Diversity Achievement Award
Each year at Fall Convocation, President Shepard presents the Diversity Achievement Award to recognize an individual (faculty, staff or student) or office whose distinguished efforts have enhanced diversity and multicultural understanding at Western. The nomination deadline for the 2013 Diversity Achievement Award has been extended to Friday, May 24, 2013.
- Integrates diversity concepts and values into academic curriculum, management and/or operational functions.
- Develops methods for increasing and valuing diversity among students, faculty, and/or staff.
- Maximizes opportunities to achieve diversity.
- Contributes to promoting an understanding and appreciation of differences by contributing to the body of research on diversity or through other endeavors.
- Provide a nomination letter (not to exceed 3 pages) by Friday, May 10, 2013 addressing one or more of the above listed criteria to the Equal Opportunity Office, Old Main 345 or MS-9021.
2012 winner: Willy Hart
Director, University Residences
For many years prior to his retirement at the end of 2012, Willy led the effort in University Residences to create a department-wide culture that appreciates the tremendous diversity within the department and the University. Willy’s colleagues describe his work as “infusing knowledge and understanding about social justice, and actively leading the department to celebrate, honor and respect all voices and perspectives.”
Photo: Dan Levine
Willy has made diversity competencies a priority for University Residences, providing multicultural awareness and social justice training for the entire department and including a diversity component in annual employee performance evaluations. He created two multicultural recruitment counselor positions to enrich employees’ sensitivity to diversity issues and assist search committees in identifying and obtaining diverse applicant pools for job openings in University Residences.
Willy also created a mechanism to track at-risk students in on-campus housing, working with campus partners to ensure a complete assessment of students’ needs and collaborate in supporting these students. And by providing departmental financial support for the Women of Color Empowerment Dinner, the Ethnic Student Center Retreat, and annual heritage dinners, Willy helps to make these important events accessible to all students.
Congratulations, Willy for being recognized with the Diversity Achievement Award, and thank you for your years of inclusive leadership at Western.
2011 winner: Joan Ullin
Coordinator, Academic Support, Student Outreach Services
Joan Ullin, Academic Support Coordinator in Student Outreach Services, has dedicated her career at Western to serving students from underrepresented groups. A highly influential member of Western’s Teaching-Learning Academy, Joan works tirelessly to ensure that the voices of all individuals are heard.
Joan is committed to promoting a deeper understanding of differences through her role in student advising, which has earned her a sterling reputation. She has a humanistic approach in dealing with all students and works hard to ensure that students of color as well as others who are deemed “at risk” have an equal opportunity to be successful.
For the past three years, through the ANLSAM (All Nations Louis Stokes Advancement of Minorities) Program, Joan has worked with the College of Science and Technology (CST) to bring Native American and Hispanic students into STEM disciplines. Joan was instrumental in establishing the ANLSM Program at Western , and has also provided leadership for the development of a local chapter of SACNAS. Recently, Joan was recognized with Western’s 2011 Women of Color Empowerment Award.
Joan’s work with diverse communities extends beyond Western. She was a founding member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, and is past president of the Northwest Hawaiian Ohana Group, which raises scholarship funds for students pursuing higher education. She is currently president of the Board of the Bellingham YWCA.
Joan represents the best of Western’s commitment to diversity. For her work both at Western and in the greater community, she is truly deserving of the 2011 Diversity Achievement Award.
2010 winner: Kathy Kitto
Professor, College of Sciences & TechnologyRead the News Release
Throughout her career at Western, Kathleen Kitto has been a leading supporter of gender diversity initiatives for both faculty and students, developing opportunities for women in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.
Kitto was the first female engineer hired in WWU's Engineering Technology department, joining the faculty as an assistant professor in 1988. She rose to the rank of professor in 1995 and served as the Engineering Technology department chair from 1996 to 2003.
Since the College of Sciences and Technology was founded in fall 2003, Kitto has split her time, serving as associate dean for CST and as a faculty member in Engineering Technology. She is also the newly appointed director of the Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC). She actively encourages women students to enter the field of engineering. She serves not only as a strong role model, but through mentorship of female students and working with student groups, encourages more women to enter the engineering field.
In her leadership role as department chair, Kitto helped shape a culture change that led to the hiring of additional women into the Engineering Technology department, which now has more women faculty than most engineering technology departments in the country.
Now, Kitto leads Western's first large-scale effort to address the cultural and structural issues that impact women's career development at WWU. Under her leadership and with the support of several Western colleagues, Western won a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Catalyst grant, designed to focus specifically on the needs and challenges of women in the Colleges of Sciences and Technology.
2009 winner: Lorraine Kasprisin
Professor, Secondary Education
Lorraine Kasprisin has served Western for nearly 30 years as an educator, philosopher and scholar. Devoted to sharing perspectives on diversity and social justice, her work reaches students, educators, practitioners and scholars at Western and throughout the world.
Most recently Kasprisin founded the highly acclaimed Journal of Educational Controversy. This peer reviewed electronic journal is a significant contributor to the body of research on diversity and brings international attention to Western.
“Lorraine has a very respectful and graceful way of bringing up traditionally challenging topics,” said John Korsmo, assistant professor of Human Services. “Her work has heightened public awareness at Western and has drawn attention to diversity by holding people accountable.”
Kasprisin earned a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the City College of New York.
Past Award Recipients
Willy Hart, Director, University Residences
Joan Ullin, Coordinator, Academic Support, Student Outreach Services
Kathy Kitto, Professor, College of Sciences & Technology
Lorraine Kasprisin, Professor, Secondary Education
Admissions Office, Karen Copetas, Director
Tom Nerini, Director, Student Outreach Services
Dr. Robert Hyung-chan Kim, Professor Emeritus
Jesse Moore, AS VP for Diversity
Lynn Robbins, Department of Environmental Studies
Gigi Berardi, Department of Environmental Studies
Brian Bingham, Shannon Point Marine Center
Ted Pratt, Director of Student Life/Dean of Students
Karen Hoelscher, Elementary Education
Joseph Garcia, Management
Roland L. De Lorme, Provost (retired)
Larry Estrada, Fairhaven/American Cultural Studies
Vernon Johnson, Political Science
Law and Diversity Program, Fairhaven College
The Ethnic Student Center Student Organizations
Ray McInnis, Wilson Librarians for the Development of Ethnic Minority Research Guides, Wilson Library Diversity Section, and Diversity Resource Collections
Woodring College of Education, the Center for Educational Pluralism
The Department of English/Curricular Transformation Project
Saundra Taylor, Vice President for Student Affairs