Texas Tech University

Faculty, Staff, Students Receive President's Excellence Awards

Amanda Castro-Crist

April 30, 2019

The awards recognize those who have made significant efforts to promote the value of diversity and the importance of equity at Texas Tech University.

President Lawrence Schovanec

On Tuesday (April 30), faculty, staff and students were honored at the annual President's Excellence Awards ceremony for their commitment to advancing diversity and promoting equity and inclusive excellence at Texas Tech University. The awards were created by the Office of the President and administered by the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

President Lawrence Schovanec addressed the nominees and winners at the ceremony, hosted in the Hall of Nations at the International Cultural Center, speaking on the importance of efforts to diversify the campus and promote equity and inclusion and how far the university has come over the years.

"A commitment to diversity not only grows the pool of talent on a campus, but supports an environment that makes greater use of our human resources," Schovanec said. "Thank you to the students, faculty and staff who are recognized today for their important efforts on behalf of diversity, and the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for organizing this event."

Recipients received one of two awards at the ceremony. The President's Excellence in Diversity & Equity Award recognizes individual contributions to academic activities, creation of inclusive environments and programs that advance institutional culture and a climate of diversity, equity and inclusion at Texas Tech. The President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award recognizes faculty and staff for their substantial contributions to activities and programs that advance the academic and professional climate of gender equity at the university.

Diversity Excellence Awards

"The purpose of the President's Excellence in Diversity & Equity Awards is to recognize the accomplishments of faculty, staff and students who actively work to enhance campus diversity, equity and inclusion by promoting a welcoming community that embraces individuals who reflect a diverse community through traditions, thoughts, beliefs and ideas," said Carol A. Sumner, vice president of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Three faculty members, two staff members and three students were recognized for their excellence. In addition to recognition at the ceremony, in September, each faculty award winner will receive a $2,500 research award, each staff award winner will receive a $1,500 professional development award and each student award winner will receive a $500 scholarship.

"As a university, we strive to promote the uniqueness of all," Sumner said. "As the concept and practice of diversity and inclusion spring from belief to action, it is critical to create an environment of engagement, respect and connection – where the richness of ideas, backgrounds and perspectives are harnessed to create value among all."

The award recipients are:

President's Excellence in Diversity & Equity Award

President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award

  • Faculty Recipient: Dana Weiser is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies within the College of Human Sciences.

  • Staff Recipient: Kristin Messuri is the assistant director of the Graduate School's Graduate Writing Center.