Graduate School Presents Inaugural Commitment to Diversity Awards

Ashley Carpenter (left) and Mari Castañeda
Ashley Carpenter (left) and Mari Castañeda

The Graduate School recently selected two members of the university community as recipients of its inaugural Commitment to Diversity Award. Honoring individuals who have significantly enhanced diversity and inclusion in graduate education at UMass, the awards were presented during an April 24 recognition dinner jointly hosted by the Graduate Students of Color Association and the Graduate School.

“Improving the campus climate through initiatives that augment the recruitment, retention, and success of underrepresented graduate students is central to the Graduate School’s mission,” said Dr. Funmi Adebayo, assistant dean for inclusion and engagement in the Graduate School. “This commitment is shared widely by UMass faculty, students and staff who are actively cultivating a more welcoming and vibrant educational environment for graduate students from diverse backgrounds. We are delighted to have established the Commitment to Diversity Award as a way of celebrating and highlighting these outstanding achievements and exceptional individuals.”

The recipients of the inaugural Commitment to Diversity award are:

  • Mari Castañeda, associate dean for equity and inclusion, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and professor of communication
  • Ashley Carpenter, graduate student, College of Education