University of Delaware
Pictured are (from left) George Watson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Mae Carter Award winner Elanor Sonderman; Mae Carter; and Paul Hengesteg of UD's Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Diversity Awards

Office of Equity and Inclusion announces annual Diversity Award winners


10:43 a.m., May 17, 2012--The University of Delaware Office of Equity and Inclusion has announced the winners of the annual Diversity Awards.

This year, five honorees were chosen in three award categories -- the Mae Carter Scholarship, the E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women's Equity and the Student Ambassadors of Diversity Awards.

Honors Stories

National Medal of Science

President Barack Obama recently presented the National Medal of Science to University of Delaware alumnus Rakesh Jain.

Warren Award

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean for student success in the NUCLEUS Program in UD's College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a May 26 ceremony.

Awards were presented as follows:

The Mae Carter Scholarship is given in honor of former assistant provost for women’s affairs and executive director of the Commission on the Status of Women, and provides $1,500 to an undergraduate woman student who works to advance the status of women at UD. 

Senior Elanor Sonderman, an anthropology major with minors in women’s studies and material culture studies, has been selected as this year’s honoree. 

A representative of the Office of Equity and Inclusion said that Sonderman has "confronted and largely overcome the daunting obstacles that fate placed in her way" and that "she embodies the indomitable spirit of Mae Carter."

The E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women’s Equity was created in recognition of President Emeritus Trabant’s support for women’s equity. This award is given to an individual, department, unit, or committee that has contributed to the equality of women on campus. 

This year’s recipients are Jessica Schiffman, assistant professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, and the ADVANCE Team.  

There is no campus initiative involving women and diversity, past or present in which Schiffman has not been involved, a representative of the office said, adding that her devotion to justice and safety for women has taken her beyond the campus ever since she arrived at Delaware in 1980.

The ADVANCE Team, comprised of 19 individuals, enhances the participation and advancement of women in science and engineering careers.  The team has led research on best practices to recruit and retain faculty and on unconscious bias, as well as created workshops on recruitment and mentoring of STEM faculty. Those who have participated in the ADVANCE Team’s workshops have praised their quality and their practices.

The Student Ambassadors of Diversity Awards are two newly added awards that serve to recognize a student and an established student group for their efforts to celebrate diversity on campus. The individual recipient will receive a scholarship valued at $400. Group recipients will receive $600 of funding for additional resources to utilize in pursuit of furthering diversity initiatives.  

The recipients of these awards are Mahel Hamroun and the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA).

Hamroun, a senior Honors Program student who is a neuroscience and European studies major and also a resident assistant, has invested in a variety of roles that allow her to demonstrate to her peers the value of learning from and engaging with people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, and experiences.

The Black Graduate Student Association, an organization comprised of full-time and part-time graduate students across different disciplines, cultures, and nationalities, has developed numerous events with the goal of bringing together members of the campus community and has connected graduate students across campus.

Honorees, who were celebrated at a lunch event, were nominated by their peers and colleagues, and carefully selected from the pool of nominations. 

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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