary contributions to support the appreciation and understanding of cultural diversity at SU,” according to her nominator, Dr. Meredith Patterson, Psychology Department chair. “She is an example of the excellence and commitment to which we all should strive,” added her co-nominator, Dr. Michèle Schlehofer, professor of psychology.

Okubo designed a yearlong intensive mentoring program emphasizing cultural fields and training aligning with cultural values. Students in the accelerated program receive training on community-based participatory action research and mentor community youth, most of whom are students of color recruited from community organizations including the Fenix Youth Project, Inc., and One Year to Empowerment.

Reid, professor of nursing, “provides tremendous support for diversity, equity and inclusion on campus and in the community,” said her co-nominators, Egan and Dr. Jessica Clark, associate professor of biological sciences. Reid leads SU’s Promise Diverse Faculty Mentoring Faculty Learning Community and Mosaic Mentoring Program to attract and retain diverse faculty, staff and students.

She also serves on the University System of Maryland Women’s Forum executive council and helped create the SU Women’s Forum. Reid previously was honored with SU’s Lucy Tull Distinguished Faculty Award for her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in health care.

Each President’s Diversity and Inclusion Award winner received a plaque and a gift from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“Diversity and inclusion are very important goals for nearly every university or college in the country and in the world, especially for Salisbury University,” said Wight. “Our deepest and most meaningful educational experiences happen when people from different backgrounds, with different experiences, gather together to have respectful conversations about their differences and about how they view the world through different lenses.”

“We owe so much of our successes to the students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond to help make our campus more inclusive every day,” said Williams. “Although we highlight the efforts of some through these awards, we also recognize that advancing inclusive excellence is a collective and collaborative effort of us all.”

The ceremony marked the 13th year the awards have been bestowed. No awards were presented in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website.