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Press Releases

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

SU Presents 2017 President's Diversity Awards

2017 President's Diversity Award Recipients SALISBURY, MD---SU honored six members of the campus community with its 2017 President’s Diversity Awards.

They included undergraduate student Cearrah Sherman; graduate student Artura Jackson; Sara Lowery, coordinator of student life (professional staff award); Dr. Brian Stiegler, assistant provost for international education (administrator award); and Drs. Céline Carayon and Kara French of the History Department (faculty awards).

Sherman, a junior exercise science major from Frederick, MD, was nominated for her passion for SU and the community, and her efforts to educate and share diverse experiences with others on campus in roles including vice president of diversity — and now president-elect — of the Student Government Association. She also serves as vice president of the SU Gospel Choir, parliamentarian of the Black Student Union and a mentor in the University’s Powerful Connections program, and is a member of the Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity. Nominator Vanice Antrum, multicultural student services program coordinator, noted, “Her leadership thus far in her college career is truly amazing.”

Jackson, who recently earned her M.A. in history “has been tirelessly committed to supporting and advancing SU’s institutional diversity goals ever since her first semester as a graduate student and, impressively, since her first semester as an undergraduate, as well,” said her nominator, Dr. Manav Ratti, assistant professor of English. She has served on SU’s African American History Month Planning Committee, the University’s Social Justice Society, the Graduate Student Council’s executive council and the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture’s board of directors. She has helped educate community members on and off campus by creating exhibits for SU Libraries, including “Who Do We Remember? Who Do We Forget? Gloria Richardson, Civil Rights Leader” and “When Communities Come Together: African American Education on the Eastern Shore.”

Lowery was nominated for her leadership in reinstating the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Fraternities and Sororities at SU, bringing together the “Divine Nine” historically African American Greek letter organizations. She also provided leadership in establishing the Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority — the nation’s first to cater to the needs of Latinas—at SU, overseeing operations at the Scarborough Student Leadership Center and encouraging SU’s Greek organizations to volunteer in the community. Co-nominator Vaughn White, director of multicultural student services, lauded her ability “to motivate students through her actions and also her gift of communication. Co-nominator Dr. Lawanda Dockins-Mills, associate dean of students, added: “Most impressive has been her work with students in building strong, diversified teams.”

Stiegler has been instrumental in overseeing SU’s Center for International Education and creating its English Language Institute. According to his nominator, Dr. Karen Olmstead, dean of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology, the number of SU students studying abroad has grown dramatically under Stiegler’s tenure, as have the number of international students on campus and international SU collaborations. The impact, she said, has allowed SU to create several new international majors. Stiegler also works one-on-one with students to make sure their study abroad experiences go as smoothly as possible — a duty Olmstead personally appreciated when he assisted her daughter, whose luggage was lost on a flight between Peru and Spain while studying abroad.

Carayon and French were jointly nominated by Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Science and Technology, for their work to launch the Fulton School’s Public Humanities Program. “Through the program, they ensure that the larger SU community can develop understanding and empathy for peoples with experiences that may be very different from our own while always circling back to our shared humanity and the importance of history to understanding our distinctive and shared experiences as human beings,” he said. He added that both have been outstanding scholar-teachers at SU, citing Carayon’s studies of Native American history and French’s focus on the experiences of women within the broader American experience.

Each President’s Diversity Award winner received a plaque and a $500 stipend.

Faculty involved in the Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement’s (PACE’s) 2016 “Race and Identity in the United States” lecture series also received an honorable mention during this year’s awards ceremony. They included Drs. Cristina Cammarano, Philosophy; Aston Gonzalez, History; Toran Hansen, Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution; Jennifer Jewell, Social Work; James King, English; Shawn McEntee, Sociology; Yuki Okubo, Psychology; Victoria Pass, Art; and Sarah Surak, Environmental Studies and Political Science; and Abigail Horton, PACE.

Topics included race and class, race and the media, environmental racism, mass incarceration, privilege and oppression, “mixed raceness,” cultural appropriation, changing language and terms about race, politics, and being an ally. The series was open to members of the SU and greater communities.

“We are very appreciative of your initiative to plan and execute such an innovative and impactful program, and we wanted to take the time to recognize that,” said Humberto Aristizábal, associate vice president of institutional equity and Title IX coordinator, who hosted the ceremony.

Dr. Diane Allen, SU provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, presented the awards during SU’s 22nd Multicultural Festival Week celebration. The ceremony marked the 11th year the awards have been bestowed.

“In the world today, it is more important than ever that we prepare our students for the workplace they will encounter,” said Allen. “It will be global, and more and more diverse. We have an obligation to provide our students with the understandings, sensitivities and experiences that will help them to succeed.”

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


Pictured, from left: Aristizábal, Stiegler, Lowery, Jackson, Carayon, French, Sherman and Allen.


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