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Calling all Catalyst Award nominees by Feb. 8th
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Susan Mask (fourth from the left in the back row), creator of the Diversity Catalyst Awards and director of the former UI Office of Affirmative Action, poses during the 10th anniversary celebration in 2009 with Catalyst Award recipients from the past decade. Photo courtesy of UI Photo Services.
Since 1999, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity in the Chief Diversity Office has awarded Diversity Catalyst Awards to 49 individuals, groups, and departments that have gone above and beyond to foster a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive community at the University of Iowa.
There is great anticipation for this year’s award ceremony, where up to five more awards will be presented, growing the prestigious cohort of recipients to more than 50 members, according to Jennifer Modestou, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.
The office is currently seeking nominations for the 2013 Diversity Catalyst Awards. Nominations are due Feb. 8. Individuals, departments, students, and/or student organizations working toward enhancing the university’s efforts for diversity and inclusion are eligible for nomination if they meet the following criteria:
- Nominees have developed or implemented an innovative program, policy, or activity to enhance diversity within the university, and/or
- Their contributions are distinctive and have a positive effect on building respect for diversity within the university community, and
- Their effort goes above and beyond their job expectations and responsibilities.
UI Chief Diversity Officer
In the first year of the award, the Office of Affirmative Action (now the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity) sought nominations for an award that would “honor the creative initiatives of UI faculty, staff, units, and departments that have made a difference during the academic year in building an inclusive, diverse community at the university.”
The UI Department of Mathematics was recognized in the inaugural year for its continued use of grants and faculty involvement to recruit and mentor minority students. And just last year, mathematics was recognized for awarding seven minority doctoral degrees in 2012, the greatest such number awarded by a single mathematics department in any one year was four.
In 1999, an individual award was presented to Billie Townsend for her role in initiating the Staff Council Diversity Committee and a diversity calendar, as well as for her planning of the annual Staff Council MLK celebrations.
“We are thrilled to be awarding the 50th diversity catalyst award this year,” says Georgina Dodge, UI associate vice president and chief diversity officer. “The University of Iowa has many individuals and entities worthy of recognition for their stellar work in supporting a campus environment that is nurturing to persons from all backgrounds. We look forward to receiving the nominations and hearing about their contributions to the campus.”
A selection committee comprised of faculty, staff, and student representatives will review nominations and select the award winners, who will be celebrated at the Diversity Catalyst Award Reception on Thursday, April 18, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union 2nd Floor Ballroom. Recipients will be presented a cash award and a trophy recognizing their accomplishment. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, or to nominate someone in your area for a Diversity Catalyst Award, visit: www.uiowa.edu/~eod/diversity/catalyst-awards/index.html.