Excellence in Diversity award winners to be feted

Contact: Jeanne Baron

KALAMAZOO--Four individuals and two groups will be honored next month during Western Michigan University's second annual Excellence in Diversity Awards program, beginning at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Bernhard Center's East Ballroom.

The campus community is invited to attend the free event. Reservations are required by Sunday, April 1, and may be made online or by emailing odi-excellenceindiversity@wmich.edu. Light refreshments will be served.

The April 11 program will celebrate the 2012 recipients of WMU's Excellence in Diversity Awards. These awards recognize the accomplishments of University students, employees and groups that contribute to campus diversity and inclusion through exemplary leadership.

Recipients represent outstanding, exceptional or extraordinary individuals and groups engaged in initiatives and innovations in such areas as teaching, research, programs and services.

In any given year, one or more awards may be given out in each of six categories. This year, no award was given out in the graduate students category.

2012 Excellence in Diversity Award winners

Undergraduate students--Myltazaire (Shay) Cobb, a major in early childhood professional education from Kalamazoo. She will be recognized for her powerful, personal compositions that challenge bias and stereotypes and for participating in the Kappa Delta Pi international education honor society.

Faculty members--Dr. Ineke F. Way, associate professor of social work. She will be recognized for her continuing commitment to people who have been neglected or abused and for helping to recruit, retain and graduate a diverse student body.

Staff members and administrators--Diana Hernandez, director of the Division of Multicultural Affairs. She will be recognized for numerous contributions over many years as an advocate for students of color and for working tirelessly to connect WMU's mission with the need to build and maintain a diverse community.

Staff members and administrators--Andrew Holmes, executive director of technology in Extended University Programs. He will be recognized for his work with blind and low vision students and faculty to create a curriculum for nontraditional students and for advocating for technological accommodations to support diversity.

Student organizations--Young Black Males Support Network. It will be recognized for its long-standing commitment to creating a support system for young men, assisting youth in the community, providing opportunities to enhance education beyond the classroom and developing positive role models to help create a college-going culture for young black men.

University colleges and departments--Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. It will be recognized for its dedication to creating an atmosphere where unique values and concerns receive attention and respect and for its efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student and faculty population to address the needs of an increasingly diverse society.

For more information about the Excellence in Diversity Awards, visit wmich.edu/diversityandinclusion or contact Lillian Manning in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at lillian.manning@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6340.