The awards recognize those who have made significant efforts to promote the value of diversity and the importance of equity at Texas Tech University.
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.
"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
Tenured Faculty Recipient: Wendy Adele-Humphrey is a professor, associate dean for Assessment & Strategic Initiatives, director of the Texas Tech Pre-Law Academy and interim director of the Legal Practice Program in the School of Law.
Tenure-Track Faculty Recipient: Brandy Piña-Watson is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences within the College of Arts & Sciences and an affiliate of the Department of Human Development & Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences.
Undergraduate Student Recipients: Kabl Wilkerson is a history and political science major in the College of Arts & Sciences and an Honors Arts and Letters major in the Honors College. Viet Nguyen is a human development and family studies major in the College of Human Sciences.
Graduate Student Recipient: Tashika Curlee is a doctoral student in the School of Law.
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.