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Monday, April 8, 2013

University of Iowa Chief Diversity Office staff members invite everyone to celebrate the distinctive and innovative diversity contributions of six award recipients at the 14th Annual Diversity Catalyst Awards Reception Thursday, April 18.

The reception begins at 3 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union Second Floor Ballroom, followed by the awards program from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Both the reception and program are free and open to the public.

Sarah Fisher Gardial, dean of the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business and professor of marketing, will deliver the keynote address.

Following are the recipients of this year’s Diversity Catalyst Awards and a summary of why they were chosen.

Student Award

Sauvik Goswami, diversity liaison for UI Student Government, was nominated for demonstrating a high level of dedication to diversity through the many initiatives he has pursued and successfully facilitated as the diversity liaison for the UI Student Government. He has served and taken the lead on various diversity events planning committees since attending the university, as well as founded the Get to Know Me campaign, which was introduced to all 4,470 incoming students at On Iowa! and widely publicized across campus through various marketing venues.

Goswami is a senior economics major in the Tippie College of Business from Iowa City.

Faculty/Staff Awards

Brad M. Brunick
Brad M. Brunick

Brad M. Brunick, staff psychologist, University Counseling Service (UCS), was nominated for his collaborative approach and passionate valuing of diverse student voices, which led him to develop, implement, and make accessible several tools within UCS, which continues to allow staff to enhance multicultural competence, build respect for diversity in their daily work, and create a more welcoming, and competent service for diverse and underserved students.

Jake Christensen
Jake Christensen

Jake Christensen, senior admission counselor, UI Office of Admissions. Christensen was nominated for completing the Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, and successfully advocating for the addition of sexual orientation and transgender identity questions on admission applications. He was also nominated for the continuous support, volunteerism, and dedication he has demonstrated which exemplifies awareness of how the UI is striving to create an environment that is welcoming to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

portirait of Katie Imborek
Katie Imborek

Katie Imborek, clinical assistant professor and medical doctor in the UI Department of Family Medicine; and Nicole L. Nisly, clinical professor and medical doctor in the UI Department of Internal Medicine, are also recipients. Both Imborek and Nisly staff the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning Clinic (LGBTQ) in the UI Hospitals and Clinics Iowa River Landing clinic, which opened in October of 2012.

Portrait of Nicole Nisly
Nicole Nisly

Imborek and Nisly were nominated for their countless efforts to provide culturally competent and compassionate care to the LGBTQ community, according to their nominators, who wrote, "Working alongside each other, these doctors helped to create the LGBTQ healthcare clinic at the UIHC Iowa River Landing, one of the very few in the country and one that has attracted national attention for the UI. Between the two, Drs. Imborek and Nisly have been involved in several diversity initiatives that have contributed to the welcoming and inclusive reputation our institution holds today."

Tonya L. Peeples
Tonya L. Peeples

Tonya L. Peeples, professor of chemical and biochemical engineering and director of the Ethnic Inclusion Effort in the UI College of Engineering, was nominated for the vast influence she’s had in the college and the UI campus through her involvement with a long list of diversity-focused committees, councils, initiatives, numerous outreach activities, and the organizations she has advised; and all of who have benefited from her expertise, leadership, and mentorship.

The Diversity Catalyst Awards Reception will be held in conjunction with the Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Awards to selected seniors from Iowa’s three public universities. The Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Award recognizes academic achievement, leadership in campus and community organizations, and potential for future career success. See for more information. The Alliant Energy/Erroll B. Davis Jr. Achievement Award recipients for 2013 will be announced at the reception.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity in advance at 319-335-0705 or 319-335-0697 (TDD) or via e-mail to
ASL interpretation will be provided at the event.

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