Diversity awards

President's Diversity Initiative announces campus awards


10:17 a.m., May 9, 2013--The University of Delaware President’s Diversity Initiative administers several awards, which are given annually based on campus-wide nomination, and recently announced this year’s recipients.

They include Kim Saunders, director of the McNair Scholars Program; the Women’s Caucus; the Multicultural Greek Congress; and Michelle Church and Shelah Balakhani, both students in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

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.

“I congratulate the winners of these awards,” said Margaret Andersen, executive director of the initiative. “The scope of their work reflects the University's multi-faceted understanding of diversity. The President's Diversity Initiative is pleased to recognize the work of these people whose talents and commitments underscore the value of diversity as critical to excellence in education.”

The awards and this year’s winners are as follows:

The Louis L. Redding Award recognizes individuals or units at UD whose efforts have promoted, enhanced and implemented diversity programs or activities that have resulted in a significant change in the campus climate and composition within the University community. The 2013 award goes to Kim Saunders, director of the McNair Scholars Program, who was cited for a number of contributions, including successfully leading UD’s McNair Program through grant renewal. Among other things, Saunders instituted a series in which graduate program directors spoke to students about graduate education; strengthened UD’s ties to other national McNair Programs; and created the first UD McNair Alumni Network. 

The Edward A. Trabant Award for Women’s Equity is given annually to any individual, department, administrative unit, or committee contributing to equity for women at the University. This year the award goes to the Women’s Caucus. The Women’s Caucus was cited for being a strong advocate for women on campus and for promoting resources for women at UD. The Women’s Caucus also established the Torch Award, given in its inaugural year (May 2012) to Anne Boylan, professor of history, for her efforts launching the Women’s Caucus and her tireless efforts on behalf of women’s equality. 

The Student Ambassador for Diversity Award is given to an undergraduate and graduate student organization whose efforts foster diversity and inclusion on campus. This year the award goes to the Multicultural Greek Congress (MPC). The MPC was cited for creating a more effective governing council and for establishing policies and procedures that support additional cultural and ethnic-based fraternity and sorority chapters at UD. 

The Bessie B. Collins Award supports and encourages women students by recognizing the variety of perspectives, diversity, and richness that adult students bring to the University. This year the award goes to Michelle Church, who was a double major in anthropology and international relations with a minor in Islamic Studies. She was cited for providing leadership and mentoring to younger students and participating with her peers in a deep engagement with anthropological thinking. In addition, she was found to be always interested in thinking out complex and important issues in the social sciences. 

The Mae Carter Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate woman student who carries the values of Mae Carter to advance the status of women at the University. This year the award goes to Shelah Balakhani, a senior majoring in women and gender studies and literary studies. Balakhani was cited for being a committed feminist whose philosophy of women's human rights always reflects a multi-cultural perspective, shaped by her own multi-cultural background as an Iranian American.

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