2020 Commitment to Diversity Award Winners


A person who is committed to building inclusive and diverse environments understands that differences are what makes people special. Instead of trying to treat everyone the same, they view each person as an individual with their own culture and background. Using this understanding this person will shape the environment so that people can bring all parts of themselves and their culture into the picture. Dr. Nathaniel Whitaker is an educator that does not need a classroom to inspire the students he comes into contact with. Through his commitment to teaching people how to build inclusive environments he creates culturally relevant and inclusive leaders throughout academia. - Destenie Nock, PhD 

Stephanie Shonekan has brought an engaged approach to the support and
recruiting of an inclusive body of majors and graduates to Afro-
American Studies. She was instrumental in the creation of an
undergraduate council of Afro-American Studies, which not only
has created a new sense of community among our majors, but has
presented a range of films, performances, lectures, courses, and
social events engaging African American, African Diasporic, and
African culture and history enriching our campus. - James Smethurst, GPD Afro-Am 


Patricia "Tita" Feraud-King advocates for the implementation of meaningful diversity efforts as both a student and student representative. As a College of Education steward for the Graduate Employee Organization and a College of Education Senator for the Graduate Student Senate, Tita advocates for the needs of a diverse array of graduate students while also ensuring that relevant information is communicated back to said graduate students. As a Ph.D. student in Higher Education, she has gone the extra mile to incorporate social justice training into her education through her pursuit of the graduate certificate in Social Justice Education Teaching. In fact, I would not know about this certificate (nor be pursuing it myself) if Tita had not made such a strong impression in our shared coursework.. - Jeff A. Edelstein, Doctoral Student